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Would you travel to Saudi Arabia for work?

37 replies

Flockameanie · 23/02/2022 18:05

I’ve been asked to co-supervise a phd student at an institution in Saudi Arabia that has a partnership arrangement with my HE inst. The prospective student is a woman, as am I, which is relevant.

The arrangement involves me travelling to SA once a year for about 4 days for face-to-face meetings. The rest of the time supervisions are online.

Would you do it? My hesitation here is about travelling to a country with extremely dodgy human rights. A colleague has told me rather alarming stories of her passport being confiscated at the airport, for example, which has put me off. On the other hand, the project is interesting and the ultimate outcome is a Saudi woman educated to phd level, which is no bad thing…

OP posts:

Liveandkicking · 26/02/2022 21:27

I think any woman going there for any reason is taking a huge risk. It might be fine but if there is a problem you could be in a terrible situation.


Stichintime · 26/02/2022 21:30

Absolutely not.


mdh2020 · 26/02/2022 21:54

I wouldn’t go - can’t you hold supervisions over Zoom? that the way the student could record the sessions. I always sound recorded mine.


SarahAndQuack · 27/02/2022 12:39

God no.

But I also don't see why all meetings can't be virtual?


BurbageBrook · 13/03/2022 20:59

Not a chance. The supervisions can be online or the student can come to you.


FrancescaContini · 13/03/2022 21:01



worstofbothworlds · 17/03/2022 11:01

I am an intrepid traveller and have done fieldwork in the middle of lakes, had bridges washed away in the rainy season, caught malaria and bedbugs (not at the same time!), been mugged, but I don't think I would. The only exception for me would be if my student was doing fieldwork and I needed to see her field site. Even if there could be a visit to a similar site (so I could set up her parameters, check her data collection was going well in the field and that she hadn't forgotten anything practical) I would ask for that to be in a neighbouring country.


Longcovid21 · 18/03/2022 13:05

I went to Jeddah once to do an academic workshop with a male colleauge. It was an amazing and well paid experience.
Participating in the society as a woman is difficult due to not being able to use gyms, go shopping alone etc. But it's a gorgeous and fascinating country.


kumarankittravel · 17/02/2023 05:42

This reply has been deleted

This has been deleted by MNHQ for breaking our Talk Guidelines.

hattie43 · 17/02/2023 05:46



Noicant · 17/02/2023 05:59

I would, it’s an opportunity to see for yourself what places are actually like.


CrispsnDips · 17/02/2023 06:08

Spent two years working in Riyadh
Fantastic experience
Keep away from the market place on Fridays - where the ..ummm..punishments take place 😳

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