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Teaching in Riyadh?

(8 Posts)
Alligatorpie Fri 05-Oct-12 07:51:54

dh and I are both teachers and are looking for jobs for Sept 2013. Riyadh has come up and although Saudi has never interested me, I am seriously thinking about it. The salary and benefits are good and we would be living in a compound with other foreigners, a pool, rec center, they give us a car, our 7 year old would go to our school and our one year old would have a nanny.
Our second child, was very much wanted, but financially we have taken a huge hit having her- taking this job would be a way of quickly accruing some cash. It is a 2 year contract.

My concerns: we live in Egypt and I already get frustrated sometimes with the dress restrictions - I know Saudi is much more restrictive, and I wonder how I will cope with that.

Both dh and I like, but don't love Egypt. I wonder if we will get bored as the culture is quite similar.

I wonder about dd1 seeing women oppressed and being treated like second class citizens. I know not all women in burqas are oppressed, but she would see me covered in the car, etc. I assume we can wear whatever we want in the compound, and school would be regular teacher clothes.

She sees women covered here and doesn't really question it, she knows it is the culture and some people chose to do it. But she also thinks it's not fair how women have to wear swim hats in the pool and men don't. And I agree.

She would be living there from ages 7-9 / 10 so hopefully will have some pretty solid critical thinking skills by that time. I wonder about the example we would be setting for her.

I am rambling - been up all night with a baby. Does anyone have any experience living in Saudi. Please share any experiences! Cheers!

DrSeuss Fri 05-Oct-12 10:28:06

As far as I know, ex pats don't really live in Saudi proper, they live in vast Western compounds. Some I've heard of have European shops and facilities and basically, once you enter the gates, you might be anywhere. I have been to Egypt where Westerners mingled freely, I don't think that happens so much in Saudi. You do know you won't be able to drive.
Friends live in Dubai, which is less rigid.

ripsishere Sat 06-Oct-12 00:43:19

Agree with DrSeuss. I've some friends who live in Jeddah. They love it. We all lived in the same area in Bangkok, so a total shift in culture.
Have you had a look at the TES boards? they normally give you an accurate insight into what's what.

Alligatorpie Sat 06-Oct-12 06:49:58

Thanks, I forgot that I wouldn't be able to drive.I don't drive here, but that is by choice.

I am on TES, I thought I would ask here too, I am looking for all perspectives.

Ripsi - do you still live in Bangkok? That is another place we are considering as we love it so much!

ripsishere Sun 07-Oct-12 01:07:40

No, left Bangkok about five years ago. We went to Swtizerland, Belgium, me and DD had a year in England while DH finished his contract in Antwerp and now we are all together in Malaysai.

MOSagain Tue 09-Oct-12 15:44:04

Hi, I lived in Riyadh for nearly 6 years, and moved back to the UK last year. If you would be teaching at the BIS I'm guessing you'd be living on Al Hamra, the compound attached to the school.
It is a lovely compound, with lots of facilities including lovely pools and is very close to a nice shopping mall.

Of course there are restrictions. As a woman you can't drive and you have to cover up when you leave the compound and wear an abaya and headscarf in public.

My youngest two children (now 6 and 3 1/2) were both born in KSA and lived there for most of their lives. My eldest two, now 19 and 16 spent around 3 years in Kingdom. My DD (now 16) was there from age 9 to 12 at which point we sent her back to a boarding school in the UK. DD was very happy there and found it really interesting learning about different cultures. I don't think she found it oppressive but perhaps if she'd stayed there longer she may have.

Any other questions, feel free to ask.

dikkertjedap Wed 10-Oct-12 17:19:09

I don't know, in the current political climate I wouldn't like to live in Saudi (not even in a compound), then again I would not like to live in Egypt either.

Why not look for a job at many of the international schools in Europe - all throughout Europe there are international and British schools.

MOSagain Thu 11-Oct-12 09:28:41

I would say that Saudi is a lot safer than many other places at the moment!

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