Terms of Service & Living in Astana
- 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.
- 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.
- Paid by the 10th of the next month, usually by the 5th.
- Taxes are 10%.
- There are 12 months of salary
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Regular amenities.
- 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
- cross country skiing,
- ice hockey
- 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.
- 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.