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.

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.

A Typical Weekend for an ESL Teacher in Ras al Khaimah, U.A.E.

By Katie Ayers

You’ve heard the expression, work hard - play hard. While I’ve never verbalized this as my motto for life in Ras al Khaimah, UAE, it does make a lot of sense. My weekdays are essentially non-stop work. My days at work are extremely busy, I’m constantly in motion. I try to get all of my grading and planning done at work so I do not have to take it home. Unlike my previous positions, this is actually possible if you work hard enough during school hours. After school on weekdays I prepare food and head to the gym.

My 5 Favorite Spots in Ras al Khaimah, U.A.E.

By Katie Ayers

When asked, what are my 5 favorites spots in RAK, my initial thoughts were “my kitchen, my bed, my couch, my friends couch, and the beach.” I look at the life people live in some countries and think everyday looks like an adventure and that my life here is pretty “vanilla.” For about half of the year it’s too hot to do much beyond going to the beach and pool if you want to be outside, or heading to the mall. I honestly don’t enjoy spending my time inside at malls so this leaves me at home more often than I’d like. In addition, because I live in a smaller Emirate, there is the small town effect of not much to do.