Teaching salaries in Kuwait used to be some of the highest in the industry. While they’re more modest these days, you’ll certainly find them a step up if you’ve been doing entry-level roles in places like China and South America. Kuwait is a TEFL destination better suited to the more seasoned teacher, as most roles call for several years of experience and there are a few roles open to newly qualified teachers. For many International Schools, you’ll need British QTS or equivalent to apply for these lucrative roles.

As well as financial perks of working in Kuwait, in your spare time you can enjoy visiting the well-preserved archaeological sites which are found near the capital, as well as checking out the impressive desert landscapes and white sandy beaches. Year-long sunshine makes this a great location for those who love nothing better than chilling on the beach in great weather. However, with a strict Muslim culture, some TEFL teachers might find the rules (such as total prohibition of drinking alcohol and having a modest dress code) to be stifling.

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Key Facts

  • Popular locations for TEFL jobs: Kuwait City
  • Average salary for EFL teachers: The basic monthly salary for full-time positions is likely to be in the region of 750 – 1,200 Dinar (£1,800 – £2,900 / $2,500 – $4,000) per month.
  • TEFL qualification requirements: A 120-hour TEFL qualification will be required for most positions
  • Prerequisite university degree: Required for all jobs
  • Term times: The school year starts in August/September
  • Currency: Dinar
  • Language: Arabic
  • Teaching programmes: Private Schools, Summer Schools, Bilingual Kindergartens, International Schools, Universities, Freelance
  • Age restrictions: None
  • Previous teaching experience: Pre-school positions often ask for 1 year of previous experience, but more typically teachers will need at least 2 years of prior experience, and some ask for 5 years +

Students in Kuwait are usually polite, eager to learn, and confident in their speaking. However, with some language schools that have an obvious focus on turning a profit, you can find them reluctant to reprimand any naughty students for fear of losing customers, although this shouldn’t be the case in more prestigious international schools. Diligent teachers might find it uncomfortable if they’re asked to do things such as fudge the grades of less hardworking students in order to get them to sign up for another course. The quality of your working life will depend entirely on the institute you’re working for, so it’s a good idea to try and get a feel for the school and speak to current staff before signing a contact. It’s also quite important to make good connections with your colleagues as this is an important part of the culture here – collaboration is seen as very important and most schools will encourage out of hours socialising between staff. If you work in a school of mixed local and expat teachers, don’t live in an expat bubble and pass up the opportunity to get to know your local co-workers as much as the other expats, to give you an insight into their culture and feel truly welcomed in Kuwait.

Female teachers should always have their knees and shoulders covered as part of the strictly professional dress code employed at all schools. Other cultural points to observe in this Muslim country are that pork, alcohol, pornography, homosexuality, heterosexual sex outside marriage, and cross-dressing are all illegal.

Requirements for teaching English in Kuwait

Country Avg. monthly salary Degree required Start of term Teaching experience Housing & flights included Suitable for non-native English speakers Age restrictions
Cambodia £680 - £1,000
($900 - $1,300)
No November No No Yes Under 65
China £1,000 – £2,000
($1,300 – $2,575)
Yes September No Yes Yes, if degree obtained from an English-speaking country Under 55
Hong Kong £1,550 – £6,300
($2,000 – $8,380)
Yes August No Not usually Yes Under 60
India £120 – £775
($150 – $1,000)
Yes April Yes No Yes None
Indonesia £565 – £1,030
($745 – $1,355)
Yes July No Not usually No Under 60
Japan £1,600 – £2,000
($2,100 – $2,675)
Yes April No Sometimes Yes Under 65
Kazakhstan £360 – £470
($465 – $600)
Yes August Yes Yes Yes None
Malaysia £550 – £1,450
($720 – $1,900)
Yes January Preferred Sometimes Yes Under 65
Myanmar £600 – £1,500
($800 – $2,000)
Yes June Preferred Sometimes No Under 52
Mongolia £630 – £1,000
($875 – $1,400)
Yes September Yes Sometimes Yes None
Nepal Voluntary No April No Sometimes Yes None
South Korea £1,280 – £1,600
($1,670 – $2,000)
Yes March No Yes No Under 62
Taiwan £1,335 – £1,735
($1,700 – $2,220)
Yes September No Sometimes No Under 65
Thailand £740 – £980
($1,000 – $1,280)
Yes May No Sometimes Yes None
Vietnam £920 - £ 1,500
($1,200 to $2,000)
Yes August No No Yes Under 60

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Living Costs

Aside from your high salary, working in Kuwait will boast other perks such as free housing, flights to and from the country, and health insurance. Teachers will often live together in a complex with their own apartment, which might have a shared outdoor space to enjoy together in your free time. With a total prohibition on alcohol, you might be spending your time off in Kuwait a bit differently to how you would in other places. A family-friendly culture, this is a great destination for TEFL teachers who are travelling with their children to settle down somewhere for a few years. Some major attractions for your free time include the Grand Mosque, seeing the view from Kuwait Towers, visiting the Scientific Centre, seeing the stunning House of Mirrors, going to the Kuwait National Museum, shopping in The Avenues shopping mall or the more traditional Arabian markets, boating, snorkelling, and spending time at the beach.

  • Accommodation: £780 – £1,147 / $1,078 – $1,586
  • Utilities: £82 / $114
  • Health insurance: Cost of typical visit to a GP: £59 / $82
  • Monthly transport pass: £34 / $47
  • Basic dinner out for two: £21 / $29
  • Cappuccino in expat area: £4.82 / $7
  • 1 litre of milk: £1.06 / $1.47
  • 2 litres of Coca-Cola: £1.06 / $1.46

(living costs sourced from Expatistan)

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