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Life in Oman

 
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Mandrews1985



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Posts: 68
Location: Daegu, South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:13 am    Post subject: Life in Oman Reply with quote

Hello friends.

I have been looking at different options in different countries for next semester and I'm wondering what life and teaching is like in Oman. I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences. I also have a few questions.

Do foreign teachers typically live in compounds?
Are the classes/schools/universities divided by gender?
Is it safe to travel around the country?
Do you save much money? Is it expensive to eat out/ To cook fresh food?

I'm interested in trying something quite different after 7 years in China/South Korea. I have heard that some people struggle in the ME for social reasons but that has never been an issue for me, I'm quite the introvert and rarely drink alcohol. Are there other concerns that I should consider that I may not have thought about?

I look forward to hearing your responses.

Cheers!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11373
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mandrews1985 wrote:
I have been looking at different options in different countries for next semester.

I'm interested in trying something quite different after 7 years in China/South Korea.

Be aware you'll need at least an TESOL-related BA for an entry-level position in Oman -- a relevant MA for the better jobs. Look at current job ads for requirements, if there are openings.
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Mandrews1985



Joined: 22 Apr 2012
Posts: 68
Location: Daegu, South Korea

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, nomad soul. I have an unrelated BA (International Business) but I also have an MA TESOL and a CELTA too. Does my MA TESOL solve the lack of a related BA problem?
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 483

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Life in Oman Reply with quote

Mandrews1985 wrote:
Is it safe to travel around the country?
Do you save much money? Is it expensive to eat out/ To cook fresh food?

I'm interested in trying something quite different after 7 years in China/South Korea. I have heard that some people struggle in the ME for social reasons but that has never been an issue for me, I'm quite the introvert and rarely drink alcohol. Are there other concerns that I should consider that I may not have thought about?


Oman is a very safe country. There are so many beautiful natural places to see: hanging villages, dynamic canyons, stunning mountains that crash down into the sea, some fair dive spots, some secluded beaches, rock climbing, desert glamping, turtle watches, and JINN, along with HISTORIC palaces and villages and suqs and on and on. The people are welcoming, tolerant and friendly.

Food is cheap and you can get fresh food at the local suq. The little finger bananas are delicious. Oman is a great place to picnic in the desert.

However, Oman has never paid top dollar. Folks who live in the UAE often weekend in Oman because there is so much to see and do and the hotels and food are quite reasonable. Where else can you get a cruise on a traditional dhow through the fjords of the Musandam, have fresh grilled fish, sleep on the deck, watch dolphins frolic in the dhow's wake and "go around the bend" to Telegraph Island and snorkel?

There are places to obtain alcohol, but not a freely as in the UAE.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Life in Oman Reply with quote

Your MA in ESL does mean that your BA doesn't matter. What will be helpful after that factor is what you have been teaching. The university level jobs are teaching Academic English, but many entry level students are low fossilized beginners. Others have been attending English based private schools. What employers like to see are experience in this sort of teaching, and in particular, the teaching of Academic writing for essays and reports. This is the Arabic speakers weak point, along with reading.

Oman is a good place for introverts... especially those who enjoy the outdoors. Full of beautiful scenery, beaches to mountains... and safe. The only major danger is the traffic. The Gulf Arabs have a well-earned reputation as dangerous drivers... fast and reckless.

When I first lived there in the 80's, there wasn't even any English TV or radio available except short wave BBC. Now Sat TV is there for the price.

But it is a country where you really need a car to get around... rather similar to living in suburban US... and if you want to do extensive exploring, a 4 WD.

The hotels serve alcohol for the occasional drink with dinner... or one gets a "license" from the government that allows you to purchase from a government shop for home consumption.

Mandrews1985 wrote:
Do foreign teachers typically live in compounds?

Educators in Oman do not live in compounds. Even at Sultan Qaboos University (the major institution and the plum job in the country), the on-campus housing which is similar to a compound is now mainly filled with professors and we lowly MA TEFLers are provided with furnished housing sprinkled around the near-by neighborhoods.

Mandrews1985 wrote:
Are the classes/schools/universities divided by gender?

There was a ruling by the Sultan when SQU first opened in '85 that tertiary education was to be sexually integrated because the country would need all its people to work together. Thus after 12 years of separate boys and girls schools, they are integrated at university... and the first couple semesters can be interesting. At SQU, the students decide the level of separation. Sometimes it is men in the front and women in the rear (totally their choice) and in some classes it is often a right/left division. Once they get into higher classes, they mix more comfortably. If you get a university level job, you just consult with other teachers how this is handled. I taught at a small private college in 2000, American based, and the students mixed that same as in the US.

Mandrews1985 wrote:
Do you save much money? Is it expensive to eat out/ To cook fresh food?

Saving money is always very individual. The more frugal your lifestyle, the more you will save. You can run through a lot of money if you eat often at the hotels, but there are reasonably priced good Indian or Lebanese or etc restaurants. With the geographical location, there is nearly always good choices of fresh veggies and fruit. Imported processed western foods are pricey.

VS
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baa_baa



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi I just applied somewhere in OMAN. well I just learned one thing 1000 omani riyal is 9500 aed. converting money is going to be difficult.

can women drive there?
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my car within days of arriving in Oman. Of course things were easier back then (in the late 80s). Be sure to have a current driving license from your home country that has a few years to run. Most new teachers now try leasing at first to see if you plan to stay before buying a car. But you will need a car...

Why will converting money be difficult? A quick conversion between AED and OMR is just to drop a zero and round. LOL It is almost 10 to 1...

Lovely country... I taught there twice.

VS
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baa_baa



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow how would you bring your car all the way there. You know I was wondering the opposite if I could buy Kia sportage (ofcourse I’m hoping to work in the uae and bring it back home. But customs would cost more and you would end up paying more than the originally price. No thank you.

Aboutconvertibg. I’m just slow. Let’s just leave it there.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17604
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first car was purchased at a dealer there, of course. Not sure why you thought it was in my suitcase. LOL Actually my second job there, I shipped my car from Kuwait to Oman... which is quite easy if you have a good fixer at your employer. Cool There were no import fees because of the GCC.

Not sure where home is for you, but a car purchased in the Gulf could not be brought home to the US because of the all the safety and pollution requirements.

VS
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baa_baa



Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 228

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
My first car was purchased at a dealer there, of course. Not sure why you thought it was in my suitcase. LOL Actually my second job there, I shipped my car from Kuwait to Oman... which is quite easy if you have a good fixer at your employer. Cool There were no import fees because of the GCC.

Not sure where home is for you, but a car purchased in the Gulf could not be brought home to the US because of the all the safety and pollution requirements.

VS



oooohhhh I must have thought your car is the oldest beetle Razz Im from Turkey and tax here is hell. But its interesting to know that you did something like that - ship car from Kuwait to Oman. Of course when you think about it its doable but when you say I did it- its like COOOOL Very Happy
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 974
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To The OP

Life in Oh Man for EFL teachers is getting more expensive by the day.....there are still jobs available in the TEFL field but the pay has fallen sharply. Many Indian and Filipino teachers teaching English everywhere in Oh Man these days.....usually for extremely low pay! Shocked
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