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Where to start in Kuwait?

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Joined: 24 Nov 2011
Posts: 41

PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:15 pm    Post subject: Where to start in Kuwait? Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I wanted to ask where it is possible to work in Kuwait with minimal qualifications. I have a BA in Linguistics, TEFL certificate, and four months of experience. I have been recommended to work there, but it seems as though I am totally out of luck for the best jobs; however, I'm thinking that there might be something available. Are there any TEFL jobs there where I could teach in a university prep program or language institute? I know my qualifications are not geared towards teaching primary/high school, but are there employers that would take me on anyway?

Basically, I am just trying to get some experience. I am single and would only need enough to support myself. If Kuwait is not possible at the moment, I would consider other places in the Middle East like Jordan because I like living there. I have seen ads for Saudi, but I think that many of the recruitment agencies can place you with a potentially good or bad roommate and then move you around the country as they like. Personally, I would prefer to get my own apartment and stay in the same city for the duration of the contract. I am hoping that even some of the worst employers can offer at least that much. Any tips are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 17566
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are few entry level jobs in the Gulf and it is so expensive there. Definitely Jordan is a better place to look for this sort of entry level job, but there are not many jobs there. Have you thought about Morocco? Check out AMIDEAST or The American Language Center...

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Joined: 25 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:46 am    Post subject: what Reply with quote

There are jobs in Kuwait...try TQLS...don't believe all the bs on here about them as they're ok. Pay on time, nice flat, but Mangaf's a bit of a pit. You get observed early on....they just want good teachers. They've been fine so far.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot to both of you. I am open to more comments, if anyone has any advice.
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Joined: 17 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the best jobs in the Middle East you need a teaching certificate or an MA, but there are still options.

You could go online to check for positions with Raytheon or British Aerospace in Saudi Arabia. They don't provide particularly great teaching environments, but if they are hiring, they pay (very) well and treat their employess better than many local military or private language schools. For Kuwait, you could go online and look for information about The Banking Institute - I know one person who didn't like working there, but quite a few who loved it. The pay is mediocre, the students are nice. I don't know anything about TQLS.

Explore a bit on the internet - some of the better small schools don't advertise because they always have plenty of people seeking them out.

Another option would be Turkey. It is an easy place to get an entry level job, its economy is booming, and it is an incredible place to live. Pay is not great, but once you are settled in, it is fairly easy to get private tuition. You would be near the Middle East, so it would be relatively easy to travel to Jordan or Lebanon to check out the job situations there.

If you are interested in working in an Arab culture, Adana is a large city in the south of Turkey near to Arab countries. The nearby small cities of Mersin, Iskenderun and Antakya all have fairly large Arab populations. Antakya in particular, has a very Arabic feel to it, with a very pleasant covered bazaar, an old city, and a number of small Arabic restaurants and shwarma shops (as well as a fair number of older women and a few older men who only speak Arabic). Antakya also has a more open, outward-looking feel than many provincial Turkish cities, partly because of the mix of people: Sunni Turks, Arabs and Kurds; Alevi Arabs and Turks; and Christian Arabs, along with a smattering of Armenians, Russians and Romanians. You would need to be adventuresome though. Small schools love to get native-speaking teachers but are not used to hiring them. You would need to hammer out terms of your contract (pay, contact hours, class sizes, housing, paid vacations, flight to the country, obtaining a work visa and residence card, etc.) before signing on. If you are interested, you might try Istanbul or Ankara first as schools there havw lots of experience hiring foreigners, and then travel to other potential areas during vacation time. (It is also easier to switch jobs in Turkey than in many Arab countries).

If you have never worked overseas before, be aware that your housing and roommate (if you have one) will play an enormous role in whether or not you have a good experience. The less interesting the country you work in is, the more important a happy home life becomes. If you are not adaptable and/or outgoing, you might want to avoid any situation where you share housing. (Ignore this paragraph - I just reread your first post.)
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Joined: 24 Nov 2011
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'm going to stick with Arab countries for right now because I'm more interested in the Arabic language than Middle Eastern culture, but Turkey was a good suggestion.

I have already tried going over there. I wouldn't go over again unless I had a job lined up beforehand, which is a problem since many of the schools like face to face interviews. Finding a job wasn't that hard, but it was too difficult to get settled in. Not many people speak English there, so you need to have the school help you find an apartment/housing or know somebody there who can help. Even then it can take a while to find the right place. Plus some schools can't be expected to help their teachers in this regard. If you go through an English advertisement, you can expect to pay a small fortune for an apartment, which doesn't really fit the teacher's salary. But after getting settled in, Turkey would probably have been fine. I actually had a good experience during my short stay and found the people to be very nice.
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