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Teaching English in Oman: The Hidden Gem of Arabia
Written by: Edward Young
Last Updated: January 13, 2021
So you want to teach English abroad? Well, it’s a big world out there and the choices can be quite daunting. Fear not, I too, once faced the same decision! If you have read my past articles, you may be aware that I have lived and taught abroad in both Japan and South Korea and, just like those choose-your-own-adventure books of my childhood, I have added yet another country to my list. In case the title didn’t already give it away… that place is Oman and, yes, that’s me in the picture above.
Many people think of the Persian Gulf in the Middle East as a great place to visit where there are a lot of hot tourist destinations (no pun intended): Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and 2022 World Cup host nation, Qatar, just to name a few. Quite commonly; however, Oman is left off that list, and I’m telling you from personal experience that it would be a tragedy to choose this region and overlook The Sultanate of Oman as place to live and teach English.
Before considering this region as a place to live and work, a number of questions may spring to mind. Is it safe? Do you feel comfortable there? Isn’t it too hot? Etc. Etc. Well, Oman is one of the safest countries I have lived in. Additionally, it is one of the most liberal countries in the region so both men and women can live comfortably and enjoy the amenities and comforts of modern life. Translation — although it is an Islamic nation and you should be aware of the culture — there are bars and places to relax and have a drink with friends and colleagues. As for the heat, I’m a lover of warm weather so I never felt overwhelmed by it at all. But it isn’t just the weather that makes this place special.
Let’s take a trip. Furthest south, in the city of Salalah, you will feel worlds apart from the rest of the country and the Middle East in general. There is lush greenery during the rainy season, a subtropical climate and a culture that is a beautiful fusion of Arab and Africa with thousands of years of history. As you journey north, you will encounter numerous old forts, some of which are hundreds of years old. All along the coastlines, options for adventure and exploration continue to unveil themselves. You can stay inland and watch the turtles hatch along the shore or venture out into the sea for fishing or diving in some of the world’s best diving waters.
Then there’s the capital city of Muscat. Here, in this entrancing blend of old and new, you can engage in old school haggling at the Mutrah souq (a traditional style shopping market). Or you can take in a performance at the beautiful Muscat Opera House (the only one of its kind in the entire region!). I could continue on with our virtual trip like for days but the ultimately the decision of where to go is up to you. As a graduate and former staff member of International TEFL Academy, I speak from experience when I say don’t wait any longer! Take a look at the pictures here, read some more articles and hop on the phone to speak talk to an advisor, and get your journey around the world started now!
Edward Young taught English in Asia (South Korea & Japan) for seven years, including three years in Japan in the rural prefecture of Tottori on the southern coast of Honshu, the largest Japanese island. He has also taught English in Oman and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East before joining the ITA team for a brief period as an ITA Admissions Advisor.
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