I thought I should start out with the school where I will be working at this coming year: CIC Valencia! While it only has a one year contract (like many schools in Venezuela), I imagine that I will be here for at least two years.
Below I will list all of the facts that have persuaded me to stay in the lovely country of Venezuela for a third year!
Teaching Wanderlust score for CIC Valencia- 9.75/10- Excellent!!
1. What type of school is it?
2. Student population:
470 students. I couldn’t find a breakdown of ethnicities online.
3. Class size:
18-24 students in each class. I would prefer 18 maximum students per class so I would give it .75 points because it is mostly in my acceptable range.
Apple TV in all classrooms, iPad for every teacher, computer in every classroom, multiple computer labs.
3%-5%retirement contribution matched by the school depending on the number of years worked.
6. Overall package:
Furnished apartments are provided and payment of utilities including gas, water, electricity, and condominium fees, great savings potential, membership at Embassy Suites Hotel (or health club supplement), 85/15% salary split between US and Bs, bonus for sponsoring an after school activity, salary scale with bumps for BA, MA, and PHD. Settling in benefit, annual round trip airfare, reimbursed shipping costs up to $1000, health insurance, Spanish language stipend, and a no-interest car loan.
7. City Profile:
Valencia is the third largest city in Venezuela. It is a 20-minute drive to the closest beach and an hour drive to my favorite beach in Tucacas! There are multiple malls (with movie theaters!!), restaurants (including multiple Mexican food places that I actually liked!), and the climate is warm but not blistering hot like it is here in Zulia.
8. Salsa Dancing:
There are two salsa schools in Valencia that my current teachers at my salsa academy recommend. There are also clubs where my friends have found salsa music and dancing.
The school lists 126 employees on it’s website, but I’m not sure how many of them are teachers or expat teachers. I have visited the campus and from what I observed there was a good mix of single and married teachers of all ages.
I have lived in Venezuela for two years now and I have tried a lot of food. I would say my favorite Venezuelan dish is Pabellon and all of the fresh fruit juices (especially parchita and guanabana). I think I will be writing a post about Venezuelan food very soon!
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Congrats on your new school. I love reading your views on living in Venezuela. I’m going to have to put it on my list of countries to visit.
Thanks! I’ve been working at CIC since August, and I really love it!
Hi, I will be having an interview with CIC for a secondary school position in math/physics in approximately 2 weeks and was hoping to get your opinion on the school and Valencia. I was wondering how safe the area is, is there a good community of expat teachers, what is the apartment like, what is most frustrating about Valencia etc. Anything at all would be helpful! Thanks!
Hi there! Thanks for visiting.
I feel pretty safe in Valencia- especially during the day. There haven’t been any protests or anything crazy in months. Sometimes you hear about robberies on the street, but nobody gets hurt. If you want, you can always go out at night with a group of people and that seems to be safe enough too. I love the teachers at the school! A bunch of expat and local hires just had a game of frisbee after school today. I think most teachers are in two bedroom apartments all in the same area (except for one apartment that is across the street from the biggest grocery store in town- and it is one of the most spacious). I think the most frustrating thing about living in Valencia is not being able to find many things that you would think everyone should have (coffee, sugar, milk, soap, flour, bleach, etc). Also, the frequent loss of electricity and water (about once a week on average) can be annoying. Some apartments have water tanks, but you can’t do much when you lose power for more than 12 hours (candlelit dinners are not too bad, but getting ready in the dark on a Monday morning is not fun). I’ve learned to deal with the ups and downs of Venezuela and have signed on to return for a fifth year to Venezuela, but many people are not ready for this kind of lifestyle.
Click on the “Venezuela” tag to read more about life here. I think this post is still very accurate about what to pack https://teachingwanderlust.com/2015/02/09/packing-for-venezuela-2015-and-755-condoms/. Why I stay: https://teachingwanderlust.com/2015/03/08/why-i-stay-in-venezuela/. Why I love my neighborhood: https://teachingwanderlust.com/2015/05/01/why-i-love-my-neighborhood/.
Good luck on your interview!