I moved to Saudi Arabia during a pandemic! My experience as an international school teacher.

Published on 19th November, 2021 by Andrew Wigford. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

Daniel Coppinger is a teacher from the UK. Having recently moved to Saudi Arabia, we caught up with him to see how he has been getting on. From the friendly culture to taking trips in his spare time to the end of the world desert, Daniel tells us how he is enjoying life as an international school teacher.

How did you prepare for your arrival in Saudi?

I was a bit anxious about the move and had lots of things such as my VISA to organise. This was a bit stressful as I was eager to move over to Saudi as soon as possible to start my new position. Thankfully, it all worked out in the end!

Fortunately, I had a great contract that included accommodation, so I did not have to worry about finding somewhere to live. I certainly had to consider what kind of clothes to pack as Saudi has hot weather but also a strict cultural dress codes.

What was the journey like?

The journey was pleasant. I had a lot of support from the school who booked my flights and even arranged a driver to pick me up from the airport.

The main anxiety was flying, especially with the restrictions that were in place and making sure I had PCR tests done in time, but everything worked out in the end!

How did you settle in? How different is the culture?

I was able to settle in quite quickly as I live on a beautiful compound! I could make myself at home quite quickly here.

I am still impressed by how great the facilities are on my compound and how well maintained it is.

The culture here is very different, but it is much more friendly than people who have never been to Saudi before realise.

What do you do in your spare time? How is the social life for an international teacher?

I use my evenings to work out in our compounds very well-equipped gym or eat out at the restaurants!

Finding a social life is not easy to do in a new country and it does take time. However, I now have a few good friends that I spend time with and have recently taken a trip to The Edge of the World in the desert. It was a spectacular place with an amazing view, and I would have never got to see it if I hadn't made the move to Saudi as a teacher.


How has Saudi adjusted to life with covid? Are there many restrictions in your area?

Saudi has dealt very well with covid and because case numbers are fairly low, we have a lot of freedom.

What are your plans for the future?

I am enjoying Saudi a lot at the moment but I am always thinking about where the wind could take me next!

How has your school adapted to life with covid? How are the students?

Our students have worked very hard in online classes and have enjoyed coming back into school as part of a hybrid learning programme. I am looking forward to schools opening up again and so are they!

What is your school like? How was your first day? How different it from teaching in your home country?

My school is very different from the state schools back in the UK, which has given me a fantastic opportunity to adapt to a new setting. My first day was a bit daunting but all of the staff here made me feel very welcome.

Finally, how was your experience with TIC Recruitment?

My experience was very positive. I felt well supported in the process and Andrew helped to prepare me for the interview.

Would you like to teach in Saudi Arabia? Register with us today, It’s quick and easy and gives you access to many international school jobs in reputable, accredited international schools, some that are not advertised anywhere else.

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Andrew Wigford

Andrew is Managing Director of TIC. He has been involved in international education both as a teacher and Headteacher for over 25 years and has worked in Germany, Colombia and Austria. He set up TIC recruitment in 2005 to help teachers find great jobs in great international schools.