How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to Become a Teacher in the United Arab Emirates: Twenty Easy Steps

Want to teach in an exotic locale? Yearning for adventure?  Want to go where you won’t understand 60% of what is being said to you? Longing to sweat… a lot? Want to trade your frustrations over the United States educational system for an entirely different set of frustrations in teaching? Want to get away from homeless drunks accosting you in public? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then teaching in the United Arab Emirates might be for you (that is if you are an actual FOR REAL certified teacher.. do not attempt this if you are a lumberjack, dog walker, or drug dealer).

All you have to do is follow these simple steps:

1. Fill out an online resume

2. Email additional information.

3. Participate in a phone interview.

4. Participate in an In Person Interview (IPI) where you will be asked some pretty strange questions (I almost flubbed the “What religion are you?” question. I don’t think the interviewers were quite open to hearing about the Flying  Spaghetti Monster).

Flying Spaghetti Monster by ricknight

5. Have your teaching certificate and highest university degree notarized in your county. Write on your documents something like, “I confirm that this document is a true copy of the original.” Then sign your name and have notary sign and stamp with his/her magic stamp.

6. Take the notarized teaching certificate and notarized degree to the same county’s Superior Court and have the clerk certify the notary (I thought only mental health speacialists could do this, but hey who am I to argue?).

7. Mail or take documents to your Secretary of State Department so they can affix an important wonderful looking seal with your Governor’s signature and they can staple this to a piece of pretty blue paper. This step is called authentication for international use.
sidenote: This is what it looks like:

8. Mail the important looking signed–by-the-Governor-backed-by-pretty-blue-paper documentation to the United States State Department for further authentication.

sidenote: This is the Georgia Governor, Nathan Deal.. he signed my paperwork. He kind of looks like that old man who lives down the street from you who strings barbed wire around his property, doesn't he?

9. When you get the papers back from the United States State Department, immediately mail them to the United Arab Emirates Embassy along with a letter of accreditation from your university for the last step of authentication.  
sidenote; When your papers arrive back from the United States State Department, they will have Hillary Clinton's signature on them! I don't know where she finds the time....

BIG IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: you can combine steps 8 and 9 and pay (it was $308.00 for mine) for a service like ProEx to handle the last two details for you. Expensive, but quick and secure!

10. Once you get the paperwork back from the United Arab Emirates Embassy, scan the entire package and email it to your representative (the agency that is acting as your representive between you and Abu Dhabi; teachaway or teachanywhere are just two examples of these agencies) so your rep can get it to the Abu Dhabi Education Council asap.  The UAE will then begin processing your VISA. 
sidenote: Keep the hardcopies and bring these to UAE with you.

11. Figure how many of your belongings will fit into two suitcases. Weight limit is 50 pounds per suitcase. All of my shoes combined are going take up one suitcase. Pack and repack no less than sixty-six times.

12. Make and keep doctor appointments. Get notarized letters from your doctors for needed prescription medications. Check the UAE’s site for banned medications (yes, there are many!). You can bring three months of non-banned medication into the UAE. But please have the doctor notarized letter (s)and copy of RX. Might want to grab a copy of your medical records too.  

13. Get your teeth cleaned, your eyes checked. Buy new glasses and contact lenses.  If you are a woman, go to your hoo hoo doctor for a checkup.  

14. Shop for long sleeved blouses and long to–the-floor skirts. Buy a hat for sandstorms. Scarves too. Pretty long scarves.. so feminine.

15. Set up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, download skype, google, netflix, hula etc while IN the United States.

16. Carry a map of the United Arab Emirates around with you and be prepared to whisk it out to show friends/relatives/ strangers when they ask, “Where are you are going to teach?” Be prepared for ignorant comments. Do not hit anyone, as being arrested for assault at this stage may slow down the VISA process.

17. Scan teaching materials onto a jump drive. Saves space in your suitcase for more shoes...

18. Locate your sense of humor and your patience. Keep it intact. You are going to need it.

19. Wait for your airline e-ticket and departure date. And wait. And wait. Take up knitting to pass the time.

20. Practice saying Insha’Allah

P.S I don't think it's going to be anything like Sex in the City Part Two:

If it is, I am not coming back.

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