Candidate testimonials

Please read what our candidates say about their roles and experiences of working with our clients

Job position: FT3039CP – Native English (British preferred) Tutor position in Sri Lanka for B11,

I began working for a delightful family in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2014, teaching English, Maths and Science after school to their 11-year-old boy.

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I had been set on moving away from primary school teaching in the U.K. to something closer to a private tutor/governor role in Moscow and so registered with D&DI and even began to learn a little Russian. Shortly after registering, though, an advert for a post in Sri Lanka caught my eye. The terms were fantastic, in many ways bettering those typically offered in Moscow. I had to apply.

I didn’t hear anything about my application for two or three weeks. D&DI contacted me to say the family was keen to interview me along with other candidates and would I be available to fly out to Sri Lanka for interview

The interview itself was a very relaxed affair – an informal chat with the boy’s parents and some time interacting with the boy himself (along with his cousins). As much as these moments are about the family finding the right person for them, I also felt strongly that I needed to establish whether I would be comfortable working with and for them.

 I received the news that I had secured the post a couple of weeks after the interview. I was thrilled, of course, but the stress of working a much reduced notice period at my school whilst preparing for such a big move was not insignificant!

I am just a few months into the job but I can say without hesitation that I am delighted I made the move. I received so much support by the family in the early stages. They listened to my thoughts about where I wanted to live and soon found me a wonderful and spacious apartment to live in. They set me up with a mobile phone. They even helped to find me a cook (my own cooking is awful!).

 Responsibility for teaching the boy after school is shared my several teachers. On my arrival, I needed to liaise with the others to establish the hours we would work. I typically work 2-3 hours every weekday, helping the boy to complete his homework to a high standard and also complementing the school work with activities of my own. I also work for a half-day on a Saturday. It’s actually less ‘work’ and more ‘fun’ – we try to avoid academic study.

I did wonder prior to coming to Sri Lanka whether I would feel sufficiently ‘challenged’ by the job – no such concerns now. I feel very myself thinking very much like the primary school teacher I was/am; it’s just that my classroom is a bit smaller and there is only one pupil to account for.

Outside of work, I really enjoy life in Sri Lanka. It almost goes without saying that the weather here in Sri Lanka is glorious. Invariably there will be a shower or two every few days but apart from that it’s pretty much sunshine all the way. I have found the Sri Lankan people to be very kind and helpful. I’ve joined a football team and train with them during the week before playing a match on a Sunday. I spend 2-3 hours at the gym every day. And every Wednesday evening, I enjoy a pub quiz at a bar near the centre of Colombo… and we’re winning fairly regularly too!

Sri Lanka is still a developing country and I see this every day. Most card purchases are still signed for rather than ‘pinned’. I’m not sure there are too many drivers adhering all that closely to the country’s highway code and the policeman are still widely used to direct traffic and busy junctions. I will never get used to the number of cows wandering the streets at will. I’m told that a farmer might own a herd but only have a small amount of pasture so he lets the cows out during the day to go and find better pasture on public land, knowing that when the sun goes down, they’ll head back home!

I look forward to my trips back home to the U.K. several times a year but I am very happy here in Sri Lanka and can see myself staying here for several years.


Andrew, Sri Lanka

 

FT29CP – British English Teacher/Companion position located on the outskirts of Moscow

I started my job as a English teacher/companion in January 2014 and I’m based around 20 miles south of Moscow. My job is very different to conventional classroom teaching jobs I’ve had in the past. In this job I teach my student in his home, plus we spend time travelling in and around Moscow. In his home the lessons are relatively conventional whilst we use the travelling time to concentrate on fluency. We also have dinner together in his home and this is used for fluency practice also.

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When I first met my student he was a very low level. He had had previous English lessons with a Russian teacher, but I think the old- style teacher-student relationship would not suit his learning requirements. From a teaching point of view we have concentrated on all the usual subjects of fluency, vocabulary, listening, grammar, etc. At the same time everything is tailor-made, plus my style of teaching is very different to a Russian interpretation of teaching and I think this has helped greatly. By this I mean nearly everything is based around the student speaking.

In terms of progress he’s advanced a lot. Like I said previously when we first met he was a very low level. Now we are in position to read articles from British newspapers and from a listening point of view we can discuss the technical aspects of the subject. The biggest example of his improvement is that for the first few months of my job I always needed some kind of materials when we travelled to Moscow by car. This is no longer the case and we now speak about every subject under the sun and use no materials whatsoever. At the same time we still have so much work to do because what I’ve noticed since I started this job is the English language is huge.

In my job I need to be flexible with time due to my students working schedule. Our lesson times are solely based around him. At the same time I do get lots of free time and if I need time off it’s never a problem. Also Included in my job is an apartment. The apartment is new and it’s very comfortable and my student has asked me often if everything is okay with my apartment.

My employer’s family have also been extremely kind, helpful friendly and have always treated me with great respect. His employees have also been good to me too. This has made my stay here even more comfortable.

I first had contact with Carrie-ann from Duke and Duchess during the interview process in December 2013. Throughout my experience with Carrie-ann -either face-to-face or through email- I have always found her ultra-professional and helpful. She is also very approachable and has excellent communication skills. So the great thing is no question is too small for her to answer and even when you know you’re asking a bit of a stupid question she’s always helpful and polite.

I would recommend working in Russia. If you do, you need to be flexible and understand it’s different to the UK. If you’re open-minded to the experience you’ll have a great time. Finally I would have no hesitation in recommending Duke & Duchess to any potential employee or client.

Paul, Moscow