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King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science Jeddah
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Jeddah

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 11:26 am    Post subject: King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science Jeddah Reply with quote

Here is my end of the year report on KSAU-Jeddah.

Pay: it’s always on time and in full. I get SAR 14,092/month even during vacation time. If payday is on a weekend, we get paid on the Thursday before. I was given an advance a few days after I arrived of SAR 3,000 which was deducted from my next 2 pay cheques. The first pay will be a cheque that you pick up from HR payroll and then once you set up a bank account, you get automatic deposits to your account. My colleague had a problem with her pay in the beginning, but I never feel like they are trying to cheat me-it’s just a little slow and bureaucratic at first.
Visa: recruiter reimburses you after 3 months probation.
Passport: they keep it until you need it to travel.
Contract: everything fulfilled except I don’t get a mid-year option of airfare to London or 10 days paid holiday. That was a mistake, but I didn’t expect it anyway because it wasn’t mentioned in the offer I signed back home.
Housing: I’m single so I’m in the Studio apartments. The floors are separated by gender. It is a 5 minute walk to work and about 15 minutes to the gym, pool, small grocery store and the hospital. There are ATMs very close by and the bank branch (ANB) in the hospital. There is a pharmacy just outside the hospital. Everything is okay and nicely decorated-like a nice but generic hotel. It’s a 1 bedroom with a king size bed and 1.5 bathrooms (one with tub and shower). Limited cable and good wifi internet are free as well as utilities. The burners are gas, but everything else is electric. The main drawback is the kitchen which doesn’t have an oven and only a mini fridge so the freezer is useless. I bought a large toaster oven and a normal sized fridge. When I arrived, I was housed in a temporary apartment for four days until my place was ready. There was no cutlery, plates etc. and the sheets were dirty. When I moved into the Studio apartments, again the kitchen had nothing like cutlery, pots, pans etc and no sheets or towels. I wasn’t made aware that this would be the situation so I had to go buy everything and start work all at the same time. The maintenance is pretty good. You just call and they send someone usually the same day. Even though the building is only about a year old there are some problems-the air conditioner in the halls and lobby haven’t worked in about 6 months and some people don’t like that the laundry is shared with only 2 washers and 1 dryer. The security isn’t great-it’s the National Guard so they don’t speak English and they are often asleep in their cars. It’s not really a compound because people from outside come in to use the hospital so sometimes it doesn’t feel super safe and women can’t just wear whatever they want. There is also the option to live in a two bedroom University Housing apartment a bit further from the university which is more like a compound for married couples and singles who want to share with a roommate. It is also new and nicely decorated, but is provided with stuff like pots and pans etc. and has laundry in the kitchen and they have a full kitchen. Both the Studios and the University Apartments have elevators, fire alarms and fire extinguishers in the hallways. The Studio building is cleaner than the University Housing apartments though.
Transportation: The Medical City itself is about 30-40 minutes outside Jeddah on the road to Mecca so transportation is important. There is a shopping bus that goes into Jeddah in the morning and one at night every day. There are some trips to Mecca, Medina, and Taif through the employee social club. There are limos (taxis) that are just for the employees that you can use, but prices vary widely from driver to driver so ask first. You can get some drivers numbers from your colleagues. The drivers all speak English and most speak Arabic and one or two other languages and they know where everything is in Jeddah. Also, women can feel safe alone with them even at night. None of them have even flirted at all. It is possible to find a regular Jeddah taxi-usually dropping and picking people up at the hospital. There are also buses for employees within the Medical City for example from your housing to the university, from the university to the hospital and from the hospital to the HR department.
Health Care: excellent and free in the staff clinic. Surgery and prescriptions all free. Nice English-speaking staff from all over the world. You have to get a bunch of tests done when you first arrive.
The Job: it's pretty easy most of the time. Basically, you just teach the book and teach to the test. There isn’t much time to do things outside the book which must be covered. It's generic Academic English. We have smart boards, but sometimes there are tech issues, so we asked to have whiteboards too as a backup. There is an IT department but they can’t fix everything and are sometimes slow moving. There are 2 years and 2 groups based on level and track (medical=A/nursing=B). The men don’t have nursing. Most of the English courses are in the 1st year. There are 4 courses for English: grammar, reading, writing, listening/speaking-completely discrete courses not integrated at all. Keep in mind that the students all follow the same curriculum and take the same exams even though they are at different levels of English ability. The students have a very full plate with other courses like anatomy, biology, chemistry etc. They are extremely competitive because there are only 50 places for the female medical students and a few more for the males. It’s not so hard for the nursing students. So, it can sometimes be unpleasant for the teacher because they will bug you to up their grades if they think there is a possibility and they are more focused on grades than learning or gaining knowledge. Having said that-they are really quite nice and fun-loving for such stressed out kids. I taught 15 hours the 1st semester with 2 preps and 12 hours 2nd semester with 2 preps. There are 3 or 4 quizzes/semester, 2 mid-terms/course and final exams, plus resit exams-all of which the teachers have to write questions which is quite time-consuming. Most of the meetings we have are to decide what will be on the exams.
Administration: the female and male sides are run separately for the most part, but we have to teach and test the same things. So, the admin is separate also. On the female side, they are both sweethearts, very efficient and organized. They both have a tendency to give in when a student complains so it undermines the teachers’ authority in the classroom. They waffle back and forth because first they tell you it is the teacher’s decision and then suddenly it's not any longer. It's frustrating. Suddenly, someone decided to restrict the photocopy paper usage for teachers so we all ended up buying our own just in case they wouldn’t give us what we needed. Weird! As for the male side, I’m just going to report what I heard from my colleagues on the male side. One of the admin is really tyrannical and erratic in his decision making. He has been seen to give some students answers during exams and exam time stresses him out in general. He yells and belittles his staff in front of students. The teachers have reported him finally after trying to work with him all year, but it's too soon to tell what will happen. This is the first year having course co-ordinators. They are teachers, but they have to do a lot of extra work for no compensation. They don’t get a lighter course load or extra pay which is bad enough. Now they have taken 2 of their holiday days away to do extra work and have threatened them with losing 5% of their pay this month if there is a mistake on any of the final grade reports. I’m not sure if this is a bluff or not, but it is just a bad management style to punish instead of reward their hard work all year-especially since the course coordinators are those who have been here the longest. Shameful!
Vacation: 60 days plus 2 Eid holidays all paid. Round trip airfare once a year.
Overall, it's an okay job and I'll be returning next year.
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pooroldedgar



Joined: 07 Oct 2010
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2015 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the report. We need more stuff like this!
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Jeddah

PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I forgot to mention that it is a direct hire job, but you are recruited by a recruiter. Also, the women usually wear a lab coat like a doctor-so funny! Some of the Muslim teachers wear abayas and cover their hair. You can wear whatever you want under the lab coat though just be covered down to your ankles. Nice sandals or open-toed shoes okay. Anything else I forgot?
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1chunk



Joined: 05 Aug 2014
Posts: 123

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2015 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post, many thanks for taking out the time to do this. What are the minimum requirements for this position? Are they flexible... Do you know someone that has been hired despite not meeting the requirements?
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Jeddah

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You need a Master's Degree in a related field like ESL, Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Education etc. Someone was hired with a PGCE. I was in the middle of completing my Master's when I applied, but I just got a letter from my university saying when I was expected to complete it and that I was in good standing.
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mnruman



Joined: 30 Mar 2015
Posts: 93
Location: Manchester, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2015 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was a great post Super Modal, very detailed and in depth. You covered a lot of points there. Just another quick question, is it a requirement to have any medical background to work in your current post.
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Jeddah

PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No medical background required. We teach Academic English not Medical English. During the interview (which was 5 minutes on the phone) I was asked if I had ever taught medical students, but it wasn't a deal breaker. I taught medical staff in a hospital in Czechoslovakia 20 odd years ago.
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DesertDuck



Joined: 19 Jan 2011
Posts: 24
Location: Never near a body of water

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Super Modal wrote:
I forgot to mention that it is a direct hire job, but you are recruited by a recruiter.


Any info about the recruiter? Thanks.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DesertDuck wrote:
Any info about the recruiter? Thanks.

It's likely Chase Resourcing. However, they started recruiting months ago and don't appear to have a current ad for teaching positions.
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DesertDuck



Joined: 19 Jan 2011
Posts: 24
Location: Never near a body of water

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Nomad. They posted an ad for a university in Riyadh a few days ago. I wonder if that's for KSAU-HS.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 11371
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DesertDuck wrote:
Thank you, Nomad. They posted an ad for a university in Riyadh a few days ago. I wonder if that's for KSAU-HS.

I doubt its for KSAU-HS. Here's their ad from February: http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/index.cgi?read=34458 --- email them and ask.
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Super Modal



Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Jeddah

PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was recruited by Chase, but my friends used MD Talent Recruitment. That was last year though. I don't know who the recruiter is now. Try both. There is year-round recruitment. New teachers were arriving just a couple of months ago. The main campus is in Riyadh, but I'm in Jeddah and there's another one in Damman.
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DesertDuck



Joined: 19 Jan 2011
Posts: 24
Location: Never near a body of water

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As it turns out it was for KSAU-HS. Indeed recruiting for January. Thank you all for the info.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DesertDuck wrote:
As it turns out it was for KSAU-HS. Indeed recruiting for January. Thank you all for the info.


Chase is currently recruiting for ICEAT. If you apply to Chase, do not apply to ICEAT. The appalling Saudi ideals will disentitle you to a job for ICEAT.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15322

PostPosted: Sun Aug 09, 2015 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The appalling Saudi ideals will disentitle you to a job for ICEAT."

Can you explain that rather opaque statement please.
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