From Cairo to Germany - Still Intact, and Stronger

By: Eric Schenck 

My name is Eric, and I don’t really know what I’m doing with my life.

For almost three years, I lived in Cairo, Egypt. I was certified to teach English through International TEFL Academy in April of 2015. One month later, I graduated from Gonzaga University. Three months after that, I packed my bags, quit my job, and flew out. 

On August 11th of 2015, I arrived in the land of the pharaohs. It is now September of 2018. I write this from my new apartment in Düsseldorf, Germany. It seems like an entire lifetime of experiences has passed by in just moments.

Tips on How to Find an Expat Community While Teaching English in the U.A.E.

By Katie Ayers

When you accept a position in the United Arab Emirates, you’ll automatically have an expat community to support you. You’ll be working in a school that will have tons of English speaking expats from the US, Ireland, England, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand (I’d say the top countries). You’ll similarly have tons of Arabic expats at your school from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and so on.

Appreciating Arabic Hospitality While Teaching English in the U.A.E.

By Katie Ayers

In 2016 I hopped onto a plane to the Middle East. I was so eager to embrace this adventure, this part of the world, Islam and in the meantime prove to everyone who doubted my safety, opportunities or sanity, wrong.

You Know You're in the U.A.E. When...

By Katie Ayers

When you come to the UAE, you’ll know.

You’ll TASTE cardamom in all local coffee. You’ll also taste mint, it’s a popular drink flavor, including in tea and lemon and mint juice. You’ll eat za’atar, olive oil, olives and bread. You’ll also taste a lot of middle eastern food, shawarma, falafel, grape leaves, mixed grill and baklava.

10 Mobile Phone Apps to Make Life in the U.A.E. Easier

By Katie Ayers

Cell phones. I hate them but I love them. In the two years I have lived in the United Arab Emirates, I’ve gone through 3 phones. Phones are unreliable but the most necessary thing for international survival. A few months after I arrived, I got a new phone through the phone company here. I’m still paying for that iPhone 7, which magically broke - I’m pretty sure it melted and Apple has a monopoly on all things expensive.

I Wanted to Teach English in Ras al Khaimah, U.A.E. Because...

By Katie Ayers

5 years after I graduated from college I decide that it was time for me to go on a new adventure. I had been teaching at a charter school that focused on refugee needs in Chicago and was inspired by the different experiences my students had and how different they were depending on where they were from. This and my past trip abroad really motivated me to want to travel. I wanted to gain life experience outside of the US and add to my story. I wanted adventures. I wanted to eat Syrian food in Syria, falafel in the middle east, tomatoes in Italy. I wanted to experience cultures in their native land, meet people from all over the world and really become a citizen of it.

But I Don't Speak Arabic! Teaching English in the U.A.E.

By Katie Ayers

When I graduated from International TEFL Academy's Chicago Class, I felt like it was the first time I really mastered the English language - with all of the grammar rules and new knowledge about location of letters on your tongue, I was ready. So naturally, I embarked on a journey to a country that, for lack of a better word, spun my brain around.

Celebrating Ramadan While Teaching English in the U.A.E.

By Katie Ayers

In the US, we have a lot of one day holidays that nicely break up the school year. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Pulaski Day (if you’re in Chicago) and Thanksgiving to name a few. These give you the sweet blessing of a 4 day (or less) work week. I’d say at least once per month in the US, you get a three day weekend.