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Single woman in KSA
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Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 151
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject: Single woman in KSA Reply with quote

Sorry if this has been done to death, I just scanned the board and don't see this specific topic.
I've been teaching in public schools in the US for 24 years and taught in Korea and Paraguay as well.
I am bored to death and considering accepting a job at a woman's uni (have seen several jobs posted but not sure yet which schools) My qualifications for teaching English overseas (not in the public school system which is different) are a BA + TESL cert from UCLA.
My question is will it be difficult as a single woman to live there? Too difficult to make the amount of money I can save just not worth it? I've read a lot of blogs and a lot of people hint at problems but seem afraid to write openly about them for some reason.
Any single women had good experiences in Saudi Arabia? Thanks in advance.
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cairanya



Joined: 02 Jun 2012
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:37 am    Post subject: Re: Single woman in KSA Reply with quote

Ixchel wrote:
Sorry if this has been done to death, I just scanned the board and don't see this specific topic.
I've been teaching in public schools in the US for 24 years and taught in Korea and Paraguay as well.
I am bored to death and considering accepting a job at a woman's uni (have seen several jobs posted but not sure yet which schools) My qualifications for teaching English overseas (not in the public school system which is different) are a BA + TESL cert from UCLA.
My question is will it be difficult as a single woman to live there? Too difficult to make the amount of money I can save just not worth it? I've read a lot of blogs and a lot of people hint at problems but seem afraid to write openly about them for some reason.
Any single women had good experiences in Saudi Arabia? Thanks in advance.


I don't know what this is about either. I think it's mostly because women who complain are bullied and shunned, particularly if you work overseas.

I actually haven't been to Saudi yet, so I can't help you. VS may know more.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15609
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well.... VS hasn't actually lived there either, Cool but many of my friends have. Personally I stayed in the other Gulf countries where conditions were much better - especially for women - and the money was just as good or better. I personally didn't wish to deal with a local dress code and the many restrictions on movement. Plus so many of the jobs for first time teachers to the area can have scarily poor conditions. And it seems to be a choice of illegal work visas or the legal system which allows employers to not let you leave the country except at their whim. So, one must be very careful in choosing a position there.

I assume that you have a US teaching license? If so, I would go to the TeachAway website and take a look at the positions that are available and see if they fit your experience. They are hiring in the UAE for a challenging, but well paid, re-vamp of the local public schools. But most hires are for elementary school levels at this point.

Since what you are looking for is a change of scenery and the chance to save a bit of money, I would suggest that you look at Oman. It is a more interesting country IMHO and a more comfortable lifestyle. Read the Oman branch and you will see that your best opportunity is with the colleges around the country, which are recruiter hired (with ads running constantly). Like all overseas jobs, there are pros and cons... and you can read the good, bad, and ugly of these positions on the Oman branch.

VS
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Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 151
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do have certs for elem and secondary but don't want to teach that level any more. TeachAway is primary and secondary. There are jobs in Japan at university level that are accepting US teaching certificates but I've always wanted to go to the Middle East.
I had never considered Oman. What is the medical care like? That's probably my main concern at this point since I seem to continually be getting injured-had a dog run into my knee and destroy it a year ago and just spilled boiling water on my foot etc.
Your point about employers having control about employees leaving the country is a good one. As a single woman I feel like I'd really be at someone's whim.
Thanks for the tip.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2987
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ixchel wrote:
I've been teaching in public schools in the US for 24 years and taught in Korea and Paraguay as well.

I am bored to death and considering accepting a job at a woman's uni (have seen several jobs posted but not sure yet which schools) My qualifications for teaching English overseas (not in the public school system which is different) are a BA + TESL cert from UCLA.

My question is will it be difficult as a single woman to live there? Too difficult to make the amount of money I can save just not worth it? I've read a lot of blogs and a lot of people hint at problems but seem afraid to write openly about them for some reason.

How much of your experience is TEFL-related and in what teaching situations? Also, is your BA relevant to teaching, English, education, or linguistics?

By the way, I'm single, female and doing alright in the Kingdom. (I'm also a direct hire with an iqama.) But this is the third Mid East country I've lived in, so I was able to adjust without difficulties. Plus, I'm in Jeddah, which isn't as conservative as the other large cities.
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15609
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ixchel wrote:
I had never considered Oman. What is the medical care like? That's probably my main concern at this point since I seem to continually be getting injured-had a dog run into my knee and destroy it a year ago and just spilled boiling water on my foot etc.

Generally speaking, medical care in Oman is pretty good... just like "home" one has to check out doctors and get recommendations from friends and acquaintances. In Muscat, there are a couple very good hospitals, but again, like home, the smaller the town that you are in, the harder to find a good doctor. So, you would probably want to insist on being in the larger cities, (Muscat, Salalah, Nizwa... Sohar).

This comment is probably true of all the Gulf countries. I was always able to find good doctors. The key everywhere is... to not pour the hot water on your foot. Laughing

VS
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Gulezar



Joined: 19 Jun 2007
Posts: 229

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Single woman in KSA Reply with quote

Ixchel wrote:
My question is will it be difficult as a single woman to live there? Too difficult to make the amount of money I can save just not worth it? I've read a lot of blogs and a lot of people hint at problems but seem afraid to write openly about them for some reason.
Any single women had good experiences in Saudi Arabia? Thanks in advance.


There are probably some single women who have enjoyed life in Saudi Arabia. It all depends on your employer and the environment. A single women can expect to be considered a "ward of the employer". They are your "maharam" and if you do anything shameful, even accidentally or unknowingly, you shame them and not just yourself. Therefore, some employers set extreme restrictions on single female employee, "for their own protection." Have I mentioned being recruited by a fellow single female teacher to wield a kitchen knife and go down to the local Panda market where some young Arab shababs were harassing two of our colleagues? Thank goodness we did not have to take them on. Still if it came down to defending the honor of a Muslim sister, the law would be lenient.

Is the money worth the life in lock down in Saudi? It can be a challenge, and that can be its own reward.
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Ixchel



Joined: 11 Mar 2003
Posts: 151
Location: The 7th level of hell

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting comments-thank you. Paraguay on every index is considered one of the most corrupt countries in the world and I saw some scary stuff happen there but I was protected somewhat by my school whose admin were American and was never kept from leaving the country. I have the feeling things would be vastly different in Saudi Arabia. I don't know why I'm so interested. I will definitely look at other countries in the region and ask your opinions. Smile
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11710
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A great deal depends on your employer. Get a bad one and your life will be more than miserable.
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jaffa



Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4661353/Saudi-women-being-electronically-tracked.html
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11710
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Electronic tagging will hardly be used for teachers ! Or will it ?
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mashkif



Joined: 17 Aug 2010
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jaffa wrote:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4661353/Saudi-women-being-electronically-tracked.html







Mmm... What's the problem? It's for their own protection. It preserves their "modesty." It safeguards society's "respect" for them. Women in Islam have far more rights and equality than the sexualized Western women. Most Saudi women are thrilled by the conditions under which they live. Etc...

:->
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 11710
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those in the West with the "Mrs Jellyby" mindset feel that we should liberate these unfortunates.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ixchel wrote:
Sorry if this has been done to death, I just scanned the board and don't see this specific topic.
I've been teaching in public schools in the US for 24 years and taught in Korea and Paraguay as well.
I am bored to death and considering accepting a job at a woman's uni (have seen several jobs posted but not sure yet which schools) My qualifications for teaching English overseas (not in the public school system which is different) are a BA + TESL cert from UCLA.
My question is will it be difficult as a single woman to live there? Too difficult to make the amount of money I can save just not worth it? I've read a lot of blogs and a lot of people hint at problems but seem afraid to write openly about them for some reason.
Any single women had good experiences in Saudi Arabia? Thanks in advance.


1. And the other hand, you're going to be shaking with excitement from all the entertainment on offer in KSA to single female TEFL teachers.

Laughing

2. Take that as a hint about the kind of country you are considering going to live in.
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bulgogiboy



Joined: 23 Feb 2005
Posts: 787

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scot47 wrote:
Electronic tagging will hardly be used for teachers ! Or will it ?


Actually, I met a few (male) teachers in KSA who it might have been useful for! Laughing
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