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Accomodation and general advice for a single female newbie

 
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Natrah



Joined: 02 Aug 2013
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:20 pm    Post subject: Accomodation and general advice for a single female newbie Reply with quote

Hi all,
I have accepted a teaching position in KAU and will probably start in mid/end of November. Although I have been reading and getting advices from people who have/are lived/living in Jeddah, my questions and worries remain abundant for instance,

1) Accomodation: I was told and read on the net that KAU will provide an agent to help me out with it, but I am curious on what's the arrangement like? Will I be able to find a place in 3 days? I intent to only share or rent a room so that I can save more.

2)I was also informed that I will be placed in a hotel for 3 days upon my arrival. What do I do for the entire 3 days? How do I travel fro-to Uni during these days? Will the University provide a free transportation during these days?

3) What are the travelling restrictions for women in Jeddah? Can I do my errands, shopping or travelling alone? Or am I required to travel in groups?

4) Can my parents visit me? If yes, what visa will they be under? Can I utilze the free flight tickets stated in the contract for my parents visit?

5) Can I travel to neighbouring countries alone?

Hope anyone with working experience in KAU or Jeddah can clarify all my questions.

Thanks!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3000
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming you've been hired directly by KAU and not by a contracting company:

1) In regard to accommodation, the best source of housing options will be your colleagues. The agent will be helpful in finding you a place but will expect a commission. Either way, address your housing situation as soon as you arrive in country. By the way, bring the equivalent of at least $1000 with you to tide you over until you get your housing allowance.

2) You're responsible for getting yourself to/from the university. Taxis are readily available.

3) There are no travel restrictions for expat women. Contrary to what you've heard, you can shop, run errands, whatever, alone---no packs of traveling women or a male chaperone required.

4) Visiting family members are issued visit visas. Talk with the university's HR dept about how to go about getting visas for your parents. As for the free flights, although I don't know the details of your contract, I doubt airfare covers visiting relatives.

5) Yes, you can travel to neighboring countries alone.

Saudi Arabia really isn't the ideal country for one's first-time teaching job. However, if you're flexible and open-minded, you'll manage okay. For other sources about living/working in the Kingdom, check out blueabaya.com and americanbedu.com. Additionally, do an Internet search on expat saudi forum for websites about KSA for expats of all nationalities. Of course, questions about your contract should be directed to your university contact person.
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 267
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Natrah. I teach at KAU. You could get very lucky, but I don't think you would be able to find a place to live in 3 days. The first day will be spent recovering from jet lag and the second day will be used to fill out paperwork. I would recommend that you pay for a few more days at the hotel in order to give you more time to find a place. Nomad Soul is right about speaking with your fellow teachers once you get to the campus. KAU will pay you 10,000sr as an advance towards your 17,000sr housing allowance within your first few days, but will not cover any cost related to you setting in. You may get a couple of free rides to and from campus, but for the most part, teachers are expected to “hit the ground running”. Don’t be surprised to start teaching classes the week you get here while trying to find a place to live.
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JustinC



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 138
Location: The Land That Time Forgot

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks like an ideal opportunity for some mutual assistance; one teacher is coming from a western (I presume) country, with all of the convenient shopping living there entails and needs help settling in, the other is already settled but doesn't have access to all of the western conveniences.

lcanupp1964, there must be a few things from back home that you miss..
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11724
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apart from spirituous liquor, everything you can wish is available in Jeddah. A shopper's paradise. No need to importat anything for the West !
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 3000
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JustinC wrote:
This looks like an ideal opportunity for some mutual assistance; one teacher is coming from a western (I presume) country, with all of the convenient shopping living there entails and needs help settling in, the other is already settled but doesn't have access to all of the western conveniences.

Jeddah has plenty of western conveniences---western-style shopping malls, Asian and western products (including organics), and diverse restaurants to fit a variety of tastes.
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lcanupp1964



Joined: 12 Dec 2009
Posts: 267
Location: Jeddah, KSA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I miss Captain Crunch's Peanut Butter Crunch cereal. Cool
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