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ESL Destinations: Kuwait City

Emily Smith

Kuwait City is a small Gulf country, but quite cosmopolitan in nature. Less than half of the population is actually from Kuwait. Although still traditional in many ways and alcohol is hard to come by, Kuwait is a progressive and welcoming city to all. Many foreigners feel safe and live comfortably while working as an ESL teacher in Kuwait City.
The country doesn’t however, have much to offer in the way of nightlife or historical sites. This means ESL teachers are left to their own devices on weekends. For some, this is an incentive to work overtime, but only some positions offer extra working hours. Most ESL teachers wind up spending their free time at cafes, shopping, or hanging out at friends’ houses – not much different from anywhere else, only minus the alcohol, dancing, and loud music.

How much can I expect to be paid?
Teachers who work in Kuwait City can expect to make anywhere from 3,000-6,000 USD per month. The salary depends largely on the type of school or institute you work at – university lecturers and ESL teachers at international schools tend to make the most – and what qualifications you have. Of course, PhD holders will be able to get a better, higher paying job than someone who simply has a Bachelor’s degree.

What about benefits and extra perks?
When you work as an ESL teacher in Kuwait City, you can expect to have a fairly comfortable life. As with other Gulf countries, there is no income tax so every dollar you earn is yours! You will be provided with a furnished apartment. In some scenarios, you will have your own bedroom but have to share the living and kitchen areas with one or two other teachers. As an ESL teacher in Kuwait City you should also expect a return flight to your home country, health insurance and at least a few weeks paid vacation each year.

What are the required qualifications?
You will need to have an ESL teaching certification. – most employers accept TESOL, TESOL, TEFL, or CELTA. Other ESL teaching certifications may also be valid. You must also have a Bachelor’s degree. If you wish to teach in a university or an international school you will need to have obtained a Bachelor’s of Education or Applied Linguistics.

The country doesn’t however, have much to offer in the way of nightlife or historical sites. This means ESL teachers are left to their own devices on weekends.

Important things to know:
Many times male teachers will be given additional stipends to bring wives and children along with them; female teachers often do not enjoy the same benefit. While Kuwait is a predominately Muslim country, it is quite accommodating to persons of other faith and practicing any religion is a constitutional right. One thing to know is that films and books are censored, and most love stories or movies with sexual references are banned from the small country.

Does Kuwait sound like an interesting destination to you? Let us know below!

About the author

Emily has taught English to ESL learners in four Asian countries. Although she taught students from 3-60, she has a definite affection for preschoolers and college students. She has also worked as an ESL curriculum writer and is TESOL certified. When she is not teaching, she loves watching and making films.