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Advice on Teaching in Saudi Arabia
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jzone



Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2004 3:57 pm    Post subject: Advice on Teaching in Saudi Arabia Reply with quote

Hey Everyone,

Does anyone have experience with teaching in Saudi or any other Middle Eastern Country? I'm thinking of teaching out there and would appreciate any comments/advice from people who have done so already. Would you recomend it or recomend any paticular places or schools. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

J-Zone
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unionjack
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 495
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 10:42 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Saudi Arabia and other areas of the Middle east Reply with quote

I am a Vocational Instructor and have taught technical subjects in Bahrain, Saudi and Libya for over 12 years.

I started teaching in Bahrain and was there for 3 years but it was quite a culture shock. My wife was with me out there and if it hadn't been for her, I would have turned around and headed straight back for home. I had been teaching in the UK for 16 years before going out there and so I had lots of teaching experience. Nevertheless, it was of no use out there because you cannot reason with an arab, because they are mindless.

They learn by rote, parrot fashion. Of course, I know that now but I didn't when I first went out there. It was as though I were a novice teacher and I didn't work it out for a long time. If fact, when I left there after 3 years, I vowed never to work again; that was how it had effected me. They were keen to learn English but if it was anything to do with work, then they didn't want to know.

The money was good and so after one year of recharging my batteries, I headed for Saudi Arabia, but that's another story.

I would not recommend that you teach in the Middle East, unless you can let their lifestyle go over your head. It has to be seen to be believed.
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unionjack
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Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 495
Location: UK

PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2004 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention that if you are a female, then don't even think about it. It is the most dangerous place on earth for females and young boys.
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ttron



Joined: 06 Jun 2004
Posts: 1
Location: Saudia Arabia

PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2004 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello

I have just finished one year of teaching in Riyadh. The positive first --the people whom I work for at least pay on time and they pay about 2000 American a month.

Negatives -- First it is dangerous. Westerners are targets --the last one being a German who was shot outside a bank about two weeks ago. No reason, no suspects ---just because he looked western.

Second -- If you are married - your wife is automatically a third class citizen (you are second class). She will be expected to wear a black abaya and to have her hair covered at all times.

Thirdly - There is litterally nothing to do - there are no theatres, cinema's or nightclubs --- Saudi is a dry country. If you do find liquor and you are caught --it is jail and then deportation.

Next --You will not make Saudi friends ---they tend to have nothing to do with us and regard us as infidels in the truest sense of the word.

Then --- your job is always threatened by Saudization -- in other words if a Saudi can do the job, you will be let go. It happens all the time.

After that -- there is the teaching. You will teach all males if you are male and all females if you are female. There is no word for work in Arabic. Homework will never be done, and there is not much you can do to enforce discipline. The also expect high grades. If you considered using the newest TESOL methods -- forget it --it is grammar, writting, oral, and listening as it was taught 30 years ago. Music is not allowed as it is not the Wahabi way. If you are Muslim, you will have first crack at the jobs.

To end this --- westerners are leaving in droves ---Americans are actively told to leave by their government. And citizens of those countries who supported the war in Iraq are not wanted.

However it was not all bad --but looking back, I would choose Qatar, Bhrain, Oman or the UAE first.

Ron
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unionjack
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Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 495
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:37 am    Post subject: Bahrain Reply with quote

Americans are now being advised, by their country, to leave Bahrain.

The majority of muslims in Bahrain are Shea (the worst kind). They came originally from Iran, or Persia as it was then. They are fanatical to the extreme and they hate foreigners (christians and jews). They throw stones at you, if you go into or pass through their villages.

I would not advise anyone to go to Bahrain, even if you have a bad home life.
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mari



Joined: 24 Sep 2004
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2004 11:32 am    Post subject: I recommend Yemen Reply with quote



Yemen is a fabulous country to visit and teach in. The capital, Sana'a, is quite high up so the summers are really lovely--dry with daytime temperatures at 85 or less. Cool evenings. Winters can be cold (-5, I've heard) and there is no central heating. The scenery is staggering. The Old City of Sana'a is pure magic, especially at night.

The people are wonderful--kind, generous, friendly--I loved them. There are lots of ESL schools in Sana'a, the one I can recommend is MALI (Modern American Language Institute). You can, if you wish, take part of your pay in one-on-one Arabic lessons.

Yes, I'm planning to return, I hope in November. Oh--and although Yemeni women are usually veiled, foreign women mostly don't. I didn't. Dress must, however, be modest for both sexes.

Good luck with finding a job in the Middle East.

Mari[color=green]
[/color]
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Mari
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whoerle



Joined: 28 Jul 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for Yemen, is it safe now for Americans? And what is the pay like?

WJ
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unionjack
Site Admin


Joined: 04 Jun 2004
Posts: 495
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Experience in the Arab world Reply with quote

I am neither a bigot nor a racist and actually, I wrote that post before I became a moderator. I agree that I may have worded it differently but what I wrote is essentially true, of my experience in Bahrain.

However, from there, I went on to Saudi Arabia and Libya, for a further 9 years, with a different mind set and was able to 'let the boat rock' and come out of it unscathed.

I assume then, from your comments, that your experience, in the Arab world, is different to mine.


Last edited by unionjack on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:14 am; edited 2 times in total
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Lexicon



Joined: 11 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
Location: New Orleans

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of political or cultural views, I simply wouldn't go to the Middle East because in a matter of 4-5 years they have slashed their ESL salaries by a factor of 3-4. Jobs there used to easily pay 60-100K a year.

Sure, it was hard work (and still is). Long working hours in isolated towns with putrid weather and a situation that is less than ideal being a foreigner. But, the money was good.

Now they've all become just as crooked as most of the Europeans and are offering these same jobs under the same conditions with these 50-70 hour work weeks for $2-3000 per month.

It's insulting.
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teachsa



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saudi Arabia definitely has a lot more teaching opportunities recently, if you are a westerner you can live on compounds which are like western style communities, or live among the locals to get the local Saudi experience...
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teachsa



Joined: 23 Dec 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can actually get more info on teachsaudi , there's lots of Saudi specific info there...
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hemiltonfleming



Joined: 05 Apr 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:43 am    Post subject: Careers in Africa Reply with quote

I am a post graduate and still didn't get a job. so I am trying online. Please share some advices for my careers in Africa. Thank you.
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aardvark



Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 181
Location: Central Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:21 am    Post subject: banking experience in KSA Reply with quote

I can verify that everything that unionjack and ttron said are true based on my experience.
One of the things that Saudis fail to appreciate is that their prayer times make simple tasks much more difficult. Things like shopping and banking become more difficult when you go to a bank after work and it's closed for prayer. You have to wait and wait and wait...in stifling heat...and there is little to no observance of queue etiquette.
I thought I had the system beat (however) when I filled out the bank transfer form in advance. I even called my bank in advance because they wouldn't accept my routing no. and I had to list a Swift code and include Citibank as my intermediary bank (because banks have to rip off even Americans who make money overseas). I had the Swift code, the intermediary acct no. and my money market acct no. I even came to the bank early because my Saudi bank did not post their banking hours on the English web site (although it's probably listed in Arabic somewhere).
I was lucky enough to be 2nd in line and I handed the form to the teller who informed me that "the computer is down and I can't do the transacton"

What the F#^&k?!?!? This never happened to me in China! I am sick of the backwardness of Saudi banks. Since when does a bank open with a faulty computer system?!? At least I got a credit card from them and I have the option of getting a cash advance (but at 24% APR I am going to think twice about it). You thought Muslims dont charge interest? Not when it comes to Westerners. I am a walking target-- financially and physically..... Evil or Very Mad
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markc



Joined: 15 Jun 2010
Posts: 66
Location: Taiwan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aardvark - Why are you still working in Saudi if the situation is bad? I'm just curious. I've recently applied for some jobs in KSA [King Fahd University, and others], although I have been thinking twice about going; even assuming they ever get back to me.

What Union Jack said was posted several years ago. Have you had similar experiences recently?
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St. George



Joined: 06 Oct 2004
Posts: 108
Location: Ex Libya

PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:06 am    Post subject: LEOPARD Reply with quote

Markc

A leopard can't change its spots; so the Arab world is just the same. Aardvark is on a contract and in any case they will have his passport. Therefore, his only means of escape is when he goes on R & R. What would you do if you had a wife and six children to support?

The university is probably a better environment but you will still have to go to the bank. You just have to accept the culture and get on with it, although it can be very frustrating at times.
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