Most people assume that teaching abroad in the Middle East is synonymous with the UAE and Dubai. It’s not. In fact, the Middle East consists of a number of countries that offer a similar tax-free expatriate lifestyle, each with a slightly different twist.
"Kuwait is a great first step for newly qualified teachers who want to gain a couple of solid years of British or US curriculum experience to launch their international careers, and most Kuwait schools welcome them."
Kuwait is often overlooked when considering teaching jobs because it is not as large or famous as other countries, but it has much to offer the international teacher. The salaries for teaching jobs in Kuwait are typically 10-20% higher than the UAE, and the cost of living is 10-20% lower. Most of Kuwait's international schools are located in Kuwait City, and this offers many opportunities to join clubs and meet other expats including American clubs, Gaelic Football clubs, Theatre clubs, and an abundance of sports clubs. Due to visa regulations, Kuwait largely attracts single teachers and married teaching couples, so meeting people is never a problem. It’s smaller than the UAE both in terms of size and population, and teachers report back that they quickly find a good group of like-minded friends. Together, they enjoy weekends and long breaks travelling to nearby Dubai and Oman, and also more exotic places like the Maldives and Africa, all made possible by low cost flights and increased savings.
From a career standpoint, teaching abroad in Kuwait has a number of advantages. Since it’s less-known than the UAE, the competition for jobs in Kuwait is less fierce and teachers are more likely to get the attention of better quality schools. The schools are used to promoting from within, and therefor the chances of advancing your position (and your pay) are much higher. While some teachers use Kuwait as a stepping-stone, others stay and teach in Kuwait for several years or more, making advancements in their positions while saving great sums of money due to the low cost of living, tax-free salary, and benefits packages.
"Support/staff at the school is by far the best I've ever worked with in education. Whether it was teaching in the U.S., China, or Kuwait, the admin was incredibly supportive and helpful. ... As for new skills, I definitely enhanced my content knowledge (Language Arts) because of the academic freedom. I also feel more confident with classroom management, and technology because the internet can be a weird thing from teaching all online in 2020-2021 to having everyone be on the same slow network once we returned to the classroom this year. Lastly, patience, patience, patience. This refers to the catch as catch can philosophy. Not all students get things done at the same speed and not all learn at the same speed. So, just providing differentiated instruction as best you can while also understanding the reality that some students will submit assignments super late will save you many headaches." - A US teacher in Kuwait (2021)
Finally, Kuwait makes a good first step for newly qualified teachers who want to gain a couple of solid years of British or US curriculum experience to launch their international careers, and most Kuwait schools welcome them.
The Ministry of Education in Kuwait has specific requirements for teaching in Kuwait, so it's best to contact your Edvectus consultant to see if you can be considered.
See all jobs in Kuwait here and see what Kuwait looks like here in a video filmed by the Edvectus team. Want to see more? Visit our #KuwaitWeek posts at this link - we've already filtered them for you by hashtag!