replied to the thread Expats with Children in Kazakhstan
on the Kazakhstan forum on September 18, 2014:
I'm considering a teaching job in Kazakhstan, but can't seen to find any information about where I would send my own children (ages 6 and 10) to school while we're there.
We'd get an allowance for their education, but I'm not sure if it would be enough to pay for all their fees.
Also, I believe working hours are long, and I'm not sure how "aftercare" works there.
Anyone have any tips?
Thanks Jannes :)
Does one spouse then stay home while the other works?
Or do they hire a tutor?
Ok, good to know, thank you!
So in other words, one spouse works and the other homeschools? Or do they hire a tutor?
Thank you for the great article!
I have a question about going to teach there (specifically at an NIS) if I have children of my own. My children are 6 and 10 years old. How hard is it to get them into a school there? What sort of school fees would I pay? Would I need aftercare for them? I hear working hours are long and I'm not sure if I'd be able to collect them from school on time. Is there anything else I'd need to consider?
Thank you so much, in advance :)
replied to the thread Life in kokshetau
on the Kazakhstan forum:
I been living here for a year teaching at Nazarbayev Intellectual School so here's some advice for anyone thinking about it.
Kokshetau is a nice little city. Quiet but many interesting and soviet experiences to be had.
What to bring. Bring your own linen and a towel or two. The local variant is really expensive and poor quality. Almost everything you could need can be found in the local markets. You cant get peanut butter, bacon, ham, turkeys. Bring your own toiletries. They have a big range but its in Russian and you won’t find everything you need. There are 5 ok local restaurants, you can get a good coffee, steak, pizza, cocktail. Bring your own laptop and electronics. Local electronics are expensive due to import taxes. Bring all the work clothes you need. The local stores sell the local fashion which has to be seen to be believed. Theres lots of snow in winter but theres no skiing or snowboarding in the region. Theres some nice spots to visit tho. Kazakh is not reliable. Some of my friends did not receive there parcels sent from home. Parcels aren’t delivered, theyre kept at the post office. The post office might also charge a customs fee to pick up your mail. The winter is not so bad. Everything is white. Most of winter is -4 degrees (-20C), only a week or two at -31 (-35C). Theres a huge range of coats, jackets, hats, scarves and gloves available. Shoes and boots are expensive. If you have boots for cold, might wanna bring them with you. The local English speaking population is tiny, some uni students. There are plenty of salons and gyms. Theres a western style gym called Aspan. Costs approx $120 mth. Most foreigners walk and bus everywhere because its a rather small central town. You can taxi around if you get someone who speaks Russian to order it. Or get a car. The local people are not smiley, but they are helpful and friendly. Foreigners are still a novelty.
If you’re coming to teach at NIS. Many keen local teachers to meet and work with. Approx 800 students K-12. There are 100+ teachers but only the English teachers (approx 20) speak English. Class sizes never more than 24 actually usually 12. The students are wonderful. The worst behaviour you get is phone use or failing to complete homework. Good salary, usually paid on time. Potential to save a pile. TWO return flights per year (to your home country only). Flights to Kazakhstan are oddly expensive and overnight layovers are common. Don’t lose your boarding pass or you won’t get your flights compensated. All apartments are within 40 min walking distance of school, actually many within 5 min. The buses are cheap. International teachers this year were allocated an English teacher as a “minder” who translated with your landlord, organises your immigration stamps and tax certificate. Unless you get a bad landlord, all your bills are paid for including internet. At school theres plasma screen, computer and projector in each classroom. Bring classroom resources and stationary (markers, stickers, bluetac). There is some a stationary store here but its not reliable eg for months only had red markers. The school cafeteria is large, airy and cheap (not Western food). Be prepared for ESL students. Because NIS is trilingual the students speak Russian in your classroom and sometimes pretend they don’t understand you. Google translate is indispensible for students and teachers! When you arrive you can decline your apartment eg if you are shown a place without a separate bedroom or top floor without elevator. The first week is the best time to demand missing items (eg vacuum. microwave that works, plates, linen, broken buzzer). Theres no home postal delivery but you can get things sent to the school. No one at the bank speaks English so you got to organise with your “minder” to come to the bank with you. The accommodation allowance is substantial but you can’t negotiate your own apartment contract. Most landlords get much more than what they would from a local tenant. There are also some reviews on NIS on the school review websites.
I'm curious, how are you finding it?
I'm thinking of going, too.
Thanks for all the useful info!
Do you know any international teachers who went there with children of their own?
I am wanting to find out more information about where I would send them to school, school hours, and fees.
Thank you so much!
replied to the thread Flat for rent in Almaty
on the Kazakhstan forum:
Hello, I am moving to live and work in Almaty in a month, so need to find an apartment for rent.
Maybe someone could say what's the easiest way to find it or know some people who works in a real estate agencies and could help me? Thank you.
replied on September 11, 2014 with:
Hello. Have you found an apartment? I have someone offering a nice one bedroom in downtown just across Rixos hotel.
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replied to the thread Anyone in Astana??
on the Kazakhstan forum:
I have been waiting at the Astana airport for almost two hours. My NIS has not showed and I have no contact information for anyone. Can anyone help?
The word travelled from Australia!!! I'm still home, leaving today to return. I got your email and flew into action. The thought of you being stranded was just not on!!! I'm happy that you are now safe and with your new fellow ITs
Please feel free at anytime to email. I will pm you my kazakh number soon. Take care
Once again Biologyman and Kimdamio you have been an outstanding resource!!!
Kim, my team leader came to me asking about a blog post (this was after a perfect stranger in the airport called NIS in Astana and explained my situation which led to someone finally coming around nine) and I told him that the blog has been a lifesaver more than once and at the time, it was the only thing I could think to do. He explained how word had traveled all the way from Uralsk that I was stranded.
It is great to know that although I have never met either of you, you both were quick to use your connections to assist me.
I waited for five and a half hours with everyone saying "No English" then my electronics died and I had no communication whatsoever.
Again, thank you so much for caring!!
P.S. This definitely inspired me to get a local phone today. Maybe one day, I will have the pleasure of meeting you both.
replied to the thread Need visa info ASAP!!!
on the Kazakhstan forum:
Does anyone working with NIS know the medical insurance information AND what to put for the temporary address information on the visa application??? I need this sent off asap and every one there is sleep. Please help!!
Hi Lesley exciting times!!
Just a few pearls of wisdom. Of course I don't know about your area, but in uralsk......
Travel with either euro or US $$
Sheets are small and expensive. (King single on a double)
Spices. Ie curry powder - not available.
Netflix - all tv is in Russian or kazakh.
Google translate and word lens on phone.
You can buy just about all western brand toiletries.
I can't think of anything else now but if I do I'll post it for you
For me it has been one if the best things I have done and I love it!!! I hope it is the same for you.
NIS Semey here I come!! You all have been such a help that I wanted to ask a few last questions. Is there anything that you may have overlooked in packing but wish you didn't? Is there anything that you would strongly suggest I get before I get there?
Thanks again, Leslie
3 room apartment is Astana, located in center of city.
replied to the thread Looking for local assistant in Almay
on the Kazakhstan forum:
Hi all! I'm a journalist about to move to Almaty and I'm looking for a local assistant. Not an extremely demanding role, would be good for talented students too. Part-time job, around US$500 per month. Anybody interested? Is there any specific website you guys would reccomend me to post the vacancy on?
will do, thanks!
try "golf volunteers in almaty"
on Facebook, there are a lot of KIMEP students in there