Why You Should Become an English Teacher in Saudi Arabia
By: Cara Zanta/Arab America Contributing Writer
We’ve all been there. You just graduated college, still unsure of what to do with your degree. Maybe you’re sick of your 9-5 desk job and need a chance to explore the world while you still can. You’ve been itching to travel and immerse yourself in a new culture. However, you still need a way to make money while doing it.
Teaching English as a Second Language abroad is growing increasingly popular, as many people want to learn a new language. You can be sure there is always an ESL teaching job available somewhere in the world.
For recent college graduates who want to take a gap year, this is a good option. Or for adults who feel unfulfilled in their desk job, taking a year off to teach English and satisfy your inner travel bug, this could be your escape.
When deciding what country you want to teach abroad in, Saudi Arabia should be first on your list. During my years at my college university, I worked at our campus’ study abroad office. My boss did what we all dream to do. She quit her desk job, packed her bags, and set out for a new adventure.
She decided she would teach English in Saudi Arabia and her story was inspiring to listen to.
Saudi Arabia is a desert country, which, encompasses most of the Arabian peninsula.
What was only supposed to be a six-month commitment, was quickly extended to a full year. Saudi Arabia cannot be fully experienced in just six months.
She reflected on her experience in Saudi when I first met her. One of the things she noticed was how welcoming the people of Saudi Arabia are. She was invited to several weddings and other dinner parties by the local inhabitants of the area.
She was also able to check numerous cities, countries, and regions off of her travel bucket list!
Here are a few reasons why Saudi Arabia should be your number one choice:
1. Traveling: At the heart of the Middle East, living in Saudi Arabia offers enormous opportunities to explore other Arab countries. Depending on where you are placed in Saudi Arabia, you can make your weekend getaways trips to the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf!
Weekend trips to popular destinations such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha are also accessible with flights as quick as an hour and a half.
2. High Pay: While some countries who host English Teachers pay their employees barely enough to break even, Saudi Arabia’s financial rewards to its teachers are hard to compete with. Many TEFL teachers in Saudi Arabia leave the country with far more in their savings then they can spend!
Saudi Arabia also provides its teachers with tax-free earnings, free housing, and free healthcare. Saudi is a wealthy country, and they do not mind paying a high amount for the education they desire.
3. Hospitality & Kindness: Saudi Arabia has a reputation for being friendly and kind to its guests. Some will find they make friends with locals, and as mentioned previously, some may even get invited to celebrations or traditions while living in Saudi Arabia!
Saudi Arabia also provides modern, fully furnished, accommodation as part of its residential compound for its foreigners! This provides a great community atmosphere with the opportunity to build friendships.
If you are interested in teaching English abroad, check out a few TEFL websites. You can take courses online and get your certification easily. For the Saudi Arabia program, you will need a TEFL certification. You won’t necessarily be teaching young kids, but can teach private school students and maybe even some business professionals.
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