About a week ago I received a job opportunity in Saudi Arabia out of the blue. Of course, I wasn't looking for work. But the offer was very, very good (better than any position than I've ever held). I had to at least look at it. I didn't think I'd get an interview, but I did. And then I was offered a contract.
It was tough for me because I find sudden changes difficult. I like to know what's happening well in advance. Spontaneity takes effort for me (but, I'm getting better). This was particularly difficult because the start date is 12/21. I'd have three weeks to be ready.
The salary is twice as much as I've ever made. So, I'd be able to finish my prereq's, save money for my actual Master's program and put a significant amount in savings. And, most important o all, we could do all this and bring Ian home after one year instead of two.
So, I decided to take it.
I won't be with Ian. He lives in Riyadh. My school is in Al Quwayiyah (Al Q, affectionately), which is about two hours outside the city. My company (esgSA) provides transport to Riyadh every weekend, so I'd see him every week. But, we're going to have very different experiences. Obviously, our genders play a big part in that. I've already ordered an abaya and hijab. But, he is in a major city and I'll be in a very small one. So, while we'll be near each other, we'll be having independent experiences.
My company sounds amazing and Ian is really enjoying the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). I'm nervous, but very excited.
I don't have a flight yet, but I'm told I'm leaving on the 18th. I'll spend a couple of days processing my visa in Bahrain and then I'll fly into Riyadh. I just heard that I'll be able to spend a couple of days with Ian there because the school has pushed back the start of the semester to accommodate drying paint. It'll be a good way to start my time there.
You can Google esg (esgSA) if you want to know more about the company I'm working for. They seem really great. I'll be joining a team working with a largely Bedouin community. Our students are young women aged 18-24. It's all very exciting.
I know that the Middle East can make people very nervous and that the cultural differences between the states and Saudi are vast. So, if you have any questions, please ask in the comments or on Facebook. I'll answer as best I can and I'll be sure to share the ins and outs of my experience once I'm there.