Whenever I got the job offer from Al Khaleej Training and Education back in June, I almost didn’t believe it was a real thing. The offer just seemed way too good to be true, so I did what any skeptic would do- I consulted Sheikh Google to see what I could find out about the company. I was so disappointed when my search yielded minimal results.
As crazy as it might sound, I wasn’t convinced that it was what one may call a “legitimate company,” and that it might be some type of scam as it did require quite a bit of money to get my visa issued. The reviews of the company I did find have a lot of people complaining about what a horrible time they had here, which I feel reflects more on their personal choices and lifestyle requirements than it does on the company. So, with that being said, I want to talk about my current experience with the company.
So far, Al Khaleej Training and Education has been the best company that I have worked with. As many of my readers know, there was quite a delay in getting my visa. While this was very stressful for me, my company was very patient and worked with me through this delay. It was nice to have a visa agent too, because I wasn’t so alone in the visa process, and he helped me to resolve any and all issues. (Note- Al Khaleej does NOT handle visa issuing. They use Atlantic Travel in Washington DC to deal with those issues.)
Shortly after my visa was issued, my company booked my ticket for me from my local airport to Riyadh. They had someone waiting for me at the airport, and he helped me get a sim card so that I could use my phone. He proceeded to drive me to the hospital because you are required to do a physical as soon as you enter the country to get your Iqama visa. When that was finished he dropped me off at a nice hotel, told me if I needed anything to call him, and let me sleep. The next morning he took me to the main office, where I met the company’s executive director.
The executive director was really great, and to be honest I wasn’t even aware I was meeting with the head of my company when I entered his office. He was so relaxed and welcoming that it didn’t even feel like he was interviewing me in person. It just felt more like a casual conversation between old friends. It was there that he decided to send me to Al-Qassim University, which at the time wasn’t my first choice although I love it now. He asked me if I needed money or anything at all, and told me to tell him if I did. I told him I needed an adaptor to charge my electronics, and he asked me if my phone was an IPhone because there are chargers for it there in the office. I couldn’t help but chuckle a little bit.
The company provided a van to take me to the bus station, purchased my bus ticket, and sent me to Qassim where another Al Khaleej van was waiting on me. The driver of that van was a very nice gentleman, and he does most of the driving for us here at the compound. The compound has employees of other companies living on it, but al Khaleej employees are treated the best. For example, there is a bus from the compound that has a set route it leaves for every day, and all companies are allowed to use it. Al Khaleej also has a bus that changes routes and leaves 4 times a week, and only Al Khaleej employees are allowed to ride it.
Employees with Al Khaleej may never be able to say that we are over worked. The bus leaves at 7 AM each morning, and we clock out from the office every day at 220 PM. We only do 16 hours of instructional work every week. The rest is dedicated to planning time or grading time or so on. It really is nice to feel how relaxed this schedule is. I know many teachers in USA have been very stressed and have been completely overworked, so it is really amazing to see the contrast between here and home, and to see the different dynamics in the classrooms.
Here in KSA I really feel far more valued as an educator than I did back in USA. Most of my girls are in the pre-med and pre-pharmacy program, so they are all very dedicated to success and are willing to learn. My coworkers and supervisors do everything to ensure that I am comfortable and effective. They even gave me a laptop which is really cool because I know teachers in USA who have to host fund raisers just to get money for supplies. My salary here is very good, I don’t have to pay taxes, and I don’t have rent/utilities. I really feel that this company cares about me as an individual, and I believe it treats all employee that way. I know that I haven’t worked for Al Khaleej Training and Education for a very long time, however I already know that I am interested in renewing my contract for at least a few more years.