Tell us about your Education/Degrees/Certificates
I have a Bachelor of Science in Secretarial Science, TEFL Certificate, and I'm going to Istanbul in July to do my CELTA.
Tell us about your Place of Origin and any other background information you would like to share
I am originally from Cape Town, South Africa. My employment background is that of Administration / Secretarial. In 2010, I started to work with a large population of foreign students because I was living in Stellenbosch, home to a very large International University. Many of the international students needed extra English lessons and I realized that I could help by tutoring them in the evenings at their homes. I enjoyed helping these students so much that I started to look into TEFL certification and researching countries I wanted to work in!
How did you decide on Saudi Arabia as a teaching destination?
I didn't actually decide on Saudi Arabia! I had never even thought of KSA because of the negative (but false) representations of this country. I registered on a site called Salam Business Club and uploaded my CV. After about a week, I received a call from Abdullah Bakhran. We scheduled a phone interview and before I knew it, I was employed!
What are some of the things that you like the most about living and teaching in the Saudi Arabia?
I really love living in Saudi Arabia because of the exceptional salary offered to TEFL teachers (the best in the world!). I also feel much safer here than I do in my own country- it is really a nice, safe place to work. Life is relaxed here! You can fly all over KSA on weekends to visit other cities, or even to neighboring countries. Many other countries do not require a visa because I work here in Saudi Arabia and it falls under the 6 GCC countries. Most importantly, I love the girls that I teach. Every semester brings different students and I am able to learn all their little personalities- they are so friendly towards us. The more I get to know them, the happier I am that I can make even a small difference in their lives.
Tell us what a typical workday looks like?
The bus will fetch you at your villa in the compound to take you to university. Once you've arrived, you’ll head to the office, that you share with other teachers. You are able to remain in the office preparing lesson plans, reading, surfing the net, etc., until it is your time to teach. After your class, you usually do a little admin work if there is any to do for that day, and then the bus will fetch us again and take us back to the compound. Typical working hours are from 8am to 2pm.
What are your thoughts on how security and safety are managed in Saudi Arabia?
We are well looked after here in Saudi Arabia- we have never had any problems during my time. The compounds have security at the gates and are very safe to live in. Even if you live outside the compound in the town, it is safe (even for a woman to live alone).
What does your next adventure include?
Well, I'm going to continue teaching in Saudi Arabia until God moves me....I will know when my time here is over. This summer I am planning to go to Istanbul for a month to do my CELTA, and then spend 2 weeks in my country to see my kids and grandkids. After that it’s back home (to Saudi)!
What cities in Saudi Arabia have you worked?
I started in Al Jouf, then went to Shaqra outside Riyadh, and I've been working in Tabuk since January 2012.
What cities would you like to work in?
I would love to work in Jeddah. I met my husband in Saudi Arabia and got married here! My husband works in Jeddah now, but Al Khaleej does not have a university contract in Jeddah.
Other Comments or suggestions for potential teachers
Potential teachers should view their trip to Saudi Arabia as an adventure. It is a major cultural shock for non-Muslims, but for a Muslim, it's the ideal destination. Teachers must remember that the adult students 18-22 years are not as mature as those in other countries, but more of a pleasure to teach here than in other countries.
Want to share your experience too?
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