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What's it like to work in Kazakhstan?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by kazakhere, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. Lots of heavy advertising for schools in Kazakhstan for the moment, starting in August. I gather a work visa, medical, contract stuff can take up to two 2 months so is this a sign of bad planning or no one wanting to work there?

    Any comments about experiences working in Kazakhstan would be welcome. HOw did you find your year or two, or did you do a runner after a few months? What are the facilities like? Does your school keep its promises without endless hassle?
  2. PuRe

    PuRe Occasional commenter

  3. Did you have a comment to make? I hope so. Please post or PM me if it is a little sensitive! Thanks. I really need your comments before deciding whether to apply.
  4. olderandwiser

    olderandwiser Occasional commenter

    Great post, PuRe.

    it will almost certainly be a Soviet-type experience, so expect a complete disregard for contracts, endless delays to get the simplest things done and frustrating bureaucracy by Jobs-Worths that you couldn't make up. And corruption.

    International Schools Review is useful but you will need to pay to see the most recent posts, if any. I did meet someone a while back who actually worked there as an ICT teacher. I remember him saying the pupils were great, the school management were just plain bad, that you were very much on your own despite all the promises of support, CPD etc. I also remember him complaining about not being paid properly, with deductions for holidays made that were different to the contract, you didn't get paid for two months because that's how long a bank account took to open, and money not being fully reimbursed for flights. There was also some kind of scam going on with accommodation, where you were put in pretty grim apartments miles from the school, but the landlord was paid a small fortune. I think also that you are not guaranteed where you will be placed, so could end up in the back of beyond.

    Be careful listening to agencies. They don't get paid if you don't sign up so are probably going to tell you not to listen to what you read on the Internet, only the few people with bad experiences complain, that contracts are much better now etc. they are just agents and have little clout to help if you don't get what you are promised.

    On the plus side, it's something different.
  5. larathegiraffe

    larathegiraffe New commenter

    Be careful!

    Kazakhstan has a terrible human rights record slightly better (but only just) than North Korea's. See e.g. here:


    If you run foul of corrupt authorities, upset someone at school who is connected, or start demanding your rights as a westerner, you could end up disappearing, being tortured or worse. The police act with impunity and there will be little you can do about it. Also, be aware that the currency was devalued overnight by 20% last year. It may happen again this year. Make sure you are paid in a foreign currency and move all money out of the country asap.

    Is it really worth a few thousand quid a month?
  6. larathegiraffe

    larathegiraffe New commenter

    I've been reading quite a bit about Kazakhstan this morning for fun. I'd go further than my previous post and tell you not to go. Call it a boycott. Call it personal safety but it is clearly a hitler regime and you shouldn't support animals like the ruling ones in Kazakhstan. It says everything when they pay Tony Blair to front up their disgusting regime with spin!!


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