My name is Jenna and my husband and I have moved to the United Arab Emirates to teach for 2 years. We have relocated from the hidden gem that is Buffalo, NY to start our international adventure. But what motivated us to make an international move? Well for starters we have always wanted to live abroad but never had the guts or the crazy abandonment to do it on our own. So instead it wasn’t until I was laid off from my teaching job in Buffalo and spent one whole year looking for work and only finding subbing positions that we decided to go for it! We heard about teaching in the United Arab Emirates through the unemployment office and the recruitment agency Teach Away. We applied, had interviews, got the jobs, packed up our apartment, bummed with family and we are now living the international life we have always wanted. So far we are about 21 months in (as of May 2014). For some background information, here is a map of the country:
First let me give you some background into the capital – Abu Dhabi. A little more than 40 years ago, believe it or not, Abu Dhabi was hardly developed. No skyscrapers, amusement parks, or two story malls. Their biggest form of income came from pearls. It looked something like this:
Today Abu Dhabi has grown and will continue to grow. Their income today comes primarily from oil and tourism. Abu Dhabi is also about and hour and a half by car from Dubai which you may know about bit more about. Here is Abu Dhabi today:
Both Scott and I are working for the ADEC (Abu Dhabi Education Council) teaching grades 10-12. This means that we can be placed anywhere in the Emirate (or state) of Abu Dhabi. Currently we are living in Al Ain. The city of Al Ain is the forth largest city in the United Arab Emirates and right next to the border with Oman. This city is a bit unusual because none of the buildings can be higher than 5 stories tall so it feels pretty small – more like a big suburb. Al Ain is also considered the garden city because all the streets are lined with palm tress and during the cooler months there are lots of flowers.This is the view taken from our rooftop over part of Al Ain and looking at the Jebel Hafeet which is the tallest mountain in the UAE:
I teach at the all girls school in Nahel and my husband teaches at the all boys school. We both teach grade 12 and it’s great because we teach each others’ sisters, brothers, and cousins. These are our adventures, travels, and experiences living and working abroad – I hope you enjoy! If you’re not sure where to start – start here!