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GaNozri
23-03-2012, 20:43
I have been entertaining the idea for quite some time now, but always got sidetracked by other ventures. The idea appeals to me, I think that I will enjoy doing it. The problem is that I don't have any hands on experience teaching English in Russia. I think that it should be a good investment if done correctly.

If I do it, it will not be in Moscow, but Moscow region. Somewhere like Ramenskoe, Noginsk, Podolsk, etc. I could open a school from scratch, or alternatively buy a franchise.

I would like to hear your professional opinions on this subject. Maybe, you would want to make a partnership offer. Please consider me to be someone who has absolutely no idea about the subject matter, so write about everything from licensing rules to teachers' wages and student fees. I will greatly appreciate all the information and all your inputs.

robertmf
23-03-2012, 21:12
If I do it, it will not be in Moscow, but Moscow region. Somewhere like Ramenskoe, Noginsk, Podolsk, etc. I could open a school from scratch, or alternatively buy a franchise.


Good idea to stay away from Moscow centre - I get the impression the English/Yank teaching market is saturated.

:tgif:

latinrus
21-04-2012, 02:09
Good idea to stay away from Moscow centre - I get the impression the English/Yank teaching market is saturated.

:tgif:


that´s true!

Sparafucile
21-04-2012, 11:10
so write about everything from licensing rules to teachers' wages and student fees. I will greatly appreciate all the information and all your inputs.

These question are peripheral.

You need to hire a Director of Studies, who has extensive experience in the TEFL field. The questions you need to be asking early on are:


What age-groups you are going to cater for?
What course materials you are going to provide?
What the benefits of your school will be over the many, many others schools?
What certificates will your courses offer?
What the class size is going to be?
What ability-levels will you offer? (the most popularly-seen mistake is just shoving everyone in together, to make more money. Such groups rarely last more than 3 weeks.)
What's the teaching methodology?

yakspeare
21-04-2012, 12:41
You can ask me any questions about what you want to know. A good language school has a 100% profit margine- a dream for most businesses...but there are so many factors you have to think of.

The biggest mistake that 99% of people make is focussing on the adult market. hey do this for the prestige factor or whatever.

Let's say you have an absolute begiiner- to take him through all the levels(a big if that he will finish them) is max 3 years. Business and conversational courses or Ielts examination training would be 3-6 months max.

Get a 5-7 year old kid(and parents spend a lot more on their kids) and ou can have them for the next 10 years or more. Now that is a cashcow. And classes are during the day, when there is less demand for students. Chldren lessons are usually the same price but go for half the time. At my last school it was 3500 roubles for the kids class for 2 hours of English a week(two 1 hour lessons). AndI don't live in Moscow.

The next decision is whether you are prepared to get native speakers and all the required paperwork and invitations for that-or just employ locals. Hiring natives creates an incredible number of problems and headaches, but gives your school prestige and the ability to charge more. Still, it is a big decision.

GaNozri
07-05-2012, 14:06
Thanks a bunch guys! I just got back from a trip to Iraq. What I desperately need to know are the licensing rules, square metres (if applicable), and most of all let us start a discussion on who exactly is a native speaker? I tried this thread once, but it bumped.

What I mean is this: my mother was Russian, my father was an Iraqi Kurd. I was born in Moscow (Тушинский роддом) in 1970, at 2 y.o. went to Baghdad for 2,5 years (with my parents of course!). At 5 y.o. we went to Tripoli, Libya where my dad was a professor of Economical Statistics. Of course my birth language was Russian. However, at 5 y.o. I attended a British Embassy Kindergarten. At 6 y.o. I went to the Tripoli American School. That didn't last long, as our wisest of the wise Colonel kicked out all the Americans with their oil companies and schools.
So I attended the Tripoli College. It was an English language school with Arabic and Koran lessons once per week. I was there until grade 7. Russian embassy school only had classes up to grade 4 and I (and my parents) had a weird dislike towards Russian schools, especially abroad. Obviously Tripoli College deteriorated from 80-90% British teachers, to 80-90% Pakistani teachers. I wanted to go to Malta, but at the last minute talked my parents to put me in a Bulgarian school. Best decision in my life! After the glamorous colonel Qaddafi started hanging people at the Tripoli University square, my father decided to return to Moscow (best decision in his life).

Anyhow, graduated grade 9 and 10 in the USSR. Attended 2nd Moscow Medical Institute (worst decision in my life). Did it for 6 months and then went to Havana via Gander, Canada where I asked for political asylum in 1988. The response from CISS was -"Welcome to Canada Sir!" I almost cried! My first job was running behind a garbage truck at 5 a.m. in Toronto for about a month, then dishwashing for a year. Then graduated Toronto School of Business, worked as a (YES!!!!) used car salesman. Then graduated an MBA program in International Finance at Concordia in Montreal.

After that immediately repatriated to Moscow (the bestest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! decision in my life) Worked for a US Investment fund as a private equity director until the crisis when my principals asked me to do a 180% on my job. Instead of buying investments, getting rid of all that's bought. Sold a ceramic factory in Kazakhstan to a bunch of less than intelligent Turks, and quit my job.

OH, by the way I was already married to an American girl from Oklahoma for 3 years- she worked for UPS. She literally forced me to move to NYC in 1999.
Lived there for 5 years working as a senior financial analyst, but could not stay away from Moscow. She on the other hand fell in love with NYC. So, I moved from Manhattan to Brooklyn and did everything I could imagine to get fired, cause just couldn't quit myself (greedy bastard!). Instead got called to the director asking why I am so unhappy the last 6 months and got 3 raises totalling 40%. Working as a Private Contractor I DID NOT PAY ANY TAXES.

But I Digress. All "classic" native speakers tell me that they do not hear an accent on me, does that make me a native speaker, or just a wanna be?

P>S> Are Pakistanis, Indians, Philipinos considered native in Rusia?????????????????

yakspeare
07-05-2012, 14:15
Easy=native means white( or African American) but preferably white(Russian preference)...does't matter if you are American , 3rd generation, if you look Asian or anything else you can have some trouble. My old boss spoke with an amazing British accent-father from Iraq, mother from Bangladesh. Born and raised in the UK....he looked like a typical Pakistani...and I was treated as his boss by everyone, something he hated.

I have a friend who is half Russian, half south african and born in Jamaica! He had a lot of trouble getting work but is actually a better teacher than I am....once he can convince them, they adore him but he has to be a little dishonest or vague about his past. They will not pay native speaker rates for anyone who isn't, in their mind, 100%.

Hope that helps.

And great personal history, what an awesome way to grow up. I thought my personal history was a bit out there but yours takes the prize.

DavidB
07-05-2012, 15:48
I don't have a lot of experience with language schools, GaNozri, but I agree with Yak. If they are racist and you are dishonest, the two wrongs cancel each other out. Just make up a story which covers your accent. Since you probably have an NY accent, just say one of your parents is an Italian American or something like that.

What you wrote looks a lot more native to me than what is often written by other EFL teachers on this board who claim to be native speakers. One is from Boston and the other from Scotland.

P.s. and some guy from a trailer park in Alabama is probably as American as they come, but his English would be much worse than a well-educated immigrant from Bombay.

GaNozri
07-05-2012, 18:25
I need all the info on licensing: fees, prerequisites, etc, etc.

DavidB
07-05-2012, 18:39
http://www.visahouse.com/work-visa-procedure.asp

yakspeare
07-05-2012, 20:24
I need all the info on licensing: fees, prerequisites, etc, etc.

For my region, a licence costs 22000 roubles....but the real cost (re bribes) to open is somewhere between 150000 and 300000....fire inspectors are a lot of fun even if you do it right...there is a lot to do.

To get permission to invite foreigners is a big step too, and costs about 40000 rubles and a good lawyer(minimum)

yakspeare
07-05-2012, 20:25
Get a qualifed Russian native teacher for your licence. Makes things so much easier. Licence is specific to one location, have you as the other director. opening a second school requires a second licence.

GaNozri
07-05-2012, 21:06
For my region, a licence costs 22000 roubles....but the real cost (re bribes) to open is somewhere between 150000 and 300000....fire inspectors are a lot of fun even if you do it right...there is a lot to do.

To get permission to invite foreigners is a big step too, and costs about 40000 rubles and a good lawyer(minimum)

I thought it was about 10 times more!

yakspeare
07-05-2012, 23:09
That's the official price but doesn't reflect reality coz eto rossiya...licences often have to be bought on the secondary market...they don't always issue new...it is very important the licence holder is a Russian qualified teacher if you want to cut the redtape quick...but it is possible without this.

Merry Mary
08-05-2012, 02:19
What is the reason to open a school? What for? (Not trying to talk you out of it. Just to sharpen your idea.)

yakspeare
08-05-2012, 09:38
Because a normal business is quite comfortable with around 30% profit margin but a language school returns in excess of 100% if it is done right.

yakspeare
08-05-2012, 09:47
An example at my last school:

4 native speakers @ 40000 a month plus free apartment = 55000 a month

220000 roubles a month, official salary ie for tax is 15k a month each too, so they save on this.

2 receptionists on 20000 a month so add 40000.

Rent@ 500 sqm x 100 sqm = 50000 roubles a month..

So your major expenses are 310k a month. Of course there is a lot more, but this is just for illustration.

They have more than 200 students who pay 6000 a month each for English lessons= 1.2 million roubles a month.

Not bad at all...

LondonYvonne
08-05-2012, 21:31
Why would a native speaker work for 40,000 RUB (835 GBP) a month when they could earn that much in their own country and command 3 or 4 times that amount here?




An example at my last school:

4 native speakers @ 40000 a month plus free apartment = 55000 a month

220000 roubles a month, official salary ie for tax is 15k a month each too, so they save on this.

2 receptionists on 20000 a month so add 40000.

Rent@ 500 sqm x 100 sqm = 50000 roubles a month..

So your major expenses are 310k a month. Of course there is a lot more, but this is just for illustration.

They have more than 200 students who pay 6000 a month each for English lessons= 1.2 million roubles a month.

Not bad at all...

robertmf
08-05-2012, 21:40
Why would a native speaker work for 40,000 RUB (835 GBP) a month when they could earn that much in their own country ?

Experience. "Something else to do". Adventure. Meet other peoples. Russophile.


and command 3 or 4 times that amount here не понял.

yakspeare
08-05-2012, 21:44
Why would a native speaker work for 40,000 RUB (835 GBP) a month when they could earn that much in their own country and command 3 or 4 times that amount here?

Because that is the standard wage for a mcschool and these people are rarely super language professionals...they are either college kids, russophiles wanting any excuse to get to Russia or understand 9% plus unemployment and higher youth unemployment gives them few prospects in their own countries....believe me, there is an abundance of people willing to do it for that money...in Georgia they are paying $300 a month and they are flooded with "volunteers".

Those who are good, use it as a stepping stone and then jump into private teaching afterwards, which pays substantially more.

LondonYvonne
08-05-2012, 21:51
Of course, but why not get paid what you are worth according to supply and demand as well as get experience, do something different, have adventure and meet other peoples

Sorry, my Russian is too minimal to understand your last comment





Experience. "Something else to do". Adventure. Meet other peoples.

не понял.

LondonYvonne
08-05-2012, 21:56
That kind of salary would be fine for somewhere like India. If language schools are making 100% profit, those teachers are being ripped off




Because that is the standard wage for a mcschool and these people are rarely super language professionals...they are either college kids, russophiles wanting any excuse to get to Russia or understand 9% plus unemployment and higher youth unemployment gives them few prospects in their own countries....believe me, there is an abundance of people willing to do it for that money...in Georgia they are paying $300 a month and they are flooded with "volunteers".

Those who are good, use it as a stepping stone and then jump into private teaching afterwards, which pays substantially more.

robertmf
08-05-2012, 22:01
Sorry, my Russian is too minimal to understand your last comment


That's what I said :rofl:


:11581:

yakspeare
08-05-2012, 22:04
Well, the teaching wage of an English teacher has been around $1000 a month or so for the last ten years, which ignores Russian inflation.

They are being ripped off yes but compared to what? 30000-40000 PLUS free accomodation and airfares etc compared to a local Russian high school teacher etc making 7000-9000 roubles a month...

Supply and demand....if they can still attract lots of teachers at those prices, then they don't need to raise prices now , do they?

I know THREE teachers((South African,American and Canadian) who came from the Middle East(One from Saudi Arabia and two from the Gulf states) where they were earning 65000-80000 dollars a year tax free plus housing, to come and teach in Russia for 12000 dollars a year....

DavidB
08-05-2012, 22:22
The supply/demand aspect is fully in play due to the huge number of native speakers willing to do it for the experience.

When I studied in Kiev, the owner of the school asked me to check a few resumes for any mistakes. They had hundreds of applicants for a $1500/month salary and they weren't even providing any accommodation or relocation allowance.

40000 rubles plus accommodation is actually a pretty good salary outside the 2 capitals. That's probably a mid-level manager's salary for Russian people in a city like Krasnodar (where Yak. is).

robertmf
09-05-2012, 18:05
The supply/demand aspect is fully in play due to the huge number of native speakers willing to do it for the experience.


Same for teaching EN in Japan, especially on Hokkaido.

DarthVader71
09-05-2012, 20:17
Dumb bloody South African....where is he/she so I can ask him/her,why work for minimum wage.......waaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaa

MickeyTong
09-05-2012, 23:24
Dumb bloody South African....where is he/she so I can ask him/her,why work for minimum wage.......waaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaa

Here se gat, man....you scheme crunchies aren't just in it for the jorl, ek se?

LondonYvonne
11-05-2012, 11:18
Supply and demand....if they can still attract lots of teachers at those prices, then they don't need to raise prices now , do they?


Yes, but there's still the point of there being a huge demand in Russia at the moment for native speaking English teachers

The demand for English is bigger than the supply

The teachers working for the figures above are being exploited, but that's capitalism for you

yakspeare
11-05-2012, 11:28
How is making the same money as a mid level manager in Russia, being exploited?

Most teacher programs in South America, for example, pay you the same as local teachers-much, much less.

Sure if you have a MA in TESOL and a BA in Education you can work in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for 65-80000 dollars a year tax free...but then we have people leaving these places to come to Russia and teach-because they are usually bored out of their minds and hate the restrictions of living in such countries.

So yes let's not exploit these native teachers and pay them local teacher wages-9000 roubles a month sound good to you?

LondonYvonne
11-05-2012, 11:49
Because they are not being paid their market value at this point in time in this country

The huge profit margins for schools have already been discussed (Corporate greed)

May be we have to agree to differ :-)




How is making the same money as a mid level manager in Russia, being exploited?

Most teacher programs in South America, for example, pay you the same as local teachers-much, much less.

Sure if you have a MA in TESOL and a BA in Education you can work in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for 65-80000 dollars a year tax free...but then we have people leaving these places to come to Russia and teach-because they are usually bored out of their minds and hate the restrictions of living in such countries.

So yes let's not exploit these native teachers and pay them local teacher wages-9000 roubles a month sound good to you?

yakspeare
11-05-2012, 12:33
Because they are not being paid their market value at this point in time in this country

The huge profit margins for schools have already been discussed (Corporate greed)

May be we have to agree to differ :-)

I think you don't know the definition of market value.

Clearly they are being paid the market value at this time in this country,

They are not education professionals with degrees in education with years of experience working for international schools. Many have no qualifications , no degree, can be in their early 20s and so on....while there is an abundance of people willing to work for that money, it is the market.

They are not legally able to stay in Russia long term otherwise. I know peple who have worked at the mcschools for 5-6 years or more and live very well. One friend of mine saved half her salary each month.

I have a housekeeper who washes and irons my clothes, cleans my apartment, cooks my meals etc and I would still have plenty of change from that salary to spend on whatever. it clearly isn't an amount that comes under "exploitation".

LondonYvonne
11-05-2012, 23:56
marˇket valˇue
Noun:
The amount for which something can be sold on a given market.

It's been established that English Lessons are being sold for a high price

My point is the discrepancy between what clients are willing to pay for English Lessons and what the teachers are paid for providing those English Lessons

But it's not my battle, I'm not one of those teachers

DarthVader71
12-05-2012, 00:01
Mickey,they maybe in it for the jol,but FFS they make it harder for us to sqeeze money from others...;-)

yakspeare
12-05-2012, 07:07
marˇket valˇue
Noun:
The amount for which something can be sold on a given market.

It's been established that English Lessons are being sold for a high price

My point is the discrepancy between what clients are willing to pay for English Lessons and what the teachers are paid for providing those English Lessons

But it's not my battle, I'm not one of those teachers

ah so here is your exploitation...taking advantage of a lack of alternative, teachers with little experience and qualification are charging through the nose exploiting desperate Russians....

An English teacher in Russian can charge what? 2000-3000 an hour in Moscow? 60-90 dollars an hour...No teacher in the US/UK makes that hourly rate. So yes there is some "explotation" going on, but not in the way you describe.

Jack17
12-05-2012, 07:21
ah so here is your exploitation...taking advantage of a lack of alternative, teachers with little experience and qualification are charging through the nose exploiting desperate Russians....

An English teacher in Russian can charge what? 2000-3000 an hour in Moscow? 60-90 dollars an hour...No teacher in the US/UK makes that hourly rate. So yes there is some "explotation" going on, but not in the way you describe.
I'd like to know the difference between exploitation and a successful business?

How about Apple making iPads in China for $100 and selling them for $700 in the States and Europe? I mean . . .

BTW Yaks, has GaNozri offered you the post of managing director of his school yet?

sis
12-05-2012, 13:40
For my region, a licence costs 22000 roubles....but the real cost (re bribes) to open is somewhere between 150000 and 300000....fire inspectors are a lot of fun even if you do it right...there is a lot to do.

To get permission to invite foreigners is a big step too, and costs about 40000 rubles and a good lawyer(minimum)

why bother with a licence? do you really think that anybody will check? I would just rent a place and get a few russians to teach.. I think that the most important is to get some good books, and make a plan, so that the teachers are not deciding what to teach... Seems like a waste to pay 150000 before you know if anybody will be bothered comign to your school

yakspeare
12-05-2012, 14:36
why bother with a licence? do you really think that anybody will check? I would just rent a place and get a few russians to teach.. I think that the most important is to get some good books, and make a plan, so that the teachers are not deciding what to teach... Seems like a waste to pay 150000 before you know if anybody will be bothered comign to your school

Because every school I have been to has been investigated. Even as a workplace it gets checked by the relevent authorities. With so much competition between schools(over 60 language schools in Krasnodar alone) everyone is more than willing to whisper in the ear of the FMS or others and get your school closed.

Fine is around 500,000 roubles and foreigners risk deportation and being banned from Rusisa for 5 years. Incentive enough? You could only get away wth it if you are very well connected already or you just don't have advertise and do it only by word of mouth-but then your language school will not grow to its full potential. you can't be both big and off the radar.

swansong
13-05-2012, 21:30
The huge profit margins for schools have already been discussed (Corporate greed)



Not sure I agree with this correlation. High profit margin doesn't mean corporate greed, it just means they have a successful product that is in demand. Market justifies and sets the rate. If there is/was an issue with compensation for teachers (meaning, the schools had problems attracting the talent) then adjustments would be made to reflect demands of the market.

Jack17
13-05-2012, 22:09
Not sure I agree with this correlation. High profit margin doesn't mean corporate greed, it just means they have a successful product that is in demand. Market justifies and sets the rate. If there is/was an issue with compensation for teachers (meaning, the schools had problems attracting the talent) then adjustments would be made to reflect demands of the market.
The goal in business is always to buy low (teachers) and sell high (lessons).

meri
13-05-2012, 22:49
Aiming children is a good idea.

Here in Rostov, most of the children are brought up by their babushkas and as they will not be able to help their school work in English it would be a great opportunity to offer after classes for these children.

Even a school bus to pick up the kids would be great. When I look at the books they are using in the schools they should be eligible to speak decent English. However, they don't practice the language and they only listen, answer the questions from the text and speak when asked as oral exam. They don't have the chance to improvise.
Speaking classes , playgroups with songs/games for toddlers would be beneficiary. Also preparation courses for EGE (yege) is another asset.
You can also have conversation clubs, English movie nights, English games day etc.