ESL Teachers In Saudi FAQ's Guide Sheet

THE CONTRACT:  

How long is my contract?

The term of the contract is 12 months starting from the date of arrival in KSA. This includes 30 days of paid leave.

  
Is housing provided by the company? 
Yes.  
 
Can I choose the location of work? 
No.  Placement is based on the needs of the company as well as those of the specific institutions we work with.  However, because our highest demand for teachers is in Riyadh, it is highly likely to be placed there.
 
What are the institutions and universities that Education Experts is currently contracted with?
 
Riyadh:  Imam Mohammed Bin Saud Islamic University, King Saud University,
                Institute of Public Administration
Najran:   Najran University
                Al Ahsa, Eastern Province:  Imam Mohammad Bin Saud University
 
What is the probationary period?
90 Days.
 
What is the notice period?
An employee must give at least one month notice prior to terminating work during the probationary period.  After the probationary period, 90 days’ notice is required.
The company must give a month’s notice prior to termination of the employee’s contract. However, this does not apply during the probationary period or under conditions of employee’s failure to perform.   

PAID LEAVE/ HOLIDAYS: 

When can I take my 30 days paid leave? 
You are entitled to 30 days paid leave in the 12th month of your contract.  If the 12th month of your contract falls outside of the summer months (June, July or August), you may be obliged to take your annual leave during that time.  All leave must be approved by the company.
 
What are the general term/semester dates? Will there be contact with the students the whole time (e.g. do we have mid-semester or summer breaks)? 
This varies for each institutionThere are student breaks at all universities during which teachers will not have contact time.  This time may be used for workshops or professional development.  Leave and holidays not stipulated in the contract will be given to teachers at the university’s discretion. All Leave must be approved by the company.
 
Do we have the Hajj break and/or any other breaks? 
The Haj and Eid breaks as well as national holidays are included in your contract.
These are the confirmed holidays so far:
 
Ramadan Eid:  August 25 - September 3 (2011)
National Day: September 23 is a Friday and will be a long weekend, so either                                          Wednesday or Saturday will be off as well.
Hajj holiday:   November 3 - November 11 (2011)
 
Please note that leaving the country during the holidays mentioned is subject to company approval (you must submit a request and receive confirmation).  In addition, the dates could be longer than stated or there could be more national holidays. However, this is subject to the King's decree.
 
VISA PROCESS:
 
What type of visa will I get?
Either an employment visa (iqama) or a work visit visa. Which type of visa you get will be determined by availability.  The company is awarded a limited number of employment visas by the Saudi government.
 
What is the procedure for an employment visa (iqama)? 
The procedure involves obtaining and verifying documents that must be submitted to the Saudi embassy in your country of citizenship.  Please refer to this link for more details about the process.
 
What is the procedure for a work visit visa?
The procedure involves obtaining documents and submitting them to a Saudi embassy in one of a number of countries.  Please refer to this link for a more detailed description of the process.
 
Is the work visit visa a multiple entry visa?
No, it is a single entry.
 
How long does it take to processes my visa?
Once all documents are secured and submitted it normally takes 2 to 4 weeks to obtain your visa from the embassy.
 
What agencies can I contact if I would like some help?
Here is a list of agencies approved by the Saudi embassy.  Please check with the Saudi embassy if you do not find an agency for your country.
 
Roughly how long will the iqama process take when I arrive in Saudi?
From 1 to 4 weeks.
 
Roughly how long will the family visa process take after the iqama?
From 1 to 4 weeks.
 
If my current sponsors in KSA gives a transfer, will this be accepted by the company?
Yes
 
FAMILY:
 
Can I bring my spouse with me when first entering Saudi Arabia? 
Only if he or she has been employed by us and has been issued a visa as well.
 
I am coming on an employment visa (iqama).  When can I sponsor my spouse and bring him/her over on my iqama?
Male employees can apply to bring their spouse and/or family once they receive their iqama. The process could take up to 2 months from when the employee enters the Kingdom.
Female employees can only bring their husband on a visit visa valid for 6 months.  This process could take up to 2 months from when the employee enters the Kingdom. 
 
Can I enroll my children in a school? 
Yes, but private schools can be expensive.
 
I am a single mother; can I bring my children with me? 
Unfortunately, it is not possible when first entering the country, regardless of whether you come on a work visit visa or an employment visa (iqama).  However, if you come in on an employment visa (iqama), it is possible to bring your children in on visit visas valid for 6 months.  These visas can take up to2 months to process from when the employee enters the Kingdom.
 
Is my family’s air fare covered by the company?
No
 
Will my family be covered under my medical insurance?
No, but we can help you get subsidized insurance for your family.
 
What is the cost of living? e.g. how much would a person typically spend on food / month?
750-1000 SR is a good guide.   

ACCOMMODATION:   

 

What type of housing do you provide? 
EEC has their own furnished non-sharing company owned apartment buildings where most of their ESL teachers both (males, females) live.
 
Where is the provided housing located? 
The provided housing is generally within a 30-60 minute drive from the institution where you’ll be working. 
 
Are there amenities nearby?
There are a number of restaurants, grocery stores, laundries and other amenities near your accommodation or within a short walk. 
 
Are there any facilities to exercise? i.e. a gym and / or pool?
Currently there is one facility providing a gym/pool.  All new buildings will have gyms installed.
 
Is there a good WiFi /Internet connection from the accommodation room you provide?
Yes.
 
Can I live somewhere other than company housing? 
Yes.  The contract stipulates that with approval you may live in your own housing.  In this case, the allowance for housing will be up to 25% of your salary but not exceeding 2750 SAR.  An additional 300-600 SAR will be provided for transportation. 
 
I am already renting a house in Riyadh, so can I use the housing allowance for this? 
Yes. 
 
Are the apartments on a compound? 
No, but they are secure and are in safe neighborhood.
 
How safe is it in Saudi? 
EEC has over 300 ESL teaches both male and female.  No one has ever mentioned any insecurities about living in Saudi Arabia. 
 
TRANSPORTATION:
 
How will I go to and from work? 
The company provides transportation in a minibus from provided housing to and from your work locale.
 
How will I get around when not going to and from work?
Taxis are readily available.  It is also possible to rent cars. 
 
AT WORK: 

What are the working days and hours? 
A normal work week is five days, Saturday through Wednesday.  Hours are:  8 per day on location with no more than 30 contact hours.  The average amount of contact hours per week is approximately 20. In accordance with Saudi law and Saudi contract boilerplate, the contract stipulates that you may be asked to work up to 48 hours in 6 days but this is rarely the case.
 
How many students are there in a classroom? 
Approximately 20 students. 
 
When is the weekend? 
Thursday and Friday
 
At what type of institution will I be working? 
A large majority of our employees work at universities.  There is a possibility that you would be working at our center in Riyadh or at another company institute, or school where we have contracts.
 
Will I be able to take courses at the university I am working at? 
There are Arabic courses that you can sign up for at most university locations at your expense.   
 
What kind of people can I expect to work with?
Teachers range in age and nationality.  A majority of our teachers are from native English speaking countries. 
 
Is there any particular teaching system to which you subscribe or is that up to me?
You will be provided with a curriculum and syllabus at your place of work.
 
What resources are there for teachers to use in the classroom?
Most classrooms are equipped with Smart Boards and E-podiums. If those are not available, there will be a white board and an audio device.
 
Is there a dress code for female teachers at work?
Yes, Long dresses or full length skirts. The area from your shoulder to elbow should be covered, so your tops should be at elbow length. Nothing see-through or tight. 
 
Is there a dress code for male teachers at work? 
Yes, a shirt, tie and dress pants or traditional Saudi formal attire. Jewelry such as earrings, necklaces and bracelets are not to be worn at work. In addition, tattoos should not be exposed either.
 
COMPENSATION:
  
What currency will I be paid in? 
You will be paid in Saudi Arabian Riyals (SAR) aka Saudi Riyal (SR)
 
When do I get paid?
You will be paid sometime between the 27th of the current month and the 3rd of the following month.
 
How will I get paid? 
Salary for people on iqamas will be directly deposited into a Saudi bank account once the account and deposit are set up.  Employees who have not acquired their iqamas yet, or are on work visit visas will be paid in cash.
 
Is the monthly salary taxed or tax free? 
Tax free.
 
Can I transfer money back home? 
Yes.  For people on iqamas, transfers can be made at a branch of your Saudi bank.  For people on work visit visas, money can be sent via money wiring services such as Western Union and Telemoney.
 
Will I get paid all moneys owed prior to leaving on my annual leave? 
Yes.
 
How often is the salary review? 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? 
Your salary will be reviewed yearly when your contract is due for renewal.
 
What type of medical insurance is being offered? 
Class (A) Insurance.  The company name is Taawoniyah  التعاونية

ARRIVING IN KSA: 

 
Who will book my flight? 
As soon as you have your visa in hand, someone from the company will book your flight.  The full cost of the ticket is paid by the company.
 
How will I get my ticket? 
An E-ticket will be issued and emailed to you.  A printed copy of this email is all that will be required at the airport.
 
What documents should I bring?  You should bring all relevant degrees and certificates as well as your identification, cash, credit/debit cards, and at least 4 passport photos.
 
Should I bring Saudi Riyals with me?  
You don’t have to.  You can exchange cash or traveler’s checks after arriving.  Also, Riyals can be withdrawn from any cash machine when you use your ATM card.  Credit cards are accepted at most restaurants and shops as well.
 
Should women purchase an abbaya prior to coming to Saudi Arabia? 
Yes. If possible, you can purchase abbayas from this website. Abayas can also be purchased at the airport upon arrival in Saudi Arabia.   
 
Will someone pick me up for the airport? 
Yes.  Someone from the company will be waiting for you at the airport.
 
Will the company provide me with a SIM card for a mobile phone? 
Yes. 
 
Where can I get more information about Saudi Arabia? 
Check the following links: