Roselyn is a teacher in an international school in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Roselyn’s last name is withheld because we always recommend that teachers in the middle east do not publish their last name on the internet. While things are relatively stable and safe in middle eastern countries, one can never be too careful, and this is especially true for Americans. Here is a profile of Roselyn’s experience abroad in Saudi Arabia.
What do you like about teaching overseas?
There are so many things I like about teaching overseas. First, I enjoy experiencing other cultures. I have met and worked with people from all over the world. I have also traveled to four different countries in two years and I am learning a new language. It is interesting now, whenever I am back in the states, I am constantly meeting people that I can relate to because I have developed relationships with people from their countries or I have personally visited their country.
I also like the financial freedom that comes with teaching overseas. While so many people in the states are struggling to find employment or make ends meet with the rising prices of food and fuel, I am living pretty stress free when it comes to finances. I make a good salary and the school I work for pays for my apartment and my utilities. This provides a great opportunity for me to save.
What don’t you like (if anything) about teaching overseas?
I miss being away from my family and friends in the states. It is especially difficult to be away during special occasions and holidays. Skype has become my lifesaver. I call home at least twice a week using Skype.
You are on your second overseas assignment, so you are somewhat of a pro now… what advice would you give to others who are thinking about teaching overseas?
1. Live in the moment. Enjoy your time, your experiences and the friendships you develop. 2. Try as much as possible to get to know the local people and their culture. 3. Make sure to build a strong support system in your new location. Most companies will house you in a secure community where other Westerners live. This group will become your lifeline. 4. Travel every chance you get! Who knows when you will have the chance again to visit so many interesting places. 5. Oh and save, save, save!
Would you recommend teaching abroad through Educators Overseas? Why or why not?
I would recommend anyone considering teaching overseas to go for it! It is an opportunity that will change your life. Every time I go home I recognize how much I have changed. Although I am a Christian, living in a Moslem country I have grown spiritually, mentally and emotionally. I have also grown professionally. Educators Overseas is an excellent choice because they provide personal support from the interview stage, to the hiring phase throughout employment. During my two year contract with my first school, I was in constant contact with Educators Overseas. Although I was initially terrified of teaching in Saudi Arabia, my contact’s sincere and honest approach put me at ease. She answered all of my questions regardless of how ridiculous. She also introduced me to teachers who were already successfully working in Saudi Arabia. Not many other recruiting firms provide that type of personalized service.