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Teaching in the Middle East - advice needed!

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by priceke, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    Hi everyone, I am looking at my options for international positions. The Middle East is the place that draws to me the most. I have seen positions available for the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan. My issue is I do not know enough about these regions to know whether to steer clear of any potential job offers or not. These are not the only countries I am restricting myself to but where the jobs being advertised at the moment are.

    Any information about teaching in schools in these nations, what it is like to live there, what the schools are generally like, anything to watch out for - any information really but this is a good starting point. Thanks
  2. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Most teachers in the ME go and find jobs in Asia after a couple of years.
  3. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    OK but why? Is it that they don't enjoy being in the ME? This is the sort of thing I am trying to find out
  4. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    It’s not entirely true. Many people stay in the ME for yonks. I spent 15 years in two stints. Very happy overall, and I can vouch for many others. I can also vouch that a certain number of people really don’t like it and leave after a single contract. As a recruiter, I really wanted to be able to tell in advance which group an applicant fell in, but I never found the key.
    It’s been said the region can be boring and some people run out of activities. But I’ve seen some exhaustingly active and social people love the region and never stop moving. And I’ve seen couch potatoes complain. Go figure. Most families with children find it very safe and child friendly, but some, particularly with adolescents, find there are limited good options for teens to be social. Some find the social stratification and poor treatment of laborers to be so upsetting they don’t want to stay. Others find ways to make friends and use their time to engage with others and improve the situation.
    If you’re interested, why not try?
    Or talk to someone who knows you and has been there.
    Sloth_91 likes this.
  5. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Thats because you have missed the main recruitment season. It runs from around September to February. Whats left now are the ones that have struggled to fill these positions
    Sloth_91 likes this.
  6. azza3k

    azza3k New commenter

    Lots of jobs are currently up for recruitment in Dubai. TES advertises a lot, but if you are looking for a smaller school you have to search for them on their own websites.

    There are many positives and some negatives (nothing is perfect) to teaching here! Social life is awesome whether it is sport, socialising, music, arts or activities, but on the flip side, everything is a pricey which goes well with the half decent pay.

    With regards to pay, non-for-profit schools pay A LOT more than private for-profit business schools but on the flip side of this, expect to work harder in a non-for-profit (information from many teacher friends who work in different schools).

    Gulfgolf mentioned social stratification etc. and this is right, I find a lot of people struggle with some of the social hierarchy 'things' here, but if you focus on yourself and your family then you won't even notice it.

    All in all, I and many others love it out here, you just need to find a city/country that best suits your needs.

    Hope this helps :)
  7. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    Thank you that does a lot and makes me feel more comfortable about looking at positions in Dubai. I had a phone interview earlier with a Skype interview some point in the next week. Fingers crossed!
  8. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    Yes this all seems fair enough. I agree and think it is worth taking the plunge - as friends have said, I'm still relatively young and I don't have any ties to staying here so I am free to move if I wish. As you mention you are a recruiter, I hope you will be able to answer this question for me: What if I decide after a year it is not for me and want to leave but I have agreed to a 2 year contract - what happens?
  9. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    Yes I know that but this is not what I need advice about. These were merely examples in the hope a range of people from these countries, or even others, would be able to offer advice about living and working out there. Do you have any advice about living and working in these countries?
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Nothing positiveo_O
  11. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    Why is that? What are the negatives in your experience?
  12. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Just search this forum. This part of the world has been more than well covered
  13. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    Not really sure what your problem is but I guess you don't have anything meaningful to contribute
  14. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Best of luck with your international journey @priceke, because with all your charm and attitude you will fit into that part of the world beautifully ;)
    watermelongirl65 likes this.
  15. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Breaking contract is never good. Even if it’s not for you, two years isn’t long.
  16. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    The ME or the Middle Kingdom? Well, China has some major advantages over Egypt or the KSA or Qatar.

    Some people say that Dubai is a rather superficial and artificial place, but maybe it is not as good as that.
  17. lateralligator

    lateralligator New commenter

    I HATED the Middle East when I moved there. There were so many things I hated it is hard to make a list. I stuck out my two years and I left. Surprisingly, I am moving back this September. Yes, there are things which I do not like about the ME but once I left I realised there were lots of things I missed and not just the weather. I found I missed the culture a lot, living in a country that has a rich heritage. I also missed the friends out there ( it felt more like a family over there) and I miss the opportunities it allowed me a lot! The travel, the things I could share with friends and family and the chance to save for my future. You need to balance what is important to you and make your mind up and yes listen to others but everyone's perspective is unique
  18. Fer888

    Fer888 Occasional commenter

    You would not be getting a very good reference from that school if you decide to leave mid-contract and it could possibly be a red flag when people are looking to recruit you- you would certainly be asked about why you left after one year
  19. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, I do miss the salary that I earned in the KSA. Also the dollar went up in value nearly 15% during the year that I was in Jeddah. However, I do not miss the experience of teaching (or rather trying to teach) Saudi teenage boys - something I would not wish on my worst enemy!

    I also have some bad memories of the plural garden implement school. The headteacher was (and probably still is) horrible and the medical insurance really good, as long as you did not actually make a claim.
  20. priceke

    priceke New commenter

    What are the advantages with China? and have you worked in the Middle East?

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