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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Mrs_CS, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Hi All!

    Is there anybody here who has worked/is working in Brunei and can tell me more about it please? I would be the only one working and would be bringing my partner and 2 children.

    What do you do for leisure?
    What activities are there for children (9 year old and 4 year old)
    How do you find the split weekend?
    What kind of salary can be expected in secondary schools with 10 years experience?
    What do you like/not like most about Brunei?

    Thank you in advance!
  2. jrz0711

    jrz0711 New commenter

    I worked in Brunei for 7 years.

    Most people go to the border at the weekends for a few drinks. It's about a 45 minute drive. For longer breaks you can go to Miri or KK (cities in neighbouring Sarawak and Sabah). To stay active a lot of people join the hash (hiking in the jungle) or run. There are lots of gyms too. Nightlife is pretty non-existent apart from expat parties.
    For the kids, there are lots of indoor play-areas and parks to bring them to. There are some great swimming pools which are very reasonable too.
    The split weekend is a real pain to begin with but you get used to it. If the company don't expect you to one of their "training events" on Thursday afternoon or Saturday afternoon it's ok.
    Most people start on about 4000 BND with the 1800 housing allowance. Your salary will go up 250 a month after the first year. Also get a 2 month bonus and flight allowance yearly.
    You need to be aware that the company could send you to any school in Brunei. They may promise to try to get you into one of the "nicer" places but there are a lot of old-timers who are very settled and don't like to change position. I was placed into one of the "lower socio-economic" (thanks Dave ;) ) schools which was quite a shock. Expect no-aircon in the classrooms, assemblies taking place for any reason and very little support from the company. All year levels are streamed so you may be lucky and get 7A and 7B or you could be unlucky and get 7H and 7K.

    It took a year or 2 to adjust but I enjoyed my time in Brunei. Just be prepared to leave all your "W" questions at the airport door and learn to smile and eat a lot of cake.
    Mrs_CS likes this.
  3. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter

    Thank you for this! Very insightful! How long ago did you work in Brunei? And also what do you mean by company? I have applied to an international school- surely they wouldn't send me elsewhere?
  4. 576

    576 Established commenter

    You've caused confusion by referencing the split weekends.
    Both international schools have a Saturday and Sunday weekend.

    The company referred to recruits EAL teachers for local schools.
  5. knocker

    knocker New commenter

    jrz0711 is talking about the organisation that recruits expat teachers to go into local schools not the two international schools - the ding-dong one and the more traditionally named international school that is in Brunei.

    At one of the two international schools they run a normal week... Well Monday-Thursday then a half-day on Friday. One of the schools requires you then to work 2-3:30pm Friday afternoon for meetings/cpd but no teaching. You then get a normal sat-sun weekend. Shops are open every day anyway (apart from 12-2pm Friday) so you don't really notice that public offices are closed on Fridays because you are either working or enjoying yourself around the pool in the afternoon!

    We have young children and over the last few weeks they have been ice skating, riding, climbing, bowling , to the cinema, to the (quaint!) theme park and lots of swimming (Royal Brunei Yacht Club!). We spend a lot of time of weekends taking them to music, dance, performing arts lesson and sports coaching. So there is lots to do if you go out and find it and install Instagram on your phone!

    The country is quiet; no bars or clubs but LOTS of great cheap restaurants. Expats can pop over the border (30min drive) to get alcohol as you can't buy in Brunei. We feel very safe wandering around where we live and in town and the shops, I have never felt in any danger. It is a very slow pace of life but during term term things are easy and everything is a 20 minute drive away. We then spend our holidays exploring Asia - Bali, Vietnam, KL, Singapore.

    Feel free to pm me if you want more info...
  6. Mrs_CS

    Mrs_CS New commenter


    My bad! I thought everywhere in Brunei had a split weekend. I am actually referring to the two international schools though so it's good go know they have a Sat/Sun weekend.
  7. Loulabell

    Loulabell New commenter

  8. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    I was considering Brunei at one point, then they introduced the death penalty for homosexuality and it was crossed straight off my list. I'm straight myself, but I couldn't contemplate living in a country which would put a number of my friends to death, and I wouldn't want to bring up children in a society with those laws either. They've backtracked after huge international condemnation and said that they wouldn't actually enforce the death penalty, but why have it then?
  9. knocker

    knocker New commenter


    The reality of what was reported in the media over Sharia Law thing and what it is like here on the ground are two very different things. There are no public stonings and executions here although the media would have you think that as soon as you stepped off the plane you would be carted away.

    Our experience is that Brunei is a very safe place to live (having travelled to quite a few places in Asia) with a very slow, relaxed pace of life and as long as you adhere to a certain level of decency in public (whatever your sexual orientation) you will be fine. What you do in private is very much your own business and it is actually a very accepting country.

    There are lots of countries with, lots of laws that I disagree with (UK included) but at the end of the day I feel I'm living in a place where my children are safe, the air quality is amazing and I am respected by students I teach in my school.
  10. knocker

    knocker New commenter

  11. 4penguin14

    4penguin14 New commenter

    Do you mind if I pm you as also considering Brunei?
  12. knocker

    knocker New commenter

    Sure... Have sent you a pm.

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