It’s official – Saudi Arabia has opened it’s borders – at last!!

Posted: January 23, 2015 in Saudi Arabia

Having signed my contract back in early December I was told that I should be in post before, or at the very latest, just after Christmas. The festive period came and went, 2015 started with more assurances that the visa process was in the final stages. After THREE rejected applications and my outlook in tatters I finally got the email I was banking on,

“Congratulations, we can confirm your passport has been returned to out office with you work visa accepted”

What a huge relief – living the last 6 weeks in limbo-land has definitely been a test of emotional resilience, dashed expectations, concerns of potential homelessness and no income. I can safely say that obtaining a work visa for Saudi Arabia has been the hardest to date. A proverbial minefield of lost paper trails, duplicate <often triplicate> emails, medical questions, office closures, lost documents, misplaced passports all at significant expense <luckily a burden shouldered by my new employer NOT me!)

With passport clasped tightly in hand and flight being re-booked over the next 48 hours I start to breathe easy that my next adventure will be starting imminently!

Over the last days I have been fattening myself up with real ale, cider and bacon sandwiches, with the stark knowledge of an extended fast <possibly 6 months> from the aforementioned items which here in the UK are on my staple diet – banned in the Kingdom

Bags are packed, teaching notes neatly ordered, pens and board pens purchased. As of yet I don’t have a complete picture with the curriculum I will be teaching, competency of students or target language in lessons. From what I gather, students are working their way through a prescribed English text book which I will need to deliver in ‘my own particular way! I am keen to get back in the classroom – although realise that working in the middle east will prove to throw a number of challenges at me e.g. NO GIRLS for a start – will only teaching boys 15-21

I plan to see as much of the country as I can during January/February while temperatures hover around 20-25 degrees. From late March onward the temperature then steadily climbs to peaks of 50+ in June/July/August.

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