GUIDE TO TEACHING ENGLISH IN SAUDI ARABIA

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Saudi Arabia might not be your first choice of TEFL destination, but if you’re looking for a rich, cultural experience, or if you want to earn some cold, hard cash, then Saudi Arabia is where it’s at.

Finding a TEFL job in Saudi Arabia

It’s not usual to find a job in Saudi Arabia when you are in the country so you will need to find a job online, apply and be offered a contract. You can find job adverts for Saudi Arabia on the jobs boards of TEFL providers, like The TEFL Academy. Once you accept a job your employer will help you with your visa application and act as your sponsor to enter the country. It’s not easy to get a visa for Saudi Arabia and it’s not recommended to try to enter or stay in the country without the correct visa, so getting a job before you arrive is a no-brainer.

Teaching English in Saudi Arabia

Teaching English in Saudi Arabia means a tax-free salary! Need we say more? Financially speaking, teaching English in Saudi Arabia is a very good idea. Your contract will usually include very generous remuneration, reimbursement of flights and accommodation. If you’re thinking of relocating your family here, your school is likely to give you a relocation allowance as well.

If you teach abroad in Saudi Arabia, you will work in a private school, a language school, or a university (if you are experienced and well-qualified). You will teach Saudi nationals but also a lot of expatriates and their families. There is the option of finding private students and this is quite popular with TEFL teachers, but this will generally be before the exam season.

Your working hours will also take into account religious customs and days, so you may find yourself working unusual hours. If you work in a language school, you’ll have odd working hours as well as you will cater for workers who want lessons after work.

Living in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has seen a lot of bad press in the last few years, but living there as a TEFL teacher it may surprise you. It may be a desert but there are still plenty of things to keep you occupied on your days off – shopping, hanging out by the pool or camping in the desert. In fact, if you live in a Western compound, life may not be very different from back home – besides the heat!

To be blunt, though, living in Saudi Arabia is not suited for everyone. It is a strict cultural environment, so if you disagree with the practices of the country you may not want to make Saudi Arabia your destination of choice. If, however, you are open-minded and willing to take a chance on a very different lifestyle, think about giving Saudi Arabia a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised.

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