Teaching Jobs in Kuwait
Teaching in Kuwait offers teachers the chance to work in a small Middle Eastern country with big incentives. Teachers can experience life in this picturesque shore of the Arabian Gulf.
Kuwait is a city surrounded by archaeological sites and vast stretches of desert. Teachers interested in jobs in Kuwait should be flexible, open-minded, and have a good understanding of Arabic culture and customs.
Elementary, middle, and secondary school job opportunities in Kuwait are open to licensed teachers with at least 1-2 years of experience at the appropriate level. Teachers with experience as a faculty head or department head may be considered for leadership roles.
Salary & benefits when teaching in Kuwait
|Teaching Benefit Type
|Teaching Benefit Details
|$2,600 – 4,000 USD tax free. Leadership roles may offer a higher salary depending on credentials and experience.
|Provided for teacher and dependents
|Accommodation/housing allowance provided
|Eight weeks of vacation (July/August)
|Provided for teacher and dependents
Living and Working in Kuwait
Living and working in Kuwait is substantially different than living in many Western countries. One of the primary differences is the fact that liquor is completely prohibited. Another difference felt immediately is the fact that men outnumber woman substantially (approximately 2-1).
The summertime is a notably warm experience. Since Kuwait is one of the smallest countries in the world, there is no real difference in temperature by region. The average highs in August push 44 degrees Celsius (112.1 Fahrenheit) with highs in December hovering around 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit). Dress code restrictions apply to women—shoulders and knees must be covered, so teachers will want to pack accordingly. Options for acquiring clothing are readily available.
Cost of Living for an English Teacher in Kuwait
Embarking on a teaching journey in Kuwait means adapting to a high standard of living, which is mirrored in the prices of various commodities and services. Here, we detail some of the typical costs you might encounter, to help you gauge your potential expenditures in Kuwait:
Housing: The housing market can vary greatly, depending on the area and the type of accommodation. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around $1,000 to $1,500 per month, while in the outskirts, it might range between $700 and $1,000. Note that many employers offer housing allowances or company-provided accommodation, significantly reducing this expense.
Transportation: While public transportation is somewhat limited, a monthly public transport ticket can cost around $50. If you opt to rent a car, expect to pay approximately $500 to $700 per month for a mid-range vehicle. Fuel prices are relatively low, with a liter of gasoline costing around $0.30.
Food: Groceries for a single person might cost around $300 to $400 per month. Dining out is quite common; a meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost between $15 and $30, whereas a three-course meal for two at a nicer restaurant might range from $40 to $70.
Utilities: Basic utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage for an 85m² apartment, generally cost between $100 and $200 per month, although this can spike in the summer months due to increased usage of air conditioning.
Leisure and Entertainment: Leisure activities can vary considerably in cost. A monthly gym membership is about $50 to $80, and a ticket to a cinema might be around $10. Activities like water sports or club memberships can add up, often costing a few hundred dollars monthly.
Healthcare: The public healthcare system is affordable, with a general doctor consultation costing around $20-$40. However, many expatriates prefer private healthcare, which can be substantially more expensive, ranging from $50 to $100 per consultation, not including any additional tests or procedures.
Education: If you’re bringing family along, be aware that international school fees can be substantial, starting at around $5,000 per year and can go up to $20,000 or more for prestigious institutions.
Cuisine and Leisure
The culture in Kuwait is very friend and family-orientated. There is less of an emphasis on activities typically associated with drinking, with more of an emphasis on sharing of stories, and eating a good meal with friends and acquaintances.
This is not to say, however, that there are no Western amenities. Educators teaching in Kuwait can expect to find a lively fashion and shopping district, as well as ‘club-like’ establishments, mostly in the form of private parties.
Travel and Tourism in Kuwait
With no travel restrictions, educators are free to explore the entire geography of this tiny nation. For instance, the Grand Mosque is religious attraction that showcases world famous architecture. Or the Scientific Center in Kuwait city, which is a mixture of science-orientated museum and outdoors entertainment center. A gift to the people from the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, it can also be a gift to any teachers looking to pick up an exciting new lesson plan. A nice mixture of nature and landscaping nurture, in the middle of Kuwait there is a large zoological garden that is a must-see for the outdoorsy and animal loving teachers.
After exploring some of these urban sites, venture out to the edge of the city to visit Kuwait bay. Accounting for 40% of the state’s shoreline, it is home to many inviting beaches with diving and water sports. In addition, ‘sea clubs’ provide sporting facilities and swimming pools for those instances where the beach is not an option.
Criteria for Teaching Jobs in Kuwait
Candidates for teaching jobs in Kuwait must meet the following criteria:
- 1-2 years of experience at the appropriate level
- Regional teaching license or certificate
Visa for an English Teacher in Kuwait
Before you embark on your teaching journey in Kuwait, you will need to familiarize yourself with the necessary VISA procedures and requirements. Generally, teachers are sponsored by their employing school which assists in obtaining a work VISA. Here are some key points to note:
VISA Type: Teachers generally require a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from their employer to apply for a work VISA.
Documentation: Aside from a valid passport, you may be required to present your authenticated teaching certificates, criminal background checks, and medical clearance, including HIV and Hepatitis tests.
Application Process: Your employer will generally handle the bulk of the VISA application process, collaborating with the Ministry of Interior in Kuwait. This process may take several weeks, hence early preparation is advised.
Residence Permit: Upon arrival in Kuwait, teachers should work with their employer to secure a residence permit which grants the legitimacy to reside in Kuwait during the tenure of your contract.
Exit VISA: Note that an exit VISA is necessary to leave Kuwait, which requires settling any pending bills and fines in the country. Your employer should guide you through this process when exiting.
Remember, VISA regulations can change, and it is always best to consult the Kuwaiti embassy or consulate in your home country for the most current information.
TEFL Certification for Private School Teachers
Many private schools in Kuwait require applicants to possess a TEFL certificate. The University of Toronto’s TEFL Online Certificate can help you become a leading candidate for some of the top Kuwaiti private school positions.
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Kuwait at a glance
Capital: Kuwait City
Language: Arabic, English
Population: 4.35 million (140th)
Government: Unitary hereditary constitutional monarchy
Major religion: Islam, Christianity
The country is also known as the “State of Kuwait”
The island of Failaka in Kuwait was an ancient trading post
Kuwait was the first Arab country in the Gulf to have an elected parliament
The national bird of Kuwait, the falcon can be found everywhere