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Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Monkeynuts, Apr 10, 2012.
And what makes you say that monkeynuts? Personal experience? If you mean adhering to wearing an abaya, not driving, etc then I have already deliberated over that and could possibly live with that.
Again if anyone else has any info regarding the actual visa process then much appreciated!
From what I have read on these boards, the visa thing will be a pain in the neck. Notoriously slow, possibly depending on the quality of company you are going to work for.
I haven't been there at all, but know that Jeddah is a lot 'lighter' than Riyadh.
Have never heard of Dammam before so will be interested in what posters have to say.
'Come on posters, help out with this old girl's visa process!'
'old girl'?! I stil consider myself in my youth!
Thank you, Dammam is in the Eastern Province near the Persian Gulf - it has a long causeway leading into Bahrain and is also 250 miles to Doha. Popular places near are Dhahran where the Saudi oil company Aramco head quarters are and also al khobar. Anybody else been to this part of Saudi?
I'm actually of Islamic faith therefore I can understand the culture better I guess although I don't follow the religion as strict per se nor do I wear the abaya here in the UK. It shall be a testing experience!
The visa process is rather daunting and painstakingly slow and the Saudi embassy are not quite sure what the exact requirements are, it's like drawing blood from a stone!
How long has it been from when you sent of your documents until now? I am in a similar situation. Haven't heard anything back from them in a month.
Which stage of the visa process are you at aridion? We haven't submitted our visa applications yet, still waiting for the medical to complete and then degree certs need to be attested. We can't figure out in what order to do things still...
I am at an early stage. Basically, I was told to send scanned copies of my degree certs to them along with scanned passport. They said they needed these to start off the process. That was a month ago. I sent them an e mail last week and they said that they are currently going through applications. I am ata lose at this stage.
Are salaries still good in Saudi?
It depends on what you consider as good really. This was our first year of applying internationally and compared to other countries KSA gave us a good offer. Personally for me a good offer is one which providesca good education to my kids and at the same time having enough for a couple of holidays and save a fair amount at the same time too.
I have just replied to your e-mail a few minutes ago, Kulsum. Great news about Dammam and drop in to Doha, if you are ever in this neck of the woods. At the moment Mrs Hippo is getting a bit fed up with Qatar, so who knows? Maybe we will be thinking about moving ourselves next year.
Doha is definitely on the cards to visit once we are out in the ME so that would be great! We shall have to let you know how Dammam fares for us then, it certainly seems to be ticking the boxes at the moment!
This time last year I was in the process of getting a Saudi visa. It is a slow process but my school used a visa agent as I'm pretty sure the Saudi embassy won't deal with individuals. The visa agent led the whole thing, with emails etc about what was needed when. It did take time but with an early Ramadan this year you might be lucky and have the visa before Ramadan Check with your school if they're using a visa agent.
Thanks msnessy. The school have been pretty quick on their part and sent over all the required documents. The only problem now is they have only sent documents to get mine and my husbands work visas processed. They haven't sent over anything to require visas for the kids. Phoned the embassy twice, once they said they automatically just get visas because both parents will be working. Second time they said husband should go out first and acquire an iqama before he can can sponsor us???? Males no sense and this process is really leaving us rather frustrated ?
When I went out to Saudi, despite being promised that my (non-teaching) wife would accompany me, she was not issued a visa until three months after I had mine. I had been in kingdom for ten weeks by this time. I had to sponsor my wife to go out there and that couldn't be done until I had my Iqama issued. Also, the school tried to rip me off with my wife's medical insurance and it took a huge row to get them to honour their agreements. A word of caution, nothing that you have in writing in English is valid under Saudi law, only your Arabic contract. Not one teacher I knew in Saudi actually got what they were promised. Be prepared to argue and insist (very politely of course) that they keep their end of the bargain and do it straight away with anything you're not happy with.
Make it clear to your employer that you will not travel to Saudi without your children. They will then get their "Governemnt Relations Officer" to get the visas sorted. One couple I was friends with only got the visas for the children the day before they flew out.
The Magic Kingdom is like marmite, you will either love it or hate it. I hated it and left as soon as I could. To be fair, the school itself was fine, the children were brilliant (in all respects) and teaching there was a walk in the park compared to the UK. It was the central organisation that ran the group of schools that was a pain in the backside (as an employee under Saudi law you have no rights whatsoever) and the oppressive nature of the country itself that I found unbearable.
Spot on! This is exactly what my family went through. I hated the place and could not condone the hypocracy of the culture in the Eastern province. Fundementalist all week in their own country and then at the weekend seeing the mass exodus for the pubs and brothels in Bahraina. The school was fine, the money was superb but outside of school you were constantly looking over your shoulder. If I played football or rugby, my wife wasn't allowed to drive so was reliant on taxis to go anywhere. We were not given compound accomodation, even though the staff at our American sister school were. I left after one year of the two year contract (resigned honourably etc) and was subsequently shafted by the organisation. I would not wish the Magic Kingdom on my worst enemy. Even if you are muslim, unless you are Saudi you will most likely suffer discrimination.
I'm also busy preparing documents for my visa to teach in Dammam. Could you tell me where did you do your medical report? I find many are asking outrageous fees for medicals and since I need to do it for my whole family of four, it's just too costly!
PS: I rang the embassy this morning and they told me I only need to complete my medical report. Then, when they receive an email from my sponsor (university in Saudi) they will contact me and tell me what to do next.
I went on my own for a number of years. Visa was no problem and I just had to pop to London to visit the embassy.
Right enough it is a country full of ******** - they are the most racist people you will find anywhere - where most locals don't work but have notional positions to balance the workforce, the men do all the things they should not do, suggest as much, yet won't admit it to your face and are convinced they are the muslim elite. The tribal system remains in place where money is passed down from above and as such the oil revenues are dispersed and encourages a non working lazy lifestyle. The country empties in the 3 summer months when they all dispapear to Europe.
Unless you are dealing with the elite i.e mainly the Royals, i found it rare to 'meet' a Saudi - though to have everyone in a supermarket stare at you is not uncommon - and you will instead meet a plethora of people from africa and asia who are slaving away and far from home. They will warmly greet you though all hope you will sponsor them to go to Europe.
The place is as dull as you will find BUT the sun is constant, the money can be a godsend and you'll enjoy returning to the west and appreciate it more.
We have been in Saudi for 3 weeks now and already completed 2 weeks of school. We have many Saudi staff working at our school and they have all been fantastic to work with. The school have delivered everything they promised and more! If I'm completely honest I have only just over the initial homesickness seeing as though this was our first international post. Most of my students are children of wealthy Saudi aramco residents and really fantastic girls to teach, very career driven, dedicated and motivated even though their parents are extremely wealthy!
Re the medicals, in the UK we paid quite a lot of money getting all the tests done but from our experience I think all you need is for your doctor to tick that you don't or have never had the stated diseases/illnesses and circle that you are fit to work. The children didn't need to have their medicals in the UK, only once they got to Saudi. Our doctor in the UK charged us £20 per medical report. Hope that helps.