Terms of Service

Terms of Service & Living in Astana

Contract:

  • The contracts are annual, only.  This is not the school’s preference but is a consequence of Kazakh law. 
  • The employer will try to confirm employee’s continued employment at the end of the three month probationary period.

Teaching

  • The school day is 9 hours long.  We are contracted to work for 8 of these hours, but to be at school for the 9 hours. 
  • We are not expected or contracted to work on Saturday or Sunday.
  • Teaching responsibilities may reach 16 lessons (16 hours) a week, and no more.  Team teachers also plan, teach and assess so the preparation and assessment is not only the responsibility of the international teacher.
  • Middle school class sizes vary from 10 to 22 students, with Diploma classes varying from a few to a 16.
  • All classrooms have computers, e-boards, white boards etc…
  • International teachers (generally all teachers) are not given more than three different preparations.

 Salary:

  • Paid by the 10th of the next month, usually by the 5th.
  • Taxes are 10%.
  • There are 12 months of salary

Accommodation:

  • Rent is paid by employer.
  • Bills are paid by landlord including basic internet and basic cable.
  • Will be provided in the same region of the city as the school to reduce the commute.
  • Basic furnishings and kitchen items will be provided.

Transportatation:

  • To and from work is paid by employee, but the school will assist with arrangements.  The cost is small 3-5 USD per day.  Buses are a cheaper but a more time consuming option.
  • There is a bus system through the city that is cheap and an online service shows routes, times etc…
  • There are two kinds of taxis:  Professional and anyone else.  Professional taxis are cheap and reliable, but not so plentiful.  Any other driver can also be as taxi as he / she chooses.  Quality of service and price varies from o.k. to good, safety has always been perfect.
  • Generally the civility and law-and-order of driving culture is quite impressive compared to developing countries. 

Health care insurance:

  • Provides a majority of costs for basic health care including emergency care.
  • Generally, long term serious health care problems are not covered.
  • Annual medical check is organized and mostly paid for by the employer, again the cost is small.

 

Flights:

  • The employer covers two return flights of up to 2,500 USD per year / contract. 
  • These flights must be to home countries during the summer holiday, but not during the Christmas break.  Flights are not covered at other times. 
  • Lay-overs during flights must be less than 48 hours.

 

Holidays:

  • 56 Calendar days of paid leave, not 56 work (week) days.  This enables for a little more than 8 weeks of paid leave, depending on how the leave is taken (by not taking weekends within the period of paid leave).
  • As well, there are approximately 17 days of public holiday during the school year – days that would not have been calculated as relevant to salary.
  • Student holidays include approximately 5 days in October, 19 days over Christmas, 6 days in the spring and three months for summer. Teachers normally take their leave during these periods.   Student holidays include many of the 17 days of public holiday mentioned above.
  • Teachers are expected to work for at least one to two weeks after the school ends for students in late May, and before it begins in September.
  • It is normal to have more leave during the year if permission is asked and the timing is not very inconvenient.  This would be unpaid leave.

Cost of living in Astana:

The following are cheap in Kazakhstan: 

  • Local food including groceries and most restaurants with ‘local’ cuisine.
  • Transportation.
  • Regular amenities.
  • Entertainment.
  • Most clothing.
  • Many restaurants – Georgian, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Italian, French, German, Thai etc… that are of high quality are cheaper here than in western countries.
  • Local beverages – beer, Georgian or Moldovan wine, vodka, cognac.  There are good quality varieties of these.

 

The following are expensive by European standards:

  • Food imported from Europe (Italian wine, good Scotch) and the most ‘posh restaurants’. 
  • Clothing imported from Europe.
  • Hotels (There are a shortage of medium-range hotels).

 

Activities – Leisure - Entertainment

  • Hiking,
  • cross country skiing,
  • ice hockey
  • football,
  • tennis,
  • skating,
  • ballet,
  • opera,
  • circus,
  • Various styles of bars and pubs,
  • clubs (dancing),
  • various restaurants,
  • shopping (Not many items cannot be found)
  • Being a capital city there are many embassies, business and educational establishments.  The community of foreigners is varied and of a competitive size.  Opportunities for developing a social life are many and diverse.

 

Climate

  • Generally dry and windy, but precipitation is heavier in ‘spring’ and ‘autumn’, which are short.
  • Hot summers – mid June to mid - September.
  • Cold winters – mid November to mid - March.