We’re back with another ESL Around the World interview! If you’re interested in teaching English abroad, this interview series was made just for you. You’ll learn everything you need to know in order to teach in different places. So far, we’ve interviewed people who have taught in Cambodia and Kazakhstan. Today we’re going to hear all about what it’s like teaching English in Oman.
Ever since I became an ESL teacher, I’ve heard lots of talk about how the Middle East is one of the best places to save money as an English teacher. Located on the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is full of history and culture. Up until the 1970’s, it was one of the most isolated countries in the world. Since then, education and tourism have taken off. The people are friendly and welcoming to foreigners. They’re proud of their frankincense-trading past and their rapid progress.
I’m excited to hear about teaching English there!
Meet Nicole Brewer
Our interview today is with Nicole Brewer. Nicole is an English Language teacher and travel blogger/freelance writer. She has traveled to over 40 countries and lived abroad in South Africa, Germany, South Korea and presently in Oman.
She has a zest for the expat lifestyle and has a goal of inspiring others to travel and live abroad. She is the author of “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad” and the Co-Founder of the I Luv 2 Globe Trot travel site and community. Follow her travels on the I Luv 2 Globe Trot Facebook page and Instagram and you’ll be rewarded with daily tips and inspiration.
Now that you’ve gotten to know Nicole a bit, let’s get on with the interview!
Teaching English in Oman
Where do you teach and what is your position?
I’m an ESL teacher at a small college in Nizwa, Oman.
What are the hours and pay like?
I teach on average between 18-20 hours a week, with time left for office hours, class prep, etc. I make around $3,000 a month when you factor in housing.
What is a typical day like?
This semester, I’ve taught 20 hours a week so I have 4 hours of classroom teaching daily. The in-between time is left for office hours which I have 3 times a week, grading essays and the like.
What are the pros and cons of your job?
The pros are my students are very kind overall. There are always a few that are rambunctious, but they are good kids. I get a ton of vacation time and holidays, with on average 60 days during summer vacation and plenty of holidays during the term.
I’ve been here a few years so I’m used to the cultural differences, but for some, it may be difficult adjusting to having boys and girls in the same classroom in this region. It’s generally their first time being in the same class with the opposite sex once they come to college as they’ve been at separate schools/classes during primary school.
What’s the best way to find a teaching job in Oman?
Through a recruiter or online job boards such as Seriousteachers.com. That’s where I found my position.
Why did you choose to live and teach in Oman? What do you like and dislike about it?
I taught in South Korea for 3.5 years prior to teaching in Oman. I enjoyed my time there but was looking for a change and it doesn’t get much more different than teaching in the Middle East. I really like the atmosphere here. Omanis are very nice and it’s a gorgeous country.
One of the dislikes for me is as a single woman, it’s not the easiest to date here (generally impossible) due to the cultural differences.
What is the cost of living like compared to your earnings? Are you able to save money?
The cost of living is pretty comparable to my earnings. It’s easy to save money here if you are determined to do so. I love to travel so I’m on the go a lot, but the average person can save at least 50% of your income if you are diligent enough.
Have you taught in another city or country before?
I taught in South Korea prior to coming to Oman. I enjoyed both locations. I always tell people that South Korea is a great location for those starting out in the ESL field.
I think Oman is better suited for those that are more mature (think 30s/40s), as there is not as much nightlife and excitement as say South Korea, but both are great locations with kind students and locals.
What advice do you have for people considering moving abroad to teach English?
I self-published a book earlier this year entitled “A Guide to Landing an English Teaching Job Abroad” that can be of great assistance to those looking to move into the ESL field.
The biggest advice I can give outside of my book is to be patient and do your research before making your decision to move abroad.
There you have it! I had never really considered teaching in the Middle East, but with $3,000/month salary, I might have to reconsider! Teaching English in Oman sounds like a great option for someone who’s already gotten a bit of teaching experience elsewhere in the world and wants to up their pay.
If you haven’t already, it’s not a bad idea to get an ESL teaching certification. There are a few different options, but we always advise getting a TEFL. Not only will it help you find a job, but it will also teach you classroom management, how to plan a lesson, be entertaining while teaching, and help you teach with confidence.
We got our TEFL certificates with BridgeTEFL and would highly recommend them. They provide a stellar course and will pair you with an online mentor to grade your assignments and help you as you progress. Click here to learn more about BridgeTEFL and to see course options. If you’d like more information about TEFL courses, the button below will take you to an article we wrote about different types of certifications.
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Stay tuned for our next interview in our ESL Around the World Series!
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