Despite plenty of job opportunities, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), continues to suffer from a serious shortage of qualified, experienced English teachers. Consequently, those who do meet all the requirements have a large range of schools and positions to pick from.
Here are a few tips for hunting down jobs in KSA:
- When you see an interesting TEFL job advertised in KSA, apply immediately as the wheels of recruitment are not always that fast. It is not unusual to wait several months for a reply to your application which could then mean you suddenly have to go at breakneck speed to have an interview (often on Skype) and generally coordinate your arrival.
- In addition, there are many websites that have both forums for discussions and jobs’ pages. Arguably the two best known of these in the English language are TEFL.com (http://www.tefl.com/) and Daves ESL Café (http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/). These websites also have a rich repository of teaching tips as well as resources for new and experienced TEFL teachers.
- If you want to look directly for jobs in KSA, you could try the many government colleges run by the Technical & Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC). They hire through a company called Interlink and are always looking for male and female TEFL teachers. Here’s a typical advertisement - http://eslus.com/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=567&Itemid=160
- For males, in addition to the usual TEFL certificates like a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) or Trinity teaching certificate, a background in a technical discipline like welding, engineering or refrigeration and air conditioning is also valuable as KSA is always in need of such teachers. In addition, there are now eight “Colleges of Excellence” opening up all over KSA and they will undoubtedly yield TEFL jobs. Here is an example of one such job - http://jobstefl.com/riyadh.asp
- In June 2013, three UK colleges formed a consortium to secure a £75m contract to run a women-only vocational training institute in Saudi Arabia. These UK colleges make up the NESCOT consortium: North East Surrey College of Technology, Highbury College Portsmouth and Burton and South Derbyshire College - http://coe.com.sa/NescotE.aspx
- Once you have secured a firm offer of a job in KSA, the visa process will begin. This will involve you going to a Saudi Embassy in your home country. You will need this to get an employment visa so that you can apply later for an iqama (a KSA residency permits which also allows you to work.)
- In England, you might wish to use the Saudi Embassy in London - http://www.saudiembassy.org.uk/. This is advisable as you will also need to have a medical both in the UK and when you arrive in KSA. Harley Street medical centre is perhaps the best known and both the visa and medical are paid for by the hiring company - http://www.harleymedvisa.co.uk/