What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Evan and I am from the great state of Alabama.
What brought you to the UAE and had you ever visited there before?
Although I had never visited the UAE before, Dubai and its growth has always been of fascination for me. The career opportunities for teaching brought on my decision to move.
Was it a difficult process getting hired and obtaining your visa?
The process was fairly simple. I set up accounts with many recruitment sites and the agents handled the paper work and setting up the interviews. Once hired, my school provided the visa.
There are several schools and countries where you could have taught English. What were the factors that led you to choose the school and location?
With going through a recruitment site, I specified which countries I was interested in and in which I felt comfortable. I went on about three interviews; one in Houston, Tx and the others via skype. With each interview, I asked specific questions that not only pertained to the school, but my living situation as well. The way that my current principal responded to my questions made me feel as if she cared about her employees.
Do schools provide any accommodation to teachers getting to the UAE or while there?
My school provided accommodation for me. I made a Youtube video detailing my accommodation space. There are schools though that require teachers to find and furnish their own apartments but are willing to help with the process.
Is gaining access to medical care or pharmacies a challenge for foreign teachers who may not already have coverage under the UAE’s healthcare system?
Like many of my necessities, my health care was immediately set up by my school. They had health care officials come during school hours to finish up the paper work and provide information.
In some countries teachers have found it difficult to open a bank account as an American. Did you encounter this problem?
I did not have this problem. This was yet another benefit that my school set up for me.
One of the exciting parts of traveling abroad is trying new dishes. Did you discover any new foods while you were there?
I’ve found a new love for Lebanese food. My current favorite is shish tawook.
What do you miss most about being away from home?
Other than missing being able to visit my family within short notice, I really miss being able to shop at Target. I miss being able to walk into a store and grab a specific brand at 10:00 before the next school day. This may sound weird, but I have formed a close bond with Target that I haven’t been able to form with LuLu.
If you had friends planning to spend only 24 hours in the UAE, what would you suggest that they see or do?
There is so much to do here. I would definitely suggest a desert safari. There are many to choose from; but most include dune bashing, belly dancing, and dinner. My friends would of course love to go shopping and one could spend an entire day in any mall here. A beach day at the Jumeriah beach would also be an option because of the amazing pictures and sightseeing. The options are endless.