That (post title) is what I frequently hear when I talk to people about my upcoming job. Last weekend was my little sister’s wedding reception and I saw many people from my past. When I run into people (like at the reception) work always comes up and I waffle between simply saying I am a high school teacher and explaining about this adventure I’m about to take. In the end I’ve decided to just go for the big story. Every time I talk to people about this adventure, I get many of the same question, so I thought I should address some of them here.
You are going where? Um, yeah, I don’t know where that is…
If/when my work visa and air ticket come through, I will be headed to Abu Dhabi City in the United Arab Emirates. AD City is the capital of not only the UAE but also the emirate of Abu Dhabi. From there I could be placed anywhere in the emirate. As of right now, I don’t know where I will be, I will find out after I arrive and pass all my tests in the UAE.
Why are you going to the UAE?
I have always wanted to teach overseas, in fact it is one of the reasons I became a teacher. I have always been interested in the Arab world and Islam in particular. Additionally, the UAE is a very interesting place on its own. I hope this is simply just the beginning of my overseas teaching adventures.
I thought you loved your job?
I do love teaching, and I will still be teaching. I loved working at WHS, but I was starting to feel like I needed something different. And since this has all seemed to work out, it must mean something, right?
Is the pay really that much better?
The pay is better. But really, the pay and benefits are not the reason for going, but rather the reason for knowing I could afford to go. And if I play my cards right I may not have to pay very much (or any) US and Oregon income tax on my UAE earned income after 2012. Which is very nice.
What will you do there?
I applied for a high school English teaching position. I am hopeful that I will get a position similar to what I have been doing the past five years. Though, I have been warned that I could be placed in any grade. So I am emotionally and professionally preparing for all grade levels.
Where will you live?
As I said before, I don’t know where within the emirate I will be living. I will most likely be placed in an apartment. The apartment might be near or far from my school. It might be furnished or more likely unfurnished (they do provide a furniture allowance). I might be in the city, on a remote island or on the border of Saudi Arabia.
Will you come back to Oregon to visit?
I will come back during the summer of 2013. I have no plans to return before then. I don’t want to come home while I’m still in the “adjustment period”. I think it will make the transition easier for me to stay for a year. I will travel during that year though.
When do you leave?
Well, I still don’t know. I’m hoping for August 8-11 which is the only dates we’ve been told thus far. I also hope to know more by the end of July. In the meantime I’m going rent my house, move back in with my parents and wait for my airline ticket.
Aren’t you scared?
I wouldn’t describe it as scared, I’m apprehensive and a bit nervous. Who would’t be? But it is an exciting type of apprehension and nerves. I’m just excited to try something new, challenge myself professionally and personally and see and experience many new things.