Teaching English in Kuwait

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How to Begin Teaching in Kuwait

Although one of the smallest countries in the region, Kuwait is also one of the richest due to the ample oil fields.

Kuwait is situated on the northwestern shores of the Persian Gulf. Although one of the smallest countries in the region, it is also one of the richest due to the ample oilfields. It has a hot desert climate, but since ancient times it has been an oasis point for those traversing the desert of the region. The ultra-modern urban lifestyle of the country contrasts with the historical and religious sites located in the desert. Some areas of Kuwait have not been developed for tourism. Failaka Island is one of these.  However, it is well worth a visit as it has archaeological sites dating from the Bronze Age. Kuwait City, on the other hand, has chic restaurants, marinas, beach resorts and all-important sea breezes to combat the heat. There are also high-end shopping complexes. In the centre of Kuwait City it is possible to wander the Souqs (old shopping complexes). Within the Souqs, there are food halls, gold and pearl markets and areas where Bedouin women sell their souvenirs and wares.

As in some other Muslim countries in this region, alcohol is prohibited. Kuwaitis enjoy spending a meal together among friends and family. Once again, foreign women need to wear modest dress, which means covering shoulders, arms, knees and the cleavage area. However, behind closed doors in expat compounds or at private parties, there is more freedom. Kuwaitis are not permitted to join these parties under the current law.

Kuwait is home to the largest opera house in the Middle East. The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre shortened to the JACC is located in the hear of Kuwait City. With an area of 200,000+ square meters the venue houses a cinema, library, concert halls, exhibition halls and much more.

Kuwait is also currently constructing the largest building in the world the proposed Burj Mubarak al-Kabir is set to be 1001 meters tall. To put that into perspective the current tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa stands at 828 meters found in Dubai. Finished in 2009, this building took over as the largest in the world from Taipei 101 (509 meters) and before that the Empire State Building (381 meters). The Burj Mubarak al-Kabir is said to represent the popular Arabian folk tale, One Thousand and One Arabian Nights.

Obesity is a cause for concern across Kuwait with almost half the population considered in the overweight category. It’s expected to grow as high as 60% in the coming years and the culture for takeaway food and sedentary lifestyle results for the rise.

Derived from Ancient Arabic the word “Kuwait” translates to Fort. A throwback to the fortified settlements in the area centuries before.

 

Teaching Opportunities

Most teachers come to Kuwait to earn money. There are excellent jobs for those who have a 120-hour TEFL certificate and some experience. Generally, however, Kuwaiti employers prefer to employ males, but there are a few exceptions to this rule. The main EFL jobs are situated in Kuwait City, Al Jarah, Al Walfrah and Mina Al Ahmadi. Due to the large oil and financial industries of Kuwait, the main EFL sector in demand is business English. Kuwaitis employ native speakers and jobs are generally advertised on online forums, in the Guardian or in the Times Educational Supplement in the UK. Most jobs require you to teach 20-25 hours a week. The cost of living is high, but so are the salaries. These also come with great benefit packages such as accommodation, flights, health insurance and visa assistance. Visas are required before arriving in the country due to the strict immigration laws.

Teaching Requirements

  • Degree Requirement
    BA/BS required
  • Typical Contract Length
    12 - 24 Months
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    July - August
  • Visa Info
    Work visa in advance
  • Typical Students
    Business professionals, children
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in Local Currency
    200-350 KWD
  • Average Monthly Salary in Local Currency
    400-1,000 KWD

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