My name is Jonny, aged 27, and I’m currently a full-time PE Teacher in Doha, Qatar. My story of how I ended up here simply derives from my need for ‘change’. Change of culture, change of scenery, change of lifestyle. I sought change in a massive way due to all elements of my life becoming tedious and repetitive. Fortunately, I had opportunities to do this. I qualified as a PE teacher in 2008 and enrolled on an Online TEFL course in 2010. I had developed many skills associated with the teaching and learning of PE, yet I wanted to be better equipped due to the prospect of moving thousands of miles away in a country where English is not the first language. This is the prime reason I took a TEFL course as the experience has helped prepare and educate me about the demands of teaching overseas.
Qatar is vastly developing, best exemplified by its recent Football World Cup bid success. The country has a big Western influence and boasts a respectable expatriate community size which continues to grow every year. This has made the settling in process a lot easier. The main attractions for my decision to work here – new culture, new lifestyle, good weather, tax-free salary. Another appeal was the location as it allows me to visit other areas of the world more easily and cheaply (i.e. I spent my Christmas in India).
Regarding the School itself, it does have its problems particularly regarding the management (schools tend to be run like businesses). However the children are fantastic and all originate from different backgrounds (Indonesia, Egypt and Sri Lanka to name a few) making the job more interesting, challenging, varied, fun and rewarding. No day is the same in Qatar, one week I am riding sand dunes in the desert on a jeep safari excursion and the next I am watching Roger Federer win the Qatar Open Tennis.
It has now been approximately 6 months since I started work in Qatar. I wouldn’t change anything that has happened. I believe the experience you gain is unmatched in any walk of life you lead at home. Back in Scotland, everyone, I speak to lives the same life doing the same things, living in their comfort zone – this isn’t me. I can’t understand why anyone would want to live this way particularly now as there are so many opportunities such as TEFL readily available.
Will I stay for another year? No, I wish to further my experience in a different country in a different environment. My summary of the experience to date? It has been challenging, exciting, difficult, stressful, you name it. Do I regret my decision to work overseas in this country? Most definitely not, and I’d do it all again tomorrow.