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Magnette Coetzer: May, 12, 16
Hi there, unfortunately I cannot answer your question from direct experience. However, I would really appreciate some information on teaching in Saudi Arabia. Would you recommend that one teaches in a bigger town / city? What standard of accommodation can one expect, and what are the teaching conditions like? As a woman, how does one need to dress? Is there a social life at all, with other expats / teachers / locals? What opportunities are there to explore / travel over weekends or short breaks. Drawbacks and highlights? As a woman, I may choose to go on my own for a year, or go with my husband who is a Muslim. What visa issues could one experience? Are you perhaps a different nationality from your wife? Your experience and any advice would be most welcome. I am a woman, in y 40's, from South Africa.
Sandra Youngkrantz: Aug, 28, 16
Teaching in Saudi is an interesting experience. I know of a school in Jizan that may be interested in hiring you if you can come with your husband but they won't be able to get you a visa unaccompanied unless you're over 40 and then it's still not guaranteed.
Bigger cities have a completely different lifestyle, especially if you are offered housing on a compound. The smaller towns are more difficult for a single woman because you cannot drive and taxis are more difficult to find. Also, smaller towns typically don't have compounds so you live in local housing (which is fine, but you need to have at least an abaya on whenever you leave your house/apartment.
In bigger cities like Jeddah, expat women typically don't cover their hair. I covered my hair out of respect for the Saudi culture, and a friend of mine working in Riyadh was yelled at by a muttawah (religious police) for not having her hair covered. I didn't wear a niqab (veil), but I once got yelled at by a policeman in a very conservative area but I refused to cover my face because I knew that wasn't required by law. Typically, that's not an issue though women often give dirty looks in some very conservative areas.
When my husband was with me, we traveled almost every weekend to somewhere outside the city, but I wasn't really able to do that once I was on my own. I live nature, and I struggled on my own to find a peaceful place to commune with nature as a taxi won't take you to a place like a nature park.
Though it's tough at times, the money is fantastic. On your own, you'd probably enjoy a big city more. If you could land a job with compound housing, you may just love it...
Ruth Sheffer: Sep, 8, 16
I have been teaching online for a while. It is rather weak in terms of money and you have to figure out how students are going to pay you. I have written an article on this subject which goes into the whole thing in more detail. You can read it here
Gary Moore: Sep, 18, 17
Thanks for this excellent article, Ruth!