Moving to Durres September 2014

Hi everyone!
I will be moving to Durres in September 2014 to teach in a new international school. I know very little about the country but am excited to experience a completely new way of life. Does anyone have any tips/helpful info?
Better yet, are there any English speakers out there who will be living in Durres/Tirana?

Wow ok .... It will be a massive change and if your female you shouldn't go alone

Hi sweetpeaches, I'm wondering what you're basing your view on? The reason I posted on this forum was in the hope that there would be some informative responses as I am well aware of the bad press that Albania has received in the past. I am moving there a a solo female, I was simply asking for advice from people who know the area. If no one stepped out of their comfort zone the world would be a very boring place, I'm sure you'll agree. Thanks for your input :)

Hey, I go to Albania on a regular basis. I guess I would recommend learning Albanian. Are you English? I can definitely inform you of a lot you need to know.  So how did you manage to get the job there? I nearly moved there myself i even found a flat in blloku area. Is it in Durres or Tirana? I would definitely choose Tirana over Durres. I've got my best friend over there who is Albanian yet lived in UK for a long time so can even put you in touch.

I'm from South west London BTW.

There are pretty good blogs on here I've read about life in Albania and they are very well explained.  Read them I guess they will give you the answers you seek. Take care

sweetpeaches :

Hey, I go to Albania on a regular basis. I guess I would recommend learning Albanian. Are you English? I can definitely inform you of a lot you need to know.  So how did you manage to get the job there? I nearly moved there myself i even found a flat in blloku area. Is it in Durres or Tirana? I would definitely choose Tirana over Durres. I've got my best friend over there who is Albanian yet lived in UK for a long time so can even put you in touch.

Hi sweetpeaches, yes learning Aklbanian is top of my list! I am trying to find language teachers in my area at the moment.
I found the job it on the international teaching circuit and had a good feeling about it so I went for it! The school is in Durres but I'm not sure where my apartment will be. That would be fantastic :) how kind of you!
Any important info that I should be aware of before I go? I've had a look at lots of info online, but any extra info you can give me would be great!

Hi... As a Brit who has been living in Tirana for 3 months now, I have a few tips...
1. Approach driving with caution! It's scary out there!
2. Have you got a visa sorted? If not, make sure you check out the requirements before you go. I just got stung because I didn't have an apostile for my UK police check and it's been a mission sorting it out. Let me know if you need more info re visas.
3. Find a trustworthy local to help you out. In Albania it's all about who you know!
I am loving life in Albania. It's an incredibly beautiful and friendly country. And safe - don't worry about being a single female. Just be sensible!

My tips would be careful of gypsies!  Don't walk around wearing lots of gold expensive jewellery and if you go out at night make sure your in company. Plus Durres isn't as modern as Tirana and I would say night life in Tirana or Saranda is the best. I wouldn't drive there for example if your staying in Tirana then you can walk everywhere.  Definitely try to learn as much as yout can.  Just find any Albanian friends in London I'm sure they will be happy to teach you. Plenty on albanianpersonals website... Good luck.

Thanks for your tips Trussia and sweetpeaches, I've heard a lot about the driving and I will look carefully into the visa process! I'm very glad to hear you are enjoying it  :D

Hi xbeckeex ! I recommend you to do company with my daughter facebook, which is a teacher of English at a university in Durres and she can help you you for everything. welcome in Durres

Thank you so much Anesti, I will definitely be in contact! :-)

Hello,

welcome to Albania! You will have a good time. I am also a teacher but I teach in Tirana, not in Durres.
People here are friendly. If you stay for a long time I recommend: You should learn Albanian Language, It is not very difficult. You need to have contacts. I mean: do You know anyone you can  trust,  any reliable friend? you will need help to find a house? To know everything about the city: markets, hospital, police office etc. That's why you need help at the beginning. I like the advice s.o from the forum gave to You: late in the evening - don't walk alone in the street. It is like everywhere: not safe.

Hey,  how is it going ? How do I get the visa and how much is it? This is on in case I decide to stay longer.

Sara h

Welcome Sarah!
You can stay as you want in our country, we are  are open to good people. but tell us something more about your aspirations, for  to spend a part of life in our country and so, will see to you and opportunities to facilitate integration. Good luck

xbeckeex. Are you in Durres now?

The visa office has just moved from Tirana to Kamez. You need to provide different sorts of paperwork including proof of address, medical insurance, criminal records check (with apostile), copy of your passport. And complete an application form which I think you can download from the Albanian immigration website. The application costs 10,000 lek. Hope this helps.

Hi,

I am a Peace Corps volunteer training teachers and school directors here in Durrës. If you want to tell me a little more about what you are interested in maybe I can help. I can also send you a community map I made showing some of the good places to eat and visit.

Steve

Hi there...
I have been living in States for almost seven years.... And now I am back to Albania. I live and work in Tirana, which it will be the best choice for you as well, by the way, and of course if you will have the chance to choose :)
Albania is a very nice country. People are mostly friendly and helpful. So no need to be scared. Of course, as in every country you will need some precautions and advices, but consider to do and act as in all foreign countries when you go first. Than you will feel what is right or wrong!
Have the greatest time in Albania!

Hello folks.

I definitely think that you don't have to worry about living alone in Albania. Live is same as every where in the world, you have places that you may frequent and places that you have to avoid. Any way as you are a female every one will be gentle with you. The past year and this one we're yet we've had to many tourists and to be honest we didn't heard any bad news. So you have to know that Durres and Tirana have been faced long time before with tourists, today nobody considers you as a tourist or a foreinger but as a local habitant. I'm live in Tirana and I specially have contact with foreing people very often, they like the country, they feel comfortable and they simply love the way of living here. I hope you do the same.
For any question don't hesitate to take contact.
Bye.

Hello; just curious how you're finding the area/school

Anyone teaching at Albanian college in durres? What was the experience like?

Hi Venosta,

Durres is lovely and the people are very friendly.. I am teaching at ACD, it's been an absolute roller coaster so far as it's such a huge project! A great team and fantastic experience though if you're up for a challenge and aren't afraid to work hard. Will you be joining us?

So glad to hear it! I do hope to join you :) I've been teaching in Canada for about 10 years and have had about all the stability I can handle - ready for an adventure! I've already applied and am just waiting to hear back. Would love to keep you as a contact as I have a ton of questions - like what is the housing really like? Lol and is their a lot of green space as I'm a huge nature person :)

Great to hear it, we've a few Canadians here already :)
Send me a private message and I'll try to answer all the questions you throw at me.

xbeckeex---I am interested in learning more about ACD.

Im am agree but must first pass Custom...!. I must see your wall on fb, it is parental duty.

Hey there!! I moved to Durres with my family about a year ago. I am currently in South Africa for a visit but should be back either Desember or January. I think I know about the school you will be working at. It is close to Volga which is where most of the people go during the weekends for a walk. Albania is a lovely country! The food is also great but the language is a bit harder than expected. We have some friends there if you would like to get in contact with them, both foreign and Albanian. It helps a lot to know people who have been there for a while as I'm sure you know. My family and I would also enjoy meeting you once we are back.

Oh! And about the living alone thing I don't think it is a problem. It is a really safe place to live!! Good luck!

Volga is the name of Russia's Volga river and at the time of dictatorship and friendship with the USSR was the name of the preferred hotel and became the identity of the area. Volga schools, is  acollege and for contact with children need to learn and Albanian. It is not hard, but we quickly learned the social group. No difficulties as you will be accompanied by the abanian coleg's and the  President of school  is a very fine man and will have enough space for you supporting you.

I think I will be moving soon to the Durres area.  ACD a good place?  I hear it is!!

A job at ACD just opened up Friday the 14th, and I'll be applying today, but I found you here first.  It's great to hear your endorsement of the place and your job.  I've lived and married on a previous expat teacher stint in China, now restless back in US and ready to see if I can come and join you.  As my application proceeds, I'd like to be in touch.

Thank you,
Steven

Hi Steven, glad to hear you might be joining us. Drop me a message if you have any questions :)

econteacher[at]gmail.com

I think I can edit away this email address within the next hour, if you see this and use it within that time. 

I'm preparing the application materials at this moment.

Could you send me privately any insider tips, or reasons why I should not be enthusiastic about this job prospect?

Like, what should I make of the fact that there's no street address for the College anywhere on the website?

Hi i wonder if someone could help.

i moved to albania 5 weeks ago to live with my boyfriend.  i only know basic albanian and i was wondering whether anyone knew of anywhere where i could go to learn albanian as my boyfriend is struggling to teach me.   i ask him what he is saying but i keep forgetting and i feel that i need to go to classes to learn.

also i am only here on my passport and my 90 days are up in january.  i have been to the border police and said that all i need is a CRB check from the UK to be able to apply for a residency permit which i have applied for *THE CRB THAT IS).  is this the only thing i need or is there something else i need before i may become illegal if i do not have the correct papers? 

i would be grateful for some help.
thanks

Hi nskeleton,

I'm on the lookout for language lessons too, I'll let you know if I find anything.
Regarding the CRB, I had to get mine apostilled so it would be recognised by the Gov as a legit document but that may have just been for a working permit. I'd ask them about that. If you do need to have it apostilled, I used Hague Apostille (http://www.hagueapostille.co.uk/) and the turnaround was pretty quick.

Hope that helps, good luck!

Hi xbeckeex

ive been to the border police twice and it was he same woman and she said two different things each time i went.  the second time i went she said all that i need is a crb check and then the appostile which has been sent away now.  i have an application form which i am going to fill in just encase but i think all i need is the CRB check, passport photos, a copy of my passport and maybe the application form.

thanks for your info

Hi!
My husband and I are deciding whether or not to move to Durres to teach at ACD this January. We would love some feedback on what it's like to live in Durres, what the cost of living is like, how intense the language barrier is, what it might be like to live there with a dog (we have a small dog who would be coming with us), and how the school is.
Any help is much appreciated!
Thanks!

Hi,

I hear a few teachers are unhappy and leaving already. Only 85 kids and building in a mess. Durres full of beggars and general poverty. Hardly anyone speaks English here.

It is the least developed country in Europe and my advice would be find somewhere better.

Dingo

Wow, who pissed you off? ACD, like all new schools, has its ups and downs. However, there are more teachers staying than leaving. Check your facts. Also, those of us who are here, myself included, go through the frustration but understand that it is for a good cause, teaching the students and possibly giving them a better future. Also, many people speak English and Italian here. I function just fine here on a daily basis. Thanks.

Interesting. You're clearly not in the same part of Durres as us!
Well, each to their own. As with any new school, it's a challenge and isn't suited to everyone...
In my opinion Durres (and Albania in general) has a lot more to offer once you scratch the surface. Good luck on your quest for somewhere better Dingo!

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