Friday, October 14, 2011

The Journal of Getting a Teaching Job in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

October 12 - I sent an e-mail to Carly, letting her know my concerns about the Visa. She contacted Samia at the school and here is her response via e-mail:
"Dear Carly,
Regarding Andrea's visa issue,the rules in Saudi Arabia are:
  1. In general,the wife and children can benefit from the husband's working visa if the husband has a Master degree and above or if he is a medical doctor.But I'm not sure in case the wife has the degree.
  2. Teaching working visa granted by the Saudi Ministry of Education:If the candidate has BA or BS degree ,he or she would come alone at the beginning and after the arrival of the candidate and getting a resident permit(this should take 8-12 weeks),he /she can apply for a visa for the spouse or children to be under the candidate sponsorship and not the school.
  3. If Andrea is interested to work with us,we need to ask the Ministry of education to grant us a working visa for American candidate.This is a long process for the following reasons:
  • The ministry of education had already granted us our need for this Academic year. Unfortunately,America is not one of them as we did not have American candidate at the time we applied for the working visas.
  • We still did not use all the working visas we were granted(Ireland,Newzeland and Australia),so we are not entitle for a new application til the next academic year ,and before applying for new working visas,we have to completely use what all we were granted for this year.
I hope I explained to you the complete situation thoroughly.
Best regards,
Samia "
Yes- I am a bit nervous now. I have looked at other schools online and am making contacts on international community websites and also by contacting teachers at several schools. I also asked Carly if she thinks she will be able to assist me in my efforts or if I need to find help elsewhere. Sohail is worried that I am bothering Carly!
October 9 - E-mail from Carly: "Dear Andrea, Samia has said that they can offer you a total package of $48,000 USD including housing allowance. There will be a % discount on the children’s fee’s (between 10-15%) They can only do this in 2012 (for Visa reasons)."

This is the starting salary-wow-pretty good, I think. My dad thinks I should ask for more. Being that this a country that negotiates salary, I would probably ask for more. However, the issue now is that Sohail's company cannot provide a family Visa. I will need a Visa (usually given by the school) to enter the country. The children would also need a Visa to enter. Many schools just give a Visa to the teacher they are hiring. So, now our first "bump in the road" is here. Can we get a family Visa? Can we join Sohail there? Now I am getting nervous!

September 14 - Sohail had his interview. For about a week, he negotiated his salary, benefits and housing allowance. He was offered the job! So two weeks later, he returned back to Houston, with his job offer in hand! His pay was more than expected-yeah!

September 7 - I had my first Skype interview. I sat in my bedroom with my laptop, wearing a t-shirt and jeans and no makeup. For 40 minutes, I video-conferenced with a lovely HR Representative for "My Little House" School. So, one week before Sohail flew to Jeddah for his interview, I had my interview.

September 6 - These are the 2 e-mail's that I received today. Are things really happening this fast?

Email 1 - "Just wondering if things have changed over the past few weeks as I now have an urgent opening in Saudi and a school requesting to interview you? -Carly"

E-mail 2 - "Dear Andrea,Carly from Synarbor Education send me your CV.We have an immediate opening in both primary and early years .I would like to conduct an interview either by telephone or preferably via skype if available, to go through some of the relevant information mentioned in your CV.Could you please assign a date and time that suit you to do so. Looking forward to hearing from you. - Samia"

August 18 - Carly sent my CV's (a fancy resume used in many places, but not in the US, usually) to some schools.

August 15 - I was using LinkedIn and noticed that jobs in other countries were opening up. I contacted one such recruiter, just to ask, if she placed teachers in Saudi Arabia. I mentioned that my husband, Sohail, would be working in Jeddah soon. Several days later, the recruiter contacted me back and said there was a school interested in interviewing me for a teaching position. I was thinking "But, I am not ready to move, or even think about an interview. I just started the school year, here in Houston. How can a think about another job? I am so happy where I teach now!"

*update* I did not take the above job because they want me sooner than I could come, in the middle of the school year!

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