As a conservative country with numerous customs that TEFL teachers may find restrictive, Saudi Arabia doesn’t suit everyone, but offers great rewards to the right sort of teacher. For those who can adapt to the differences in culture, the lure of generous financial reward makes Saudi Arabia a great choice. Salaries here are some of the highest in the TEFL teaching world.
Do consider the strict cultural differences of Saudi Arabia, which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Your passport will be held by your employer while you get
(identity card) and if you want to leave the country, you’ll have to apply for an exit visa (which might not necessarily be granted!). Women have to be covered at the knees and shoulders, or wear an
(a cloak/robe which covers the whole body, exposing only the head, hands and feet) whenever appearing in public. Men and women are required to refrain from public displays of affection, and homosexuality is illegal. You should avoid using profane language or gestures, and it’s not permitted to take pictures or record videos in public without permission. Alcohol and pork products are also forbidden. However, one small win – since 2018, women in Saudi Arabia are allowed to drive a car. All in all, these strict rules often put off potential teachers, regardless of the lucrative income you can earn as a TEFL teacher. But if this daunting list doesn’t deter you, Saudi Arabia could be a great - and lucrative - teaching location.
Generally, Saudi Arabia has a very warm climate with temperatures regularly climbing up to 40°C. That said, spring and autumns are very pleasant with average temperatures of 29°C. Whatever the season, you’ll be living and working in air-conditioned surroundings. Coastal cities such as Jeddah still have high temperatures in the middle of winter, though central locations like Riyadh have more variation