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Discussion Starter #1
hi, im Gini, 32 from England. ive been offered a job at an international school as a social worker / school counsellor. I have been a social worker for 10 years and a manager of my team for 18 months - so I have plenty of experience. the job ive been offered has a monthly salary of 5500eg pound a month which to me seems very low. im not certain on the cost of living. I can only compare it to a teaching job I was offered in Cairo for 10000 but I declined the offer as I felt that teaching the whole curriculum would be really hard for a non teacher!

anyway, what id like help with is:
what would be the average cost of renting a furnished studio or one bed apartment in Hadaba?
would 5500 be a decent income or would it be a struggle to afford accom, bills and food on this?

ps: im moving alone, so its not like I have a partners income to contribute....

any advice anyone can give me is greatly appreciated - I only have 3 days to make a decision as the school want to know by Wednesday!

thanks, Gxx:fingerscrossed:
 

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Hi

Your salary is very low and you have not been offered an expat package which is normal when you have been recruited from overseas.. normally you would receive

A good salary.. usually paid in US dollars
An apartment provided or at least a generous rent allowance
Health insurance
Work permit

I have a friend who is a counsellor for an international school in Cairo and I can tell you she receives all of the above.
I do not know the cost of living in Sharm but I certainly would not upsticks and move to a country to be paid a salary of under 600 pounds sterling.
 

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Thanks for the response. The package your describing is what I was expecting as I've seen that offered for teachers but the two jobs I've been offered haven't had the package. I was beginning to wonder if these packages exist!

Do u think your friend would mind me asking her a few questions about the matter ***********

Thanks
 

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hi, im Gini, 32 from England. ive been offered a job at an international school as a social worker / school counsellor. I have been a social worker for 10 years and a manager of my team for 18 months - so I have plenty of experience. the job ive been offered has a monthly salary of 5500eg pound a month which to me seems very low. im not certain on the cost of living. I can only compare it to a teaching job I was offered in Cairo for 10000 but I declined the offer as I felt that teaching the whole curriculum would be really hard for a non teacher!

anyway, what id like help with is:
what would be the average cost of renting a furnished studio or one bed apartment in Hadaba?
would 5500 be a decent income or would it be a struggle to afford accom, bills and food on this?

ps: im moving alone, so its not like I have a partners income to contribute....

any advice anyone can give me is greatly appreciated - I only have 3 days to make a decision as the school want to know by Wednesday!

thanks, Gxx:fingerscrossed:

I don't know about the rental prices in Sharm as never lived there but you can look at the rentals by Googling property to rent in Sharm.In Hurghada you would be looking at a starting price of 1,500 for a fairly decent place then more than likely you would have to pay your utility bills on top of that,your bowab will need paying also and that can be anything starting usually from 50le.Personally i think you would struggle to live a decent lifestyle and as Maiden said it's usual for a job to come with an expat package when you are recruited from outside of Egypt..
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for that! It's helpful. I'll go back to the school and negotiate. I'm worried that they will withdraw the offer though and that will be another job I didn't take! And my concern is I'll end up with nothing and stuck in the cold rainy rat race!

I feel they've made it impossible for me to accept the job tho!
 

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Thank you for that! It's helpful. I'll go back to the school and negotiate. I'm worried that they will withdraw the offer though and that will be another job I didn't take! And my concern is I'll end up with nothing and stuck in the cold rainy rat race!

I feel they've made it impossible for me to accept the job tho!

The reason they normally recruit from outside of Egypt is that you have skills that an Egyptian doesn't have and also you can't take a job that an egyptian is able to do so therefore in theory ;) they should be paying you a much higher salary than an Egyptian along with an expat package so stay in the cold rainy rat race unless you get a much better offer because believe me living in Egypt is certainly not a bed of roses or anything like when you are just there on a holiday.The heat which is wonderful when you are on holiday becomes very hard to live with and even more so when you have to go out to work in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I bet! I'm not looking forward to the heat it wasn't great years back when I lived in Greece for a year as a chef and that wasn't as hot!

I wonder why they are trying to get me so cheap...perhaps trying their luck or perhaps they don't value the counsellor role and therefore provide a meagre salary. I've got 10 years exp and 2 years of that in mAnagment so it's not like I'm fresh out of uni!

Grrrrrr so frustrating as is love to take it! But can't as it is!
 

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Bit of both really, the position of counsellor will not be valued highly, but they would be glad to include it on their website, especially if they can mention that it is an expatriate.

What you need to understand is that there is the Egyptian way of thinking (obviously the best, just look at most of Cairo) and the Western way. The Western way would be "why hire someone on a pathetic salary, they will be demotivated from day one, produce poor work and leave soon, putting us back to square one". The Egyptian way is "wow look how cheaply we got this fool". Here in the Omm al Donya we are blessed with the Khan Al Khaleli mentality. One party makes a ridiculously low offer, the second counters with an equally absurdly low offer, and sometime they meet in the middle.

I seriously doubt that they thought that they could get someone for what they are offering. Off the top of my head I would guess that they have something in mind circa 10K LE per month all in, but if they can get you to accept, well more fool you, they have saved money and achieved the huge bonus of putting one over a Khawaga.

Having made the decision that you are OK with walking away from this puts you in a great position if you want to negotiate. I have had incredible results from buying dodgy watches on the streets of Bangkok to negotiating jobs in Singapore simply by being in the position of not being to bothered if I got it or not. Conversely if you really want something it's almost impossible to get the best deal.

My advice would be to get back to them, say that you accept the offer, but make it clear that your understanding is that this is a base salary and that you need to know what they are offering in addition. Housing allowance of 2-2.5K is a must plus basic health care. Effectively you should be aiming at about 12-13K all in.

Their response should allow you to gauge whether they are serious and if it is worth persuing. If so, they will give you a counter offer and you should be able to settle for somewhere in the 8-10 K range. Do not think of trying to live in Sharm for anything less.

Good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thank you that's so helpful! They haven't yet responded to my email to them so just waiting! I really wanted to ask if they'd accidebtally mistyped 5500 when they meant 15500!

What's peoples views on Cairo vs sharm? I hear wages are better in Cairo and sharm is more expensive to live....then there is hurghada....haven't seen much work there but I don't know if I'm looking in the right places. Can you guys recommend any websites to look at?

If I don't get a sensible offer would you recommend a career change and looking for a guest relation job- this is the suggestion from my Egyptian buddies!?

Cheers!
 

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It's a good suggestion, the thing is do you have any additional language skills? The ability to get by in Russian and to a lesser extent German or French could well determine your success in getting a job with a decent hotel in Sharm.

Forget Cairo, it's a squalid dump. Your standard of living would be low and you are 100% likely to experience some form of sexual harassment.

School counselor positions do exist and there are, obviously, more international schools, but this kind of position tends to be filled here by the spouse of an expatriate who will be doing it out of interest or to pick up pocket money.

I can understand (although not agree with ) someone thinking that they would like to live in Sharm, but just can't get it why that person might wish to come here.

Think long and hard before leaving the UK to come here.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hmmm....I like Cairo, not so much the squalid dumpy parts! I've been thinking about and threatening to do this for about 10 years and haven't had the catalyst. I've looked at and have worked other places outside the uk for shorter periods and decided I could settle for a while in Egypt. Not sure what the draw is....the piles of rubbish, the diabolical food, the harassment or the corruption but I'm drawn no less.

Can you recommend any good job websites?

Thanks everyone for your comments, you've been so influential!
 

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Hmmm....I like Cairo, not so much the squalid dumpy parts! I've been thinking about and threatening to do this for about 10 years and haven't had the catalyst. I've looked at and have worked other places outside the uk for shorter periods and decided I could settle for a while in Egypt. Not sure what the draw is....the piles of rubbish, the diabolical food, the harassment or the corruption but I'm drawn no less.

Can you recommend any good job websites?

Thanks everyone for your comments, you've been so influential!

Life's not a rehearsal so if you fancy Egypt then go do it,might work might not but at least you can say you tried it which is a lot more than many people can say.I did my stint in Egypt with no regrets but in the end the country did start to drive me crazy so i left.....would i go back...No, but it was an experience ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone for your help. I tried to negotiate with the school and they basically told me that is the salary scale, it's enough to live on and if I want more I needed to target bigger schools!

Cest la vie

Back to the drawing board!

Any job sites you can recommend is appreciated!?
 

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Try contacting the schools directly, all the good international schools have websites. The thing about international schools in Egypt, not all are created equal and regulation/quality control is spotty to say the least. As others have said, the 'good' schools will provide housing, payment in USD, working permits ect... good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks. I'm hitting the schools direct. Obviously in my researching I've target a couple if naff ones that want to pay a pittance.

Hopefully a job will come up but I'm losing faith a bit.

I'm emailing all the ngo's too, save the children etc as I've worked for save the children before but they mostly want Arabic speakers or like degrees in humanitarian studies and half a century of experience....it's even tough finding orphanages or charities that are hiring!


Does anyone know of any private adoption agencies???
 

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Thanks. I'm hitting the schools direct. Obviously in my researching I've target a couple if naff ones that want to pay a pittance.

Hopefully a job will come up but I'm losing faith a bit.

I'm emailing all the ngo's too, save the children etc as I've worked for save the children before but they mostly want Arabic speakers or like degrees in humanitarian studies and half a century of experience....it's even tough finding orphanages or charities that are hiring!


Does anyone know of any private adoption agencies???

As far as i know adoption is not legal in Egypt.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I read adoption is legal but the Quran forbids a child's name to be changed or a fathers name to be removed from a child more like. But I don't know if it's common.
Been looking for fostering agencies too as familial fostering does happen and more so than outside the family.

But again, slim pickings.
 

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I read adoption is legal but the Quran forbids a child's name to be changed or a fathers name to be removed from a child more like. But I don't know if it's common.
Been looking for fostering agencies too as familial fostering does happen and more so than outside the family.

But again, slim pickings.

No matter what you read ... I can sadly tell you that you will not be able to adopt a child here.
I used to volunteer at a girls orphanage in Cairo.. so why not voluteer.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Nooooo I don't want to adopt! I work in adoption now, I manage a social work team! Definitely have no interest in adopting just working in some kind of social work!
I've seen some Christian organisations that do it but being an athiest isn't a great selling point! I will do some volunteering for sure but I need paid work too.
 
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