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Quinn

Izmir
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Quinn last won the day on December 25 2018

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About Quinn

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  1. I just recently saw the Özdelek Shopping Center when I was on AntRay, and so am looking forward to checking it out. Indeed, I like the Doğu Garajı neighborhood and thereabouts. Everyone we knew was pushing the neighborhood around the 5M Migros in Konyaaltı and so we did see it. But I don't get the appeal, especially compared to various places in Muratpaşa.
  2. Thanks Hobbit, I'll check it out. Sadly, Flashcard Exchange was sold, and the thing I loved about it (and paid for!) was the way it allowed one to use the compartments. Most flashcard programs have such compartments, but they dont "remember" where you are at when you close a session. I've been looking for a replacement, but haven't found any, and have just been making due with the file in Excel. I do a tiny bit of programming as a hobby, and so it's on the backburner as a future project to make an app that would mimic the old Flashcard Exchange but . . . meh. I'd rather keep learning Turkish.
  3. Thanks, IslandGirl! Those are really good tips. Where in Muratpaşa did you live? I'll look to see if I can find a map online of the Tram line. Is there a stop in Çağlayan, do you know? Or how long it would take a bus to go from Çağlayan to the city center?
  4. How far away is Fener, Çağlayan, Şirinyalı and Yeşilbahçe from city center, both in terms of in terms of traffic (do the main roads between this area and city center have heavy traffic during rush hour?) Are there buses from/to this area from/to the city center and if so, how long does it take to get to city center? Do you know the neighborhood name that has the 5M Migros in Konyaaltı?
  5. Yes, it appears perhaps that individuals may have a year reprieve: DEAD LINK That is a bummer about VA pensions, Hobbit. It seems to me vets should be entitled to count on their checks, after their service.
  6. Thank you for your reply, Hobbit. Thanks esp. for the info on superonline. Good to know, esp. because superonline want a 2 year committment/contract that sounds pretty punitive if you cancel. I will check your suggestions out one by one. We have called TTNET at least 5 times, but haven't even gotten a call back, much less a visit from a Real Person. Sigh. But your suggestions give me some positive steps to take. thanks much--
  7. Here's one link, Tatertot. I now can't find the site that quote the 330 day rule though. :-( DEAD LINK Maybe I'll limit my time to less than 35 days if it turns out to be true that you can only spend 35 days back before being forced into the system . . . I'll see if I can find anything else . . .
  8. Hi everyone-- So I just read somewhere that between October 1 and March 2014, everyone (Americans) have to sign up for health insurance under Obamacare, or be fined if you don't. I've done a little research and saw that if you are living abroad, you are exempt, but "living abroad" apparently means living away from the US 330 days a year, and between two vacations--one in the summer, one in the winter--I overstay that. Just wondering how others are dealing with this/making sense of the rules. . . .
  9. Hi all-- So I've had TTNET for over a year now. During the winter, my connectivity was very bad. It seemed like it was a lot, lot worse whenever it rained. Example: some evenings I would be on Skype with family/friends and my line would be dropped as many as a dozen times in a half hour. It was very frustrating. I Turkey for a vacation in the States in June and came back at the end of August. For several weeks, the internet was sheer bliss--not one problem. I forgot all about my former internet problems. Then it rained last week, and it's been hellish since. Didn't have the internet for almost 24 hours. It was extremely spotty for several days after that. It seems much worse than i remember. I mentioned my problems to a friend and she said that she has superonline. She said that she has had only one problem in a couple years, and that they came out right away. Also, it's cheaper. She sent me a link: http://www.superonline.net/kampanya-detay?k=59&d=fiber-hiz-etkisi It is 59TL for a month with a 2 year contract. My husband is wary of the contract. We are not certain that we are going to stay in Izmir for 2 years (i.e. could move to Istanbul or possibly back to the States). It is not entirely clear what the penalty is from breaking it. Does anyone have this service? I did read other threads regarding this and it seems like others have found superoneline to be unsavory or that they just go through TTNET anyway. We have called TTNET three or four times and they haven't come out. I feel like I'm at the end of my rope with them, very, very tired of having such unreliable service. Any thoughts?
  10. Fil! That's fantastic! Congratulations! There is, though, a bit of a difference between you and most of us who are teaching EFL in Turkey. If I remember correctly, you are a bona fide academic with a Ph.d and an impressive set of credentials, teaching in an academic department, not the hazirlik school. That said, maybe it is different in your school; maybe they would hire a dual citizen and consider that person a native. (If this is the case, I'd love to know!) Dilem23 did indicate that she was specifically looking for work in Izmir, and at least in two of the state universities and one of the private universities in Izmir, having dual citizenship is a disadvantage. One private high school also balked; they decided to make me an offer, but I wouldn't be "official," I'd have to hide/not work if the government regulatory body visited, and they would not give references for me as a teacher (but would as a "worker" there) in the future. I haven't pursue leads with other high schools to confirm that dual citizenship is a problem across the board. I think it's important to communicate both the advantages and disadvantages of having/not having Turkish citizenship, especially vis a vis employment opportunities in teaching English, which is such a major source of employment for native speakers. A good friend of mine here in Izmir, American-born with Turkish citizenship, recently gave up his Turkish citizenship, when he met the same walls I did. I'm not quite there yet, but I've considered it. Certainly it would open up my options if indeed what I want to do is teach English at a hazirlik school for a university, especially a state university. This all said, I did get on with a private university last year, Dilem. And other places that are not state schools, (i.e. the high school I mentioned and another private university) while disappointed to hear I had Turkish citizenship, have offered to try to find a work-around for the problem. Of course language schools are also an option, one that will welcome Turkish citizens. So there are opportunities and possibilities. It was just really surprised to find that my citizenship would work against me at all in terms of finding employment.
  11. Hi EmmaD. I like the site milliyetemlak.com for searching for places to live. I did a search and it came up with over 60 prospects, some of which are villas. I did see one villa for 1100TL and another for 1300TL. Considering it's a villa and not an apartment, it seems like a very good price to me, but then I'm in the thick of things in Izmir. Here is the link of the places I found: http://www.milliyetemlak.com/ilan/kiralik-konut/izmir?kategori=1&durum=1&sehir=3&ilceler=1576 Good luck and keep us posted--
  12. Actually, I have found it to be a huge disadvantage to have Turkish citizenship in terms of teaching English. Two state universities in Izmir offered me a job and then had to rescind when they found out that I actually have Turkish citizenship (I'm American and got my Turkish citizenship last year through my Turkish husband). Basically, because of the Turkish citizenship, I cannot be considered a native. That means that in order to be hired at a state university, I would have to take the tests all the Turkish teachers have to take in order to get hired there, unless I want to work part-time, which pays very, very, very little. Some private universities may still be willing to hire a person with dual citizenship; also high schools and elementary schools, as well as language schools. In my experience, the best jobs are not advertised. The best way to get a job is to visit schools in person when you are in Izmir. Once living here, you will make friends and meet people and new opportunities will arise. Hope this helps--
  13. Hi all-- Coming in a bit late here, and there is so much information that I'm afraid I'll miss some things, but I thought I'd make a stab at putting in my 2 cents. In my experience this year, the most important thing for a native speaker teacher is that he/she has a university degree in English. Apparently this wasn't always the case; I spoke to one administrator at a state university and he said that years ago it was good enough for a person to just be a native speaker, but now they require their native speaking teachers to specifically have a degree in English. I believe (although I could be mistaken) this is now a requirement of YÖK, the governing body of accreditation for universities. That said, if you have a degree in English and some kind of TESOL certificate (CELTA is the one that is preferred here, but TESOL should be ok) you are certainly qualified to teach at universities. I taught at a university here in Izmir and have ties/friends at another 5 universities, which is to say I'm acquainted with a good 60+ people who work at universities, and almost none have master's degrees. Many are straight out of school without experience. Be aware, though, that what you will be signing up for is almost certainly "hazırlık" school, which hobbit described (year of English to students with little or no English that they have to take before they can take classes in their department at the university.) Getting a job at one of these schools--if you have a degree in English--is, in my experience, very easy. All the universities are screaming for natives, and yet few have the resources to go out and seek them internationally. So when a native speaker seeks them out, they are very eager. (As one administrator gloated when myself and another native applied in the same week via a a contact with a friend:"it's not every day two native speakers looking for work fall in your lap.") Now the question is: is that what you want? You think it is, and it could be. But please be aware that teaching at a university in Turkey is, most probably, nothing near what you are probably imagining teaching at a university is like. I taught at a university in the States for 4 years (I have a master's, but overall I don't think having a master's was that important here--the important thing is that my degrees were in English) and so I know what it's like to teach at a university in the States, and yes, that experience was what I thought it would be. I lectured and the students took notes. If there was a bit of talking, I told them to be quiet and they were. I never had to kick anyone out of class--just the thought of doing so would have been shocking. "Classroom management" was a non-issue. There was nothing to "manage"--the students were adults, albeit young ones, and acted appropriately in class. Yes, there was cheating at times, but not widespread. I was treated respectfully, again, with occasional glitches but that's to be expected when you're teaching over 100 students any given semester. I was solely responsible for determining their grades. No one looked over my shoulder. It was low-paying (I was an adjunct after getting my master's) and eventually for that reason I went into private industry, but it remains one of my favorite jobs ever. I'm still in touch with former students from that time. Flash forward to last year when I taught at a university here. I have left a record of this time in another thread that is under the "personal stories" section here, so I'll keep this short. The experience was nothing less than horrifying. I could never have imagined it could be so bad. I was overworked, teaching 25 hours and then giving exams after teaching a 6 hour day. Exams of one type or another (oral or written) were three times a week--all after the regular work day. I wasn't paid for that. For written exams, I had to correct the exams and then turn over the exam to another teacher for them to correct and I had to look at their exams and re-correct them to make sure they didn't make any errors. This is apparently a common thing in Turkey. In the States, it's unheard of. The administration was a nightmare. The kids were even worse. Two other Americans and I agreed that they were more like 14 or 15 years old in terms of maturity. They were disrespectful. They were rude. They played with their phones constantly. They talked to eachother in Turkish constantly. It was like there wasn't anything you could do to stop them. I wasn't alone in this, otherwise I'd say it was just me and my problem and that I had no classroom management skills. It was from beginning to end a nightmare. One of the top three worst jobs I ever had. There was a time when I was young that I cleaned houses on the side for money. I would literally rather clean a filthy toilet than walk back into one of those classrooms. I barely made it a quarter before I quit. I've never looked back. I lost weight I didn't want to lose. I lost a good 10-20% of my hair in the process, which is now finally starting to grow back. I look a bit like a baby chicken in this regard, with 2-3" hair sprouting all over my head, but I escaped with my sanity and that's what's important. Basically the state universities have good and mature students, and a few of the very competitive private universities would also be fine, but beware of the "foundation" (private) universities, especially the new ones. They have low standards, like the university where I taught, and low standards = sh*tty students--rude, unmotivated, lazy, etc. I interviewed at state and private universities, language schools, elementary schools, and high schools. Literally every single place I interviewed I was offered a job. It's exactly like how Hobbit said: I had my pick. I ended up picking a very, very, very selective high school. Girls only. The kids are great: hardworking, nice, pleasant, respectful. The administration is good, I like my coordinator and co-workers. I've been working there part-time since February and have been offered a job there in the fall, which I accepted. It is true, however, as Hobbit said, that the dress code is strict, i.e. in my case, I have to wear a white "doctor's" coat (!?). No jeans. Slacks are ok. Dresses have to be below the knee. For myself, I can deal with this. In short, I think you can absolutely '"just come" here and get a job, especially if you have an English degree. I do know natives who have other degrees who are teaching at high schools and universities--if the school is desperate, or if you know someone, they may look the other way. So it's also possible to find jobs at universities or highschools without an English degree. In any case, I totally wouldn't worry about "job openings" and advertisements. I have interviewed at more than a dozen places. Guess how many of them had "openings" that were advertised? Zero. That's right. None of them, not one. I made the contact for one interview when I was sitting in a park feeding cats and a man with a toddler son struck up a conversation with me. I got another via a man I sat next to on an airport shuttle. Two were through different friends-of-friends. Four were through contacts I made while getting my CELTA. Friends of mine have just walked into the places where they wanted to teach, or called or emailed. The jobs are here, believe me, for qualified English teachers (i.e. people with a degree, preferably in English, and with ESL qualifications, preferably CELTA). Just be clear in your own mind what a "good job" is and know that the conditions may be very different than what you might expect.
  14. Ok, you got me. Abi--you're so right. I do find my husband being rigid or frustrated and I'm just like "Türkiye böyle." Ahududu--so true. I think it is harder for returning Turks, in a way, than it is for us yabancis. People tend to cut us more slack, and also to compliment us on our progress in the language, while all the time my husband gets, "you've forgotten your mother tongue!" (he moved when he was three!) Thanks for the kind words, Meral. It is true that I finally feel comfortable here. So many things have come together in the past few months. I'm finally in a place where I can make short sentences in Turkish (complex sentences are another matter but hey, that's my goal for next year!), so I am much less apprehensive about communicating--that makes things a lot easier. I know my way around/the public transportation system. And I feel good about my job and my husband's plan to come out. It's taken a good8 or 9 months, but it feels good to be at peace at long last.
  15. lol Sunny. Re-reading my entry, I can see why you wrote that it seems to good to be true. I did highlight all the positive things and didn't mention any of the negatives, but of course there are negatives there just as there are everywhere. What I've discovered is that what's important is to determine if the negatives at any given place are something that you can tolerate. At my school, for instance, sometimes the administration is a little disorganized--I have found out on numerous occasions that my class was cancelled during the end-of-the-school-year testing, for example, and no one told me. I didn't receive any training on the smartboard, so the kids constantly have to help me out and show me what to do. Also, I'm required to wear a white coat, which many of the teachers hate, especially in Izmir's hot weather! But you know, I'm okay with these things and other minor annoyances. No place is perfect, and what is annoying about this place doesn't annoy me so very much, all told. After the horrible experience at the first place, this is a huge relief. Thanks for the kind words, Vic. It's true, I guess I didn't even realize it but you are absolutely right: I am taking a let's-see approach rather than be in my former uber-planning mode. Oh my gosh, maybe I'm becoming Turkish after all! I absolutely plan on sticking around and hope to help others, as I've been helped. Moving to another country is a daunting prospect for anyone. I'm so grateful for all the help and support I've received from this forum.
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