Published 5th February 2016

When you think about Teaching English as a Foreign Language you probably think of Thailand, don’t you? Or Spain or Russia or Argentina. There are a lot of possible destinations where you can go to Teach English as a Foreign Language and some tend to be more popular than others. Have you ever considered the Middle East?

Didn’t think so.

But that’s a mistake. Teaching in the Middle East is an experience like no other. It is an adventure into countries which are so different to any others. Truth be told, the Middle East is an odd mixture of barren desert, centuries-old traditions, futuristic cities and modern tastes. A clash of modern and traditional like nowhere else.

Now of course many people have heard of teaching in Saudi Arabia, but you should give some thought to its smaller, younger cousin: Qatar. Qatar is a tiny country with a big heart. Qatar is now what Dubai was twenty years ago, so it is on the brink of serious development and innovation, yet it still has the look and feel of an ancient Middle Eastern state.

Because it is so small, there aren’t a huge amount of opportunities for TEFL teachers, but those that are available are well worth looking into. Living in Qatar is expensive, so your salary will be high and your school will provide you with accommodation and a travel allowance. Plus most schools only operate four days a week, which means – yes! – a three-day weekend, every weekend!

Which means a lot of free time in which to spend your hard-earned money. In Qatar, it seems like shopping is the national sport, with amazingly huge malls down every street. The malls have everything – cinemas, ice rinks, bowling alleys, rollercoasters, even a Venetian-style canal system with gondolas. If shopping is not your vibe, you can take a stroll down the Corniche, or hang out at the Museum of Islamic Art. If you’re feeling adventurous, jump into a 4X4 and go through the desert to the Inland Sea.

The real reason to work in Qatar, though, is the travelling opportunities. Qatar has become an international transport hub which loads of flights coming in and out of Qatar every day. It’s extremely easy to jump on a flight and head to Sri Lanka, Austria or Morocco. Or, if you prefer to stay in the area, you can hop over to Dubai, Saudi Arabia or Oman. There are very few places where travel is so easy.

So, if you think you’ll be able to handle a bit of heat (and by a bit we mean a lot!) and a load of culture, consider Qatar as one of your job options. It truly is the experience of a lifetime.