It might once have been at the heart of the pearl hunting trade, but nowadays Qatar stakes its claim as the pearl of the Persian Gulf. Few countries have had the Cinderella moment that this tiny, Middle Eastern nation has experienced, transforming from dull, desert state to a sparkling gem of futuristic skyscrapers and city chic. That’s right: Qatar got cool.
What’s more, for those looking for teaching jobs in Qatar, it has never been a better time to pack up your whiteboard markers and jet off to the Middle East.
Sure, as a country built in the middle of sand dunes, don’t expect your students to be bringing you many apples, but there are ample other rewards for teaching in Qatar. Instead, you can expect darn good coffee, eye-wateringly high wages, weekends jet skiing and camel racing, and a multi-cultural jumble of other expats to make you feel at home are a guarantee. And, with a ratio of more children than there are schools, those looking to teach in Qatar find that they’re in real demand.
We don’t have a thousand and one nights to persuade you why Qatar is 2017’s top destination for jet setting teachers; but, these seven reasons why you should become a trendsetting educator should do the trick.
1. It’s a Hot Market (Literally).
Educators with at least two-years’ experience teaching in public schools need look no further: Qatar is an Aladdin’s cave of teaching jobs ready to be looted. There isn’t a magic lamp to rub to get yourself a post, but schools in Qatar are constantly welcoming children from newly-arrived expat families, meaning there’s always a bountiful supply of positions to be filled.
What’s more, the government is in the process of investing huge sums of money into education in Qatar as it strives to make its school program reach the same dizzy heights of success as its economy. Needless to say, it’s an exciting time to teach in Qatar.
But beyond the fact that the job market for teachers in Qatar is on fire, this country is the soulmate of any educator with a penchant for sunshine and perpetual summer. Leave your wooly hats at home: you’re going to be getting your lifetime’s dose of vitamin D teaching in Qatar.
Summer days are known to go north of 100˚F (don’t worry, you’ll be saved by the air con), but winter is a balmy 77˚F, perfect for lazy afternoons camping at Dukhan, one of the country’s best beaches.
2. Make that Paper— Just Don’t Be Tempted to Spend it All.
Sure, teaching is all about the impact you have on your students. But it’s also important to think about your own future – something that the monetary rewards of working in the Middle East more than cover.
The average salary in Qatar depends on whether you’re teaching English as a foreign language or are a certified elementary or high school teacher (the latter of which is the more common – and better paid – option). However, expect to be rolling in up to $3,700 per month, tax free. Your employer might even pay for your accommodation, health care, and flights home. Cha ching!
That said, be aware that the perks of teaching in Qatar vary depending on your employer. Before you commit to a position, make sure you compare teaching programs side by side with MyGoAbroad, read reviews, and contact previous participants to get the lowdown on the best schools in Qatar.
But, savvy teachers won’t get caught up in the lavish spending that can so easily happen when living in a country with an obscene amount of boutique and luxury shopping malls. No, use this opportunity to make bank while teaching English in Qatar and instead return home with a nice little nest egg.
3. It’s a Surprisingly Good Career Move.
Teaching in Qatar isn’t all sunshine and squirreling away a few smackers; few people realize that it can also be an excellent way of developing your career.
As the schools in Qatar are free from national standards, you can expect to have more freedom to try out new things and work in a different way, whether you’re a teacher of language and literature or mathematics. But, never fear, if you’ve not yet got a qualification, consider teaching English as a foreign language in Qatar.
Don’t just make a mint teaching in Qatar, but use it as a chance to grow as a practitioner and become the teacher you always wanted to be – you know, that one that make students stand on tables for you a la “Dead Poets Society.”
4. There’s More to Qatar than Just Sand— Honest!
Qatar might be mostly comprised of sand dunes, but that doesn’t mean that your options for your leisure time are as arid as the landscape. It might have once been regarded as nothing but Dubai’s younger – and less cool – brother, but these days Qatar has acquired a reputation as an exciting place in its own right, particularly in Doha, the capital.
You only need to face outwards from the city to Pearl-Qatar, a man-made island off the northern coastline, to see the best this country has to offer. Here, waterfront promenades are lined with cafes and restaurants serving up world-class food – a well-deserved treat for those with a world-class teacher’s paycheck to boot.
What’s more, take the classroom outside by visiting the Museum of Islamic Art. Considered the most important in the Middle East and housed in an iconic building, this museum is an excellent day-trip for students and educators alike.
But, beyond the capital, adventurous teachers find themselves in their element. Enjoy the local’s favorite pastime, “dune bashing”, aka speeding through the dunes in a Landcruiser or on quad bikes shouting “eat my dust” at the camels and spend the night camping in the middle of the desert, something to give geography teachers ample content for their classes.
What’s more, the waters off the coast of Doha are perfect for kite-surfing and roaring through the Persian Gulf on a jet-ski. Just try to avoid crashing into the country’s rich and famous who are known to enjoy riding these waves.
5. Coffee Breaks Have Never Tasted so Good.
There’s plenty to keep you busy when you teach in Qatar and don’t worry, with Arabic coffee on hand, you’re never far from your next caffeine fix.
These magical beans are grown on the narrow coastal plain that encompasses the Arabian Peninsula, picked, toasted and then ground before being served plain (qahwa sādah), combined with cardamom, or even cinnamon or saffron.
It’s not really coffee to go – you only get poured a small amount of scalding coffee from the pot in one sitting, with the option for refills – but nothing beats an authentic coffee break taken at a tiny cafe nestled inside the warren of stalls in the city’s most famous souq, Souq Waqif.
6. You’ll Make Friends from Across the Globe.
Whether it’s the Saudi princes in your seventh-grade class or just the mishmash of expats in the staff room, teaching English in Qatar is an exciting opportunity to find your way around the different cultures of the world – all without leaving the country.
Of a population of over two million, around one and a half million are expats from across the globe and all part of a burgeoning but tight-knit expat community. Most teachers immediately find new friends in their work colleagues or by taking up a sport (camel racing anyone?). Either way, it’s all about the friendships you make that outlast your time in the country when you teach in Qatar.
7. There’s No Better Place to Learn Arabic.
Although English remains the lingua franca in Qatar, who doesn’t want the bragging rights of knowing enough Arabic to be able to chat away with people outside of the expat community? It’s hardly the easiest of the globe’s languages to master, but there’s no better time to pick up new tongue than when you’re in the country, so combine your teaching gig with studying at a language school.
Modern Standard Arabic (the main dialect used within the Arab world) is ideal for those bitten by the teaching abroad bug and who might fancy living in another Middle Eastern country, while Qatari Arabic, the country’s dialect, is a guaranteed way of making a good impression on the locals.
Teach in Qatar with These Awe-Inspiring Programs:
- Teach abroad in Qatar with Teach Away
- Get paid to teach English in Qatar with International TEFL Academy
- Teach Math at an international school in Qatar with Edvectus
- Find teaching jobs in Qatar with Teaching Nomad
Hold Your Camels! Teaching Jobs in Qatar Aren’t for Everyone, and that’s OK.
It’s important to realize that teaching in Qatar isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of black, Arabic coffee. Before making any decisions, do your research by reaching out to schools and brush up on these 10 things you need to know before you commit to teaching in Qatar.
It is a country with a more conservative culture and those with a love of partying should probably opt for another locale. But, if you fancy living in a country where luxury and culture are literally on your doorstep and you can play an important role in influencing the minds of children from all around the world, the opportunity to teach in Qatar will be your own cave of wonders.