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Teaching in the Middle East.

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by Peanut123, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. After reading many posts regarding teaching overseas, i feel the need to get some advice from other teachers who worked in the Middle East. I am primary school teacher of 8 years experience in one school in Wales but now I need a new challenge in my life. I am science and PE CPH and have worked in all age ranges in KS2. I was just hoping for some advice on making the next step, should I stay and be comfortable or push myself and try to get a job in an international school? Have you worked in the middle east? when should i start applying? How is the pay and working conditions? Would they allow my fiance to come aswell or would we need to be married? She has just gained an English degree would this be beneficial? Sorry for so many questions, just dont wont to regret not trying something new! Any advice would be really helpful.
  2. afterdark

    afterdark New commenter

    I made the leap and don't regret it.
    Yes. The middle has been good for me. I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better.
    Apply as soon as you have decide. I went to an agency and considered posts all over the world.
    That obviously varies greatly. It is up to you to ask the right questions and do your research.
    Generally speaking, there is no tax [or very little] as this is considered Hiram. This makes an enormous difference. Compared to the UK you net about 50% more with the same gross salary. You may still have deductions but they are not a third of what you earm.
    If you want to live together legally in the Middle East then you would have to be married.
    A school may accept her as a teacher but then again they may not.
    The middle east operates under a scheme of sponsorship.
    A man is usually his wife's sponsor.
    You should ask your partner about countries that you are considering.
    In Saudi she sould not be able to drive and would have to wear the niqab and an habia. She may not want to go for this.
    In another ME country Qatar, for instance, she would be able to dress in western clothes and drive a car. You would still need to be married to legally live as a couple.
    You need to be prepared for the heat and the dust. Lots of both in the ME.
    Service is can be vastly superior to the West.
    No pubs.
    But overall I prefer it.
  3. Thanks for the reply. Considering what you said about my fiance that does make things difficult. Are you working at a international school? What agency did you use? When is it best to apply?
  4. afterdark

    afterdark New commenter

    Perhaps you should have a long chat together and weigh things up.
    Yes. I am happy with the choice.
    Hays. My experience was very positive.
    I am honestly not sure. I can say I left it late in the year for the international recruitment fairs. I was flown over for an interview. Put up in a 5 star hotel.
    I saw the school after the walkround the school I though about it for a nanosecond and decided I would say yes.
    The interview proces was long winded but the medical was quite amazing.
    If you like to drink alcohol then you may not want to go to Saudi or a 'dry' country. In Qatar you can have an expat's alcohol licence. Works for us out here.
    check out

    I understand the caution.
    Sometimes people drop out at the last minute.
    pm me privately if there is something that you don't want to post on here.
    I am travelling for the next 2 days so might not get back on here...
    Talk to your partner.
    You might consider going on single status and see what you think. And then again that might not be an option that you want to persue.

  5. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Just wanted ask why you are only considering the ME? Asia also has many positive opportunities without the prohibitions or restrictions on alcohol and the need to be married (in most cases). Japan and now China have been very good to us.
  6. ME just jumped out at me, but would consider anywhere at the moment! How long have you worked in Asia? Do they provide living accomodation? How is the pay and working conditions?You have just given me new hope! [​IMG]
  7. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    Asia is a big place (obviously) and there will be a vast range of living and working conditions. You would need to research some of the countries/cities with large contingents of int'l schools: Thailand, China, Malaysia, etc to decide what appeals most to you and/or where you would find acceptable.
    We taught two years in Japan and have now been one year in China (and one year in Egypt as our first posting). Japan was amazing, but more expensive to live. China is a great place for potential financial windfalls and interesting/relatively comfortable day to day living. Virtually all schools in the big cities will provide housing and/or a housing allowance. The better schools provide better housing or bigger allowance, salary benefits etc. We are in Beijing and a reasonable package would be housing and/or allowance that would cover at least a two bedroom Western style apartment plus aalary (at a decent school) of 20,000rmb per month with flights, insurance, moving/settling allowance provided.
    If you were fortunate to get into one of the 5 (or so) schools with the best packages you would be looking at closer to 25-30k rmb per month and a 10% gratuity (10% of your annual salary) at the end of each year, plus annual travel money, professional development etc. We (a family of 3) live quite well on 10k rmb a month that covers food, utilities, eating out, satellite, internet, mobile phones and some travel. A single teacher can still save a nice bit of cash and a teaching couple can obviously live quite well on just one person's salary (with some of that left over).
    Day to day living is quite easy: Taxis and subway are relatively cheap and easy to use, many great restaurants, Western friendly shops, cheap domestic help etc, reasonable number of good schools with excellent facilities and relatively well behaved students.
    Others here could tell you more about Thailand, Malaysia etc as I have only been to some of those places on holiday over our many vacations. [​IMG] Currently on a month long trip through Italy and enjoying it immensely. Do your research, but if you a ready for a change than there are many great opportunities available to you.
  8. Going to be researching all weekend![​IMG]One more question if I may? Did you use a recruitment company to help find your job? Thank you for all the information.
  9. wrldtrvlr123

    wrldtrvlr123 Occasional commenter

    No problem. We've used Search Associates for our first jobs and gotten two others on our own. Good luck!
  10. Well just got to update my CV and join a recruiting agency now and see what happens. Got my PM meeting with the head on Monday and going to tell her my plans, should be interesting! Thanks wrldtrvlr123. Hope you have a great trip in Italy.

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