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Need Advice on Finding an English Teaching Job in Istanbul

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Hello everyone, Im thinking of making the move to Istanbul in the near future. I am currently teaching English in Taiwan, and I would like to continue teaching English in Turkey. I would like to teach in a university rather than a private language school. Everything I have read so far suggests that working in a university is far more relaxed. That being said, I will work in a private language school if that is all that is available. My question is: when is the best time to look for university jobs in Istanbul? Do I need to do an in-person interview? Is there any way I can begin my job hunt from Taiwan? Any information or resources would be of great help! 

Also, I have 4 years teaching experience, a BA from an American university and a TEFL certificate.

Thanks again!

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Ck-out Dave's ESL cafe http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewforum.php?f=22 forarguably the most pertinent blog.  

In these matters being there will always carry more weight and you're going to be able to size up potential employers better as well.  Skype interviews are lame and may sometimes be necessary, but are not suffered gladly by employees or employers with a choice—those you are presumably interested in finding. 

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I think you have left it a bit late for this year as the academic year is just about ending but as Kimac says , try Dave's cafe, you might be lucky.

There are also private schools that require English teachers which would be a better option rather than language schools (Dershanes)  some of which  are notorious for their treatment of foreign teachers.

You would also need to check on viza/work permit requirements before you come.

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If you really want to give Istanbul a shot things aren't going to be much different in 2016 than 2015 (politics and external factors aside).  

My sense is that with a BA (English and/or Teaching), you will have at least a chance at a univ if your timing is good, given that people with MA's are what they really want.  Your 4 years of experience could help you land a spot at a univ, but the culture you're experienced with is different, so the impression you make personally is more likely to make a deal work.  Or not.

September is the month schools fill-out whatever slots are unfilled and where it seems you'd have your best chance.  People will quit during the year, especially around New Years, but you want to show up when there are the most openings for folks whose qualifications may be considered a bit thin.

If things don't work out you can walk into any one of dozens of private schools whose school years somewhat mirror that of the universities.  You stand to make far less, and the whole deal may be less professional.  Unless you do your homework you could also get screwed-over by some of these places, which often as not seem to be run by some pretty fly-by-night folks.  Overall it'll be a mixed bag, so in any case you'd need to be flexible.  

While it's possible to swing something long-distance, I don't see many (any?) schools which will front you air-fare.  Some will give you a "contract," but it'll be nothing more (really) than a written understanding, since you will not have legal recourse until you have a work permit.  Reputable schools will help you arrange this: it can be done before hand from your home country but it's a pain in the *rse (and the laws are in-flux), so most people arrange for them once they arrive.  Even with recent changes in the visa laws, this is likely to remain true.  Again, it may be a looooong time before you find anyone who will hire you and arrange a WP beforehand on the basis of a Skype interview.  That's for people being imported by Siemens or whomever, not English Teachers.   

When I first came to Turkey I had such a contract from Wall Street English, probably the most professional of the private schools, and they would reimburse airfare after contract completion.  That deal feel through and in the spirit of Frog Kissing I went down the street to English Time, which has it's own pluses/minuses.  I ended up with yet another school which worked out pretty well, but that place didn't appear until I was on the ground locally, walking and talking.

If you want to do this you need to simply put your oar in the water.  You've got 90 days on a basic e-visa and it shouldn't take you more than a few weeks to find a univ gig, or a private school to throw the dice on, providing you do your homework, show-up in September, and beat the bushes seriously.   

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I second what advice Kimac has given you. If you come to the city to meet face-to-face and when you get an offer, contact this forum and see if anyone has had a previous experience with the place.

When I think of schools I think of Private K-12 schools (pre-schoo, elementary, high school) not language schools. The private K-12 schools usually suck because the parents pay good money and do not want their babies discliplined. All but the highest quality K-12 or high schools I would stay away from. Robert College, Üsküdar and a few others are the elite and OK but they probably would not hire you without a bona-fide teaching certificate from your home country.

Private Universities pay better than state schools with usually better benefits and are indeed much more relaxed as to classroom autonomy and relatively free dress code.  It IS getting late but if they have not filled their quota for the fall, you might still have a decent chance.

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Good point.  What we usually call dershane's (dershanılar?) are also private but their focus is teaching English, usually to college students and adults; it's the K-12 schools which are infamous for the reasons you note.  Still, the K-12 schools typically strive to be something more, while the dershane's tend to be more opportunistic.

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