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Heading to Kuwait!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Seeker31, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Hi,
    Does anyone here have any info on what its like to work in Kuwait, the previous posts are mostly outdated, any recent updates/reviews from teachers out there now, or those who have returned recently??
    I have read a couple of bad reviews from the school I have accepted the offer from (has the famous english university (not oxford) in its name, based in mangaf)and justlooking for more info on the school as there doesn't seem to be much out there.
    Also is there anyone else heading that way come August? : )
  2. I accepted a job offer from the 'English' international school in Hawalli at the beginning of January... Haven't been in contact since as they apparently don't start the visa/work permit until 3 months before the move date, Which is in August.

    Although due to the lack of contact, and direction from the school Iv since accepted a different job in China who have made so much effort in arranging all the ins and outs of moving abroad!

    From the research into Kuwait and the school.... It's a clear NO GO!

    Have a look at the international school review website, they have some interesting discussions about Kuwait, although ignore a guy called PsyGuy, he seems to know everything about every country, and every teaching position and every school, and everything in life in general!
  3. johnio

    johnio New commenter

    Hi Seeker31

    I'm hopefully flying out late August; I'm waiting for a copy of my work permit and then will go through the visa process - have you gone through this process?

    Personally I can't comment on Kuwait having never visited; however those I have communicated with on this forum have been very positive about the schools and living there.

  4. Hi Chris
    Yep the lack of communication was worrying me, but I did get an email from them recently saying all was in order. I am an NQT so I cant be too picky and the salary they are offering is better then I could get over here. I guess I could always look for a better school there after a year or two. Also they have offered me a permanenet contract which I thought was unusual for an international school, aint it always contract based?
    Hi Johino
    I am waiting on the NOC (No Objection Certificate) which will start the process for obtaining the Visa. What school are you heading too?
  5. Yes, it is unusual though not unheard of (I had a permanent contract at my previous school). Since this is Kuwait, you can look at it from a glass half full or glass half empty point of view.
    Half full: they think you're so great they want to keep you for a long time.
    Half empty: they will not want to let you go. Ever.
  6. Surely I can leave when I want, nothing in the contract said otherwise apart from the perks I would forfit.
    I am going to look at it from a glass half full : D - while still looking for the other half by applying to other jobs.
  7. How old are the reviews? What was your feeling at interview? Have you asked to be put in touch with current teachers?
  8. kate harvey

    kate harvey New commenter

    Currently teaching in Kuwait.
    Feel free to PM me x
    Some general points that may be helpful on cost of living:

    Cost of living is generally higher than UK.
    We are couple and spend 100 pounds per week on groceries. However we shop at the kuwait equivant of Waitrose so you can go cheaper!

    Wi fi is about 40 pounds per month

    OSN (cable tv) is also about 40 pounds per month

    You can get a pay as you go mobile very easily and we probably spend about 20 pounds per month on top ups.

    Depending on where you live, you may need a car. you can rent a decent car from about 200 pounds per month which includes insurance and breakdown. Or there is huge second hand market, check out Just Landed website and subscribe to EEk magazine which is ex pat newsletter.

    Petrol of course costs pennies.
    Download skype before you come as skype website is currently blocked here.

  9. Hey guys, I have also been offered a few posts in Kuwait and I am looking to get as much info as I can about the country, the schools, the quality of life over there and how UK teachers have found it.

    I am seriously considering moving out there as it seems a good opportunity.

    Opinions are valued, I want to know all about the schools I am considering!

    One school has a campus in mangaf and hawally and the other is an american school. Any info on these?
  10. Kate you have a pm : )

    Interview was professional and they gave me lots of information about the school, the reviews are 1-2 years old, others online have said the school is progressing. Have asked to be put in touch with teachers just waiting for a response.

  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    What is the latest news on Madam Chantal, the Bottle Blonde Bombshell of KNES?
  12. q8living

    q8living New commenter

    I'm currently in Kuwait as well. Kate's information is right on the money. I spend similar amounts a month.
    I have single teaching friends here who travel every holiday, have paid off their debts in the UK and now saving for a deposit for a house back in the UK.
    Kuwait is what you make of it, I'm raising 2 young children. It is a very safe country to live in with the exception of driving. You do take your life into your own hands on the 30, especially in and around Mangaf, which is 'quoted' as the 3rd most dealist road in the world!
    The NOC process can not get started until July/August. The country will come to a stand still during Ramadam which is during that time.
    Good luck, the Kuwaiti kiddies are a hand full, all raised by maids with parents who are not that interested in them!
  13. Ive been out here some time now and feel this comment is just nasty! If its the same Director..... he/she is kind and thoughtful and will do what he/she can to help with any matters that are worrying you.
    Both schools are finding their feet but have a great bunch of teachers and leaders. A happy place to work if you ask me!
  14. You don't know?
    Is he/she Thai?
  15. I have been living in Kuwait for (too) many years and am familiar with the schools here. I am willing to give advice or information to anyone who would like to contact me.
    As far as visas and residency go, this process cannot start until you arrive, and depends on the efficiency of the school. It should be completed in about two months. Living here is what you make of it. There are negatives and positives like everywhere. Most contracts are for one year and renewable, which means , in effect, that you get paid for twelve months (plus gratuity at end of contract) but only work 9. (two weeks at Xmas ,and finish mid June plus other official holidays). If you have got it wrong, then see out your contract, put it down to experience and move on. Many renew and enjoy several years of sea,sun,sand, and saving. It is up to you.
  16. estrella7 you have mail! : )

  17. Hi there
    I'm heading to Kuwait in August. Also, a bit worried about some of the reviews I've read bur going to give it a whirl. Be great to make some links for when I get out there!

  18. Kuwait gets into your blood - like cancer. Stay for more than two years and you are doomed. You'll be chasing the buck and not see the damage it is doing to you. Professional Development? ... professional suicide.
  19. Wow! Qatar - go for it! Kuwait - you are doomed.
    And the difference between the two is.....?
    Qatar has real booze (as does Kuwait but at a huge cost).
    My spell (way longer than two years) in Kuwait was all good fun and games.
    My preference is Cairo now, but there are thousands who would choose Kuwait instead of here.
    Individual taste and all that.

  20. Well said. People should beware of others who constantly slag off Kuwait. It is like anywhere else, it has a couple of decent schools but a lot of absolute dross. Schools are for profit and with that comes compromise. If you work for the big two, it is fine and dare I say professionally fulfilling. The second tier of schools is okay for a short term stint but are playing catch up with the big two. (I refer here to UK Curriculum schools). Kuwait itself is fine but it takes effort socially. Excellent restaurants, few restrictions in comparison to some other Gulf countries. I stayed there with family for over ten years and would return without difficulty. However, It is not for everybody(where is?) . If you are hung up on modern teaching innovations, you made need to go elsewhere. If you want leadership positions, you may need to chap your lips on the appropriate ass. You may be at the mercy of hormonal directors who are all about image and dont care about education particularly in the lower tier schools. But if you are adaptable and work to live as against live to work it is perfectly acceptable. Some people have had a miserable time there for many reasons. Some bear a grudge and constantly warn others off. Listen to FP, he has a good handle on it and may still visit the place periodically. I dont and haven't done for a few years. But I would advise that you make up your own mind based on your own needs and do not be swayed by embittered former staff unless they are willing to PM you with specific warnings.

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