Published: 15 March, 2015  |  Last updated: 15 March, 2015

Teaching English in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 

Report submitted on 04 March, 2015 by Jf.

Teaching English in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
Looking online through an agency is probably the easiest way. Unless you come here, but its very hard to get a visiting visa. Its a difficult country to live in if you are single, and whatever contract you are given should be gone over with a fine tooth comb, and checked by someone who has lived here and has knowledge of the system.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Full time English language school positions, teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at private international schools, teaching at colleges / universities

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
Bachelors in almost anything, and at least a TEFL.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
There really is no need for experience when teaching here. Usually unqualified teachers are hired because they are cheaper than native English speakers.

What are the levels of payment?
The pay is very good if you are hired as a teacher or ESL teacher. Its 12,000SR plus per month (approx. US$3,200).

How many teaching days a week is normal?
5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
30 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
Paid holidays. Half summers paid for if you sign a two year contract.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to teach English?
Don’t come. Especially if you are single female. Its a mans world here and its hard to get around…women can’t drive here. it can be very boring here. The life here is different because there are many restrictions. Look carefully into what the country has to offer before making a decision to come here.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
The people are friendly for the most part.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
There aren’t any real positive aspects of teaching here. You have to fight for your wages, there are many deductions that schools will do, the women are difficult to work with and have little work ethics. Most people are unqualified for their positions

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
There are not really any more challenges here than anywhere else.


Living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Saudi Arabia?
It’s very difficult to get in here on a visitors visa, work visas can be obtained from the company that hires you.

What is the cost of living like in Saudi Arabia?
Cost of living here is very cheap. Rent is cheap, and housing allowance is always given as part of your contract package. Food costs are very minimum, and electric is cheap. Internet is expensive relatively speaking in comparison to other costs here.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Accommodation can be found through estate agents, or the school will help you, or sometimes they have places for you to stay.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
If you are Muslim, then there are a lot of positive aspects of living here as a Muslim.
Also the culture is rich and there’s a lot a person can learn and gain experience from.

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
Its set up for men mainly. Women don’t really have a place in society here. There is quite a bit of oppression here. We can’t drive, which can make getting around difficult because taxi drivers are unreliable and unsafe.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
Think very carefully before coming.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
I miss the greenery. I miss trees, and rain.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Riyadh, Saudi Arabia?
I will miss hearing the call to prayer. The different kinds of food, and the diversity of the people. People are very hospitable here.

What things would you recommend to new teachers in your area to bring with them from their home country?
Anything soaps or shampoos without chemicals, sugar free drinks, and that’s about it. Most everything you can get here.


About Me and My Work:

My Name: Jf

Nationality: American

Students I’ve taught in Saudi Arabia: Pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), adults.

Where I teach: I teach in a school and privately. Working here for 3 years.

How I found my current jobs: I live here so I looked at different schools.

My school facilities: Adequate – Schools are very different here than what we may be used to in the US or the UK. They are below adequate here. You are not supplied with anything, and everything you need must be at your expense..

Teacher support at my school: None.


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