27 Jul

Exploring the UAE: 7 must see destinations

In recent years, the UAE has become a popular destination for overseas teachers and aspiring world travelers, but many people still don't realize what the UAE has to offer. There are so many things to do that you'll never run out of places to visit and things to see. The UAE has countless popular tourist attractions, but there are also many lesser-known places to check out!

Wait...how does this relate to teaching?

Well, many teachers are moving to the UAE, because it boasts nearly 600 English medium international schools. On top of that, the UAE has the highest enrollment of international school students in the world. Thanks to the country’s competitive pay and benefit packages, you’ll be able to take advantage of the large assortment of entertainment options the country has to offer. Whether you've been teaching there for years or have just landed your first job in the area, you'll always be able to find something new to see.

Young kids studying in a classroom in Abu Dhabi

Although you may already know that Dubai holds the record for the tallest building in the world (the Burj Khalifa), the world's largest indoor theme park, and the world's first rotating skyscraper, you'd be missing out if you didn't take the time to see what other attractions exist in the UAE.  No matter which emirate you live in, you'll be able to find an assortment of things to do.

Not sure where to start? Take a look at our list, and you'll be ready to hop on a plane to visit all of these places!

               1. Dubai's man-made Archipelagos

Archipelagos in Dubai

Courtesy of Expedition Crew 22/NASA

 

Dubai's man-made islands are designed to look like a palm tree (Palm Jumeirah) and a world map when viewed from above. Enjoy the views while sky-diving nearby or explore up-close on a kayaking tour along the Palm Jumeirah Island.

Wondering how the islands were created? The process is called land reclamation: they pulled sand from the gulf floors and then sprayed and compacted it into the unique shapes that you see today. For precision, they used GPS technology. Millions of tons of rock have been placed around the islands for protection.

To access these islands, travelers can take a monorail from mainland Dubai. There is also an underwater tunnel that connects the crescent to the topmost frond. Creating these islands isn't cheap, and if you want to learn more about why they were created and how much they cost, check out this article.

For a unique aquarium experience, visit the Lost Chambers Aquarium (found in the crescent of the palm), which is modeled after the lost city of Atlantis. There, you can explore and view thousands of aquatic species in a shipwreck setting, as well as take a yoga class surrounded by the serene waterscape.

              2. Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya

Courtesy of Lykos Terzis/Culture Trip

 

Located in Dubai's Old Quarter, Al Bastakiya is the oldest surviving neighborhood in Dubai. It was created in the 19th century by pearl traders from Bastak, Iran. Although Dubai is known for being a rich, glamorous city, it used to be a very different place. This neighborhood came into existence before the tourism boom, and it's a great place to visit to understand what Dubai used to be like.

Stroll along the narrow, winding alleyways, and admire the coral stone buildings and wind towers (an old form of air conditioning). The neighborhood is filled with Arabian tea shops, art galleries, and museums, so there is plenty to see and do while you're there.

You can also take an abra (a traditional boat made of wood) along the creek, and view the Bastakiya quarter from a different perspective. If you like going to contemporary art galleries, be sure to check out the artistic side of Bastakiya. The galleries in this area showcase many Arab artists, as well as artists from all over the world, depending on which gallery you stumble upon.

                       3. Souks

Souks

 

Every city in the UAE has its own souk district. These street markets feature all sorts of items – local handicrafts, food, jewelry, and home goods. Some of the most notable include Dubai's gold, fabric, and spice souks, Abu Dhabi's carpet souk, and Al Ain's camel souk.

Even if you're not interested in buying anything, souks offer a lively, bustling atmosphere that anybody could enjoy. You can observe the traditional way of doing business, browse the goods that are being offered, and maybe even end up buying a traditional Arabian item that will impress your friends, family, and houseguests.

               4. Hajar Mountains

Hajar Mountains

Courtesy of Desert Safari Dubai

 

Although they're only partially in the UAE, the Hajar Mountains make for a nice day or weekend trip within the Arabian Peninsula. The mountains provide a nice change of scenery for those who enjoy rock climbing, hiking, and off-road exploration. The Hajar mountain range is the highest in the Arabian Peninsula, and if you decide to go, you'll find breathtaking views throughout your entire hike.

The roads winding along the mountains go through the area's tiny villages, allowing for some interesting pit stops at modern Bedouin and fishing villages. That being said, don't forget to pack well, as you won't be able to purchase food and water once you're there! With some preparation, you’ll be ready to enjoy your weekend in the mountains, and soak in the spectacular views while wandering around or weaving through the wadis (dry river beds).

To read more about what you can do once you're in the mountains and how to camp there safely, check out this guide!

               5. Sir Bani Yas Safari Island

Sir Bani Yas Safari Island

Courtesy of My Custard Pie

 

Sir Bani Yas was once home to the Bani Yas tribe, until they abandoned it due to lack of trees and freshwater sources. The UAE's Founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, visited the island in the early 1970's and decided to transform it into a nature reserve, providing a sanctuary for the endangered animals of the UAE, Africa, and other countries.

Today, the island is home to 16,000 animals – providing the guests at the resorts an African safari-type experience. Sticking to the theme of preservation, the resorts also plant a mangrove tree for every overnight guest. Popular activities here include snorkeling, diving, archery, horseback riding, and of course, a wildlife safari drive.

               6. Desert Excursions

Desert Excursions

 

Another great day or weekend trip option is to go on a desert excursion. You can plan a trip from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, or Fujairah. Common activities are sandboarding, camel riding, and driving dune buggies.

For a truly unique experience, go with a guide to the Singing Sand Dunes of Liwa where you'll hear a deep roaring tone coming from the sand. After your daytime adventures, catch a belly dancing performance, get a henna tattoo, or try some Arabian shisha. If you're staying overnight, the Bedouin camps are great options to check out too.

               7. Al Jazirat Al Hamra

Al Jazirat Al Hamra

Courtesy of Kemal Kestelli/Flickr

 

This small abandoned fishing village in Ras Al Khaimah is a great destination for history buffs. Built from mud and coral stones, the buildings are remnants of typical pre-oil era UAE structures.

The village swelled to over 2,000 inhabitants until they all abandoned their homes in the 1960s. The reason for abandonment is unclear and shrouded in rumor – some say it was due to a tribal dispute while others claim it was the lure of prosperity in nearby Abu Dhabi that drove the villagers to leave. Either way, they seem to have left in a hurry, leaving behind most of their possessions – including a car and boat.

What are you waiting for?

Although we've gone over 7 amazing places to visit in the UAE, there are so many other things to do and see – including some that you just have to discover and see for yourself! Learn more about what living in the UAE is like here.

If you think you're ready to take the plunge and start teaching in the UAE, you van view our current job openings here:

View UAE Teaching Jobs

09 Jul

How to Authenticate a Document, Stress-Free

Document authentication isn't as bad as it sounds when you know what you're doing, so we've created a guide to help walk you through the process.

Document authentication guide

What is document authentication, and what does it mean to you as a foreign teacher?

Document authentication, also known as attestation or legalization, is a requirement for teachers to gain a work permit in certain countries. China and the UAE are two of the main countries that require authentication, but you’ll also need similar services if you’re teaching in South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.

While the authentication process can be complicated, the right preparation can make document authentication very manageable.

What is the authentication of documents?

In simple terms, document authentication is when you have an official document verified by the embassy or consulate of the country where you’ll be teaching. Typically, there are a minimum of three documents that you will need to have authenticated: your bachelor’s degree, a TEFL/state teaching license, and a police/background check. However, some countries might require additional documents, including degree transcripts. If you are bringing a spouse or children, then a marriage license or birth certificates may also be required.

How do you authenticate a document?

The exact process for document authentication will vary depending on your home country and the country you will be teaching in. To be safe, make sure you discuss authentication requirements in full with your hiring school. For more specific information on document authentication for China and the UAE, you can check out our guides:

Authenticating documents for use in China Authenticating documents for use in the UAE

In general, there are three steps to getting your documents authenticated:

1. Visit a Notary Public/Solicitor:

Have any notary public make a copy of the original document and notarize the copy.

2. See Your Local Government:

After getting your document notarized, you will take the notarized copy and have it authenticated by your local government. In the United States, the Secretary of State would authenticate the document, while the Foreign & Commonwealth Office would review the document in the UK. The purpose of this step is to establish that the notary public in step one is a legal and registered notary in your jurisdiction..

3. Plan a Trip to Your Consulate:

Once you have your notarized copy stamped and authenticated by your local government, you will take the document to the consulate or embassy in your jurisdiction for final authentication.

In some cases, you will be able to mail your documents into the consulate for authentication. However, in most cases, the documents will have to be physically dropped off and picked up from the consulate. If this is the case, then there are a few different options:

Option 1: – Do it yourself:

If you live near a consulate or embassy, then it is possible for you to do the whole authentication process yourself, including dropping off and picking up your documents from the consulate.

Option 2: – Friends/Family:

If you do not live near your consulate, then you will need to have someone submit the documents on your behalf. One way to do this would be to have a friend or family member do the authentication for you in person. The benefit of this option is that it minimizes costs and doesn’t require you to drive or fly long distances to get it done. The risk is that your family or friends may not be experts on authentication, and the process may be delayed due to complications or scheduling issues.

Option 3: – Agency/third party:

If you can’t get to the consulate yourself and don’t have anyone who can do it for you, then there are several agencies that offer document authentication services, including Teaching Nomad. Using an agency is a great option if you are currently overseas or simply can’t get to the consulate yourself to get it done. Even if you have access to your local consulate, using a third party can be a great option if you simply want to get it done correctly, efficiently, and peacefully.

Note that if you hold a U.S. passport and need any documents authenticated for China or the UAE, Teaching Nomad will complete the entire process from start to finish** 

Teaching Nomad can authenticate your documents!

How long does it take to authenticate documents?

If you do everything yourself, the process can be done in less than a week, assuming you do everything correctly. If you use an agency, then it may take two to three weeks. If you’re in a hurry, there are options to get it done in 1-2 business days at an added cost.

How much does document authentication cost?

The minimum cost for each document will be around $40 per document for the government processing fees. You may assume that options 1 and 2 listed above are the cheapest, but you have to account for shipping and travel costs as well. Option 3 is a bit more expensive, as you pay for the convenience of having an agency or third party do it for you, but it saves you a lot of time and stress in the end. With standard shipping, you can expect to pay anywhere from $160+ per document.

Considering that most countries will require a minimum of three documents authenticated, be prepared to budget at least $500 for document authentication.

What happens after you authenticate your documents?

Once your authenticated documents are returned to you, then you will be using these documents to apply for your work permit. This process will be completed by your school/employer. Eventually you will use the work permit to apply for a work visa.

Do you have questions about how to authenticate a document?

Document authentication can be a stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be if you adequately prepare. Use online resources, do your own research, and speak with your school to make sure you have all the help you need in getting your documents authenticated. If you have any questions about document authentication or are interested in using Teaching Nomad to authenticate your documents, contact us today. We’re here to help!

22 Jun

Wondering where you should go to teach abroad?

Don't worry - you're not alone, everyone that's ever taught abroad has worried about choosing a teaching destination! To help ease your mind, we've created a list of the top 6 countries/cities that expats choose to call home anywhere from a few semesters to the rest of their lives!

Map of the World

There are so many options when it comes to picking a place to teach abroad - so, how do you choose?

Ever thought of what it would be like to teach something that you’re passionate about in surroundings that are completely new to you? English is one of the most common languages spoken around the world, and no experience compares to teaching it abroad. It’s a language that’s used all over the world, which means you have more opportunities than you can even imagine regarding where you can go to teach it.

There are so many different places that hire foreign teachers year round, and making a decision can be tough! Each place has it's own list of pros and cons, but after a little research, you're sure to find a destination that's perfect for you! Get an insight into what options you have available, and then get ready to start your teaching journey.

China - The Typical Expat's Ideal Teaching Location

Students in China

Holding the crown for having the largest population in the world, China probably has the highest demand for English speaking teachers than anywhere else. It has brilliant food to make your taste buds tingle, and being the largest population in the world, you'll find that it’s extremely diverse. This means you won’t be too far away from someone who you can make an instant friend with - there are tons of expats living all throughout China, especially in the bigger cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

When you live in China, traveling to other nearby provinces and countries is very easy; you'll never run out of places to go! There are a bunch of giant cities that are always bustling with people, so there is always something to do. If you want to relax a bit more, just head over to the countryside and experience more of the calm, quiet beauty that China has to offer! There are also smaller cities that may be closer to what you're used to, and they have small mom & pop stores and many friendly residents.

Along with that, the cost of living will most likely be much lower than what you're used to, so saving money is a walk in the park. Even if you still go out to eat and travel, you'll more than likely still be saving quite a bit of money compared to how you're living currently.

There are tons of people that have never taught before, that suddenly decide to quit their 9-5 job to go teach in China, and they say that it's the best decision they ever made. If you want to add yourself to this list of blissful expats, check out all of the different kinds of teaching jobs that China offers!

UAE (Dubai) - The Adventurous Expat's Next Exploit

City of Dubai

Dubai constantly has new structures being built to accomodate the growth that the city has been experiencing recently. The UAE as a whole has become a wildly popular travel destination whether that be for teachers, tourists, vacationers, or business people. Dubai is full of foreigners, so no need to assume that you'd feel alone there. The crime rate is practically in the negatives, and there's no income tax! (Amazing right?) Dubai, along with some other major cities within the UAE, is very modern and developed, and there are beautiful beaches nearby that you can visit during your off hours.

Dubai also has a continuously expanding business sector, and it's a popular destination for expats, especially teachers. There are business individuals and foreigners who are flying in and out of the country every day, which makes the ability to speak and teach English incredibly important.

There are countless opportunities for teachers in the UAE, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi. The majority of the teaching openings are for licensed teachers in all subject areas at either public or private schools. The UAE has become one of the most popular locations for teaching abroad, and depending on how much experience you have, you can make a lot of money (tax free!!). Dubai is an exceptional and extravagant city with many beautiful sights to see, and every day, more and more foreigners are discovering how amazing it truly is! Check out some of the teaching positions that are offered in Dubai and the UAE, and find your next great adventure!

Thailand - The Tropical Land of Teaching Opportunities

Kids in Thailand

Thailand is a beautiful country that is also a very popular teaching spot. Many come to take a vacation for around 2 weeks or so, and then they find that they’ve fallen in love with it so much that they want to stay. Those who do decide to move to Thailand commonly come to teach English since it’s in such high demand. A major benefit for teachers in Thailand is the low cost of living, and the close proximity to other countries.

The wages you make in Thailand will lead to a comfortable living situation, with plenty of extra cash to spend on traveling & other fun things! You can even explore Thailand by taking an in-class TEFL course. Not only will you get to experience everything that Thailand has to offer, but you'll also receive your TEFL certification & a job teaching abroad!

Brazil - Ideal for Expats that Love Festivals & Celebrations

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Who doesn’t love a bit of South American culture? Brazil is known for having some of the most gorgeous beaches, and it boasts its flamboyant carnival culture. If you enjoy football, Brazil might just be your next travel destination.

Ever since they hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and more recently the Olympics in 2016, the tourist attraction continues to grow for Brazil. Due to the increase in population, Brazil has an even higher demand for teachers to speak and teach English as more and more foreigners come to visit and potentially live there. In particular, cities like Sao Paulo and Rio De Janeiro are where there is a high demand for English teachers. However, be wary that Brazil is one of the most expensive countries to work in, in South America, so your cost of living is likely to cancel out your salary.

Czech Republic (Prague) - Great for Expats and History Buffs Alike

Prague, Czech Republic

This one may be a bit of a surprise - not many people think of the Czech Republic or Prague when they think of teaching abroad. A bit closer to home, the Czech Republic has a rather small population, but it’s becoming a place of opportunity for investment. Foreigners are flooding the country as it continues to grow and as it expands, there’s more reason for schools there to invest in English & subject teachers.

The ideal place you'd look to work in is Prague, mainly due to its size and popularity. In terms of cost of living and average wage, it’s likely that you’ll break even with balancing both, but your experience level could defintitely help you get offered a higher salary. It’s pretty straightforward to obtain a visa too, where regulations are far less strenuous compared to obtaining a U.S. or UK visa!

Prague is another great location to get your TEFL certification as well!

Japan - Perfect for Teachers that Appreciate Culture & Tradition

Japanese Scenery

Japan is very similar to China in terms of demand for English teachers. In fact, there’s a pretty high demand for teachers across Asia as a whole. The lifestyle is brilliant in Japan, with a rich culture to explore and a lot of delectable food. It’s modernised in a way you couldn’t dream of, and if you ever thought that the lifestyle in London or New York is busy, you’ve seen nothing until you arrive in Japan.

You get a relatively strong wage whilst working in Japan, and if you’re able to accommodate yourself in smaller cities, then you should find that the cost of living is quite comfortable. There are opportunities to teach English in Japan all over the country!

Conclusion

Even if you enjoy teaching English but have second thoughts about going abroad, the experience you have could be exceptional and it's an opportunity that you just can't pass up. Effectively, you’ll be checking two things off your bucket list at once by doing something you love and seeing the world at the same time. English is spoken all around the globe which provides endless opportunities for foriegn teachers no matter where you want to teach!

08 Jun

Adventure travel money jar

Need to Earn a Little Extra Spending Money During Your Time Abroad?

Teaching in a foreign country is a fun and exciting time! It's full of rewarding experiences and opportunities both financially and in terms of personal growth, and teaching will provide you with the money you need to be comfortable. Let’s face it though, sometimes you want a little extra money to buy a plane ticket to that place that everyone has been raving about since the day you arrived. If you're like most other people, at some point, you've thought about how you can make some extra cash on the side to be able to do everything you want. For when you need a little extra money coming in, check out these awesome side hustles that will help you bring in as much extra cash as you are willing to put in time. In doing this, you will be off to your next destination, dining at that place that you’ve been dying to try, or living in five star luxury on your next weekend trip!

Tutoring:

Do you have a skill that other people want to have? Why not teach them how to do it! Tutoring online or in person is an effective way to make some extra money on the side of your teaching because, hey, you’re already teaching! If you’re wanting to try tutoring English online check out our online teaching positions. Tutoring in the subject that you are there to teach is a no brainer, but don’t get bogged down thinking that you can only tutor the language or subject that you are there to teach. Maybe you are in your host country teaching English, but you also happened to be at the top of your class in Biology. There are plenty of people who would be willing to pay you to help them out with that, particularly high school students who are seeking international baccalaureate credit, or even studying for the science section of the SAT. When thinking about what you can tutor, get creative, maybe all of those piano lessons your mom made you take growing up will pay off now that you can be a private music tutor!

bigstock people knowledge education a 86347748

Sell your lesson plans online:

You’re a teacher, which means you’re actively making new lesson plans everyday for your class.  Why not sell them to other teachers as well? Teachers Pay Teachers is a great website to make easy and quick money for something that you’re already doing.

Dog Walker/Pet Sitter:

If you have a pet back home that is really starting make you home sick, maybe being a dog walker or pet sitter would help you feel more connected back home, not to mention people will pay you for it! People love their pets all the world around, and they are always looking for responsible animal lovers like you who are willing to take on the task of walking Sparky while they go to work or are out of town. Check out these websites to build you profile and get to walking.

  • Spareleash.com
  • Petbacker.com

dogwalkers

Model:

Have you ever had someone take your photo? If so, congratulations, you are officially qualified to be a model in your host country. Modeling shoots are easy to find, especially if there are not a ton of people from your country in your host location. These shoots may range from advertising for a new business that just opened up that features your culture's food or crafts, to companies that are working in education and need people who look like teachers. These jobs are great. because it is usually a one-time gig that pays out that same day, so you can do it after your work day. You never know, you might build up your portfolio and end up becoming your host country’s next top model.

fotokameru razotaji

Freelance writing / editing:

All around the world, companies will hire you to write short articles for their blogs, magazines, or other publications they might be trying to put out. These can be any number of topics, and many places will pay you per article you write. This is a great thing to be able to put on your resume, and it will also help you bring in some extra cash on the side. Also, as the in house authority on English, you can rise to become the editor for the publication, going over the work of other freelance writers who might not be native English speakers. As a bonus, if you are good with a camera, many of these places will also pay for freelance photography!

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Work at a hostel:

Hostels all over the world are looking for people to run their counters in the evening and weekends. They want people who can easily communicate with travelers from around the world, and lucky for you, the vast majority of world travelers will appreciate your native English skills as they roll into your host country looking for the closest places to eat and drink. Working in a hostel can sometimes have the added benefit of free housing if your school doesn’t pay for that too!

Travel picture 1024x682

Work for education companies doing recordings:

Have you ever put in the time to study a foreign language and wondered where all those audio recordings come from of people talking super slow about the weather? Well, there are good odds that they came from travelers like yourself who found themselves in a foreign country looking for a little extra money. Finding an educational or textbook company can provide an excellent source of income as you go into their offices and make recordings of yourself speaking your native language straight from a script.

 

If you’ve made it this far, I assume that you are going to be a savvy traveler, capable of getting whatever they want, when they want it when they travel, but as a last piece of advice, have a ton of fun. Living and teaching in a foreign country is an amazing experience, and you don’t want to find yourself missing out on all of the amazing opportunities that arise while living in a foreign culture. The best way to safe guard against this is trying to put some extra money in the bank before you embark, as this will allow you to do the things you want, when you want. However, if you find yourself a little short, just remember Teaching Nomad's list of top ways to earn extra money on the side, and before you know it, you’ll have the extra money in your pocket to have that next great experience!

budget travel


Teaching Nomad is your connection to teaching in Asia & The Middle East! We are a western owned and operated teacher placement agency with offices in Denver & Shanghai. We take a lot of pride in connecting teachers with great teaching opportunities.

 

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   Kangding Road No.1018, Third Floor, Suite 306 Shanghai, Prc

   1660 S.Albion St. Suite 826, Denver,CO USA

 (+86) 21 8025 3905

 (+1) 720 531 6136

 www.teachingnomad.com

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