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NIS Update

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7/9/2014 02:31 EST

Hello. I am planning to apply for work at NIS.. Here are the questions I have in mind.

1. Do they have quarterly observations in that school?

2. How many classes does a teacher handle in a day? and how many students per class? (Biology teacher)

3. Do they get bonuses? like Christmas bonus?

Thank you!

7/9/2014 09:14 EST

Hello Misstalkchalk
I am a Biology specialist in Uralsk.
1. The school works on a four term basis but not necessarily with a holiday between terms. That is a term can finish on a Saturday and the new term start on the following Monday.International staff are not contracted to work on Saturdays. There are summative tests at the end of each term.
2. You can expect 20 x 40 minute periods per week, most of which will be team teaching. My groups are 8-12 students but younger groups are larger - I only teach Grade 9 and above. My workload is significantly less than my previous two jobs.
3. There is a settling in allowance paid in two instalments but no bonuses. Leave is something like 4.6 days per calendar month. A peculiarity is that they include the non-working Saturdays and Sundays as part of your leave but not national holidays. Many teachers take additional unpaid leave, which for most is not too much of an issue as the NIS remuneration package is one of the best in the world.

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7/11/2014 20:32 EST

Thank you Biologyman!
So as of this moment, in general, *do you recommend NIS for teachers looking for job abroad? Another is... **it is also said in the information pack about the school that it's free accomodation, so once you arrive, are they the one's going to look for a place for you? or you will be the one to look for your own place and pay for it and then reimburse?

I want to be sure because there are a lot of negative reviews about NIS.. but of course there is no perfect workplace for anyone i just want to make every thing clear for me.. Thank you sir in advance :)

7/12/2014 05:42 EST

I'm an international at an NIS school - English teacher and work in the same school as biologyman.
They find you accommodation and it is ready for you when you arrive. The apartments are always comfortable. Mine is nice and fairly close to the school.
As biologyman told me on this very forum, it's not for everyone, but I love it. I consider it one of my best decisions. You do work hard, but I find the students great and my work collegues first class.
Which school are you looking at


7/12/2014 05:53 EST

I can only comment on my experiences in Uralsk. Each school has its own leadership styles and cities will vary from north to south, east to west. I believe that all or most of the negative comments come from two or three schools where discontent may have set in. Discontent breeds discontent. I have a very high regard for our principle who shows great empathy for both staff and students. From time to time there can be a little bit of frustration but this is greatly outweighed by being a part of something wonderful.
On arrival, I was met by the International Vice Principal and my minder. First we went to obtain a SIM card and add credit before being taken to the apartment. This was pre-arranged. I could have turned down the apartment as a colleague had done so before me, though he liked the apartment - he just wanted to be nearer to the school. My apartment was approximately 25 minutes away form the school without the advantage of being close to the school or close to the centre. The apartment was generally clean, though moving the sofa to vacuum revealed all sorts of crap so you may need to give it a thorough clean to meet your own personal standards. The rent is paid direct by the school and I rarely met my landlady. They are fairly clueless about DIY so repairs tend to be inadequate. All utility bills are paid direct by the school. My apartment was well equipped with cooking utensils and a newish looking iron and ironing board. This is not so with my new place so I will need to go out to buy a few things. The previous tenant had an arrangement where the landlady came in and cleaned once a week for 2000kzt/11USD and I will probably ask for this arrangement to continue. For those that have not been entirely happy, the school has been supportive in finding somewhere new. I advise you to make sure that you have access to sufficient funds to buy any extras you require to make your life comfortable and see you through until your first settling in allowance arrives and your flights are refunded. This may not be until after you have set up your bank account which may take a week or so.
You will need to decide how long you should remain outside the education system of your own country/IB schools but I feel that to spend a year or two in Kazakhstan will bring experiences that you will treasure for the rest of your life. With regards to where I am based (Uralsk), I give NIS a firm thumbs up!

7/12/2014 06:12 EST

A slight correction: The utility bills are paid by the landlord/landlady. Some landlords/landladies may call in to collect the bills. With my old apartment, I gave them to my minder and the landlady came into school to collect them. You just need to ensure that the bills are passed to your landlord and everything else is taken care of. Some landlords are a little lackadaisical about paying the bills resulting in a lack of internet for a day or two. The school will chase these things up for you. They pay the landlords more than the normal rates for apartments and therefore have some clout in sorting things out. Generally, landlords are keen to maintain good relations with the schools as they know that the rent will be paid which may not be as true if let out to a local person.

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7/12/2014 10:24 EST

Hello Kim,

It's so nice to hear that and thank you for the reply. Do applicants choose which NIS school they want to be in? if that is the case, I might consider Uralsk :)

7/12/2014 20:09 EST

When I put my cv online I was approached by teach away . They organised my interviews and told me my position would be in uralsk.
Uralsk city is rather a bleak place with extreme temps but very friendly. The internationals socialise at least once a week and let our hair down a bit. You can contact the head office in astana to get the details of the school contacts. Botagoz is the contact there.
I know NIS is looking for motivated staff so good luck.

7/23/2014 13:36 EST

So my city has been changed from Karaganda to Semey sure to the curriculum change. I have a few random question if anyone could help.
1. Anyone have info about Semey?
2. Also, I was told to bring plenty of linens because that ares not cheap in Kazakhstan...what size beds do those of you already there have?
3. Do any of you speak Kazakh or Russian? If not, how difficult is it to get around? I've been teaching myself Russian and can decipher a few things but I know nothing about Kazakh.

Any information you could provide would be great since this website had already been a wealth of information!

2/12/2015 23:11 EST

That sounds terrible. We are fortunate (the expats) here in Aktau as we have a ver small international school (American curriculum). I know I would not feel comfortable sending my child to a local school There is apparently one school here in Aktau that is very good, but it's also very strict and lots of children leave due to stress. The rest are considered poor quality (there was a story the first year we were here of the children cleaning the school, including standing outside in winter cleaning windows (even on the second floor)) Kazakhs in general seem pretty threatened by interntional workers although the younger generations (20's and under) are generally curious about us and interested in speaking with us about life way from Kazakhstan. That is really too bad that foreign teachers are treated so poorly in the local schools. If you want to teach in Kazakhstan I recommend teaching at an International school if possible.

2/13/2015 22:30 EST

I think INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS are a better bet for Western teachers in MOST countries. Foreign countries lure teachers with high ay and empty promises KNOWING the abuse that awaits them upon arrival and in MOST cases you are without knowledge and RIGHTS about what to do about your situation. I was in an ADEC school in the UAE and HATED every moment inside my school building as the students (HS Girls), were completely OUT OF CONTROL and the Administration blamed and wrote up teachers for it. Hey! I was not there long enough to cause the craziness, but am NOW in an International School in Qatar and LOVE MY JOB!!! The pay is less and my I apartment is NOTHING like my UAE accommodations AND I teach grade 7, 8 and 9 BOYS (who supposedly are HORRORS!), but enjoy my work, love my kids and am SO MUCH HAPPIER and less stressed and the salary was simply NOT WORTH IT!!! The UAE national schools sound QUITE similar to those in Kazakhstan.

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