Teaching as an Expat in Saudia Arabia - do teachers wear a hijab? Are there Islamic and Arabic Studies in international schools?

acarten's picture
By acarten - Posted on
18 March 2018

Hello to everyone, My husband and I are hoping to secure a contract and work in Saudi Arabia, and we have questions that we hope you can answer: 1) We are both Muslims and noticed that in the American International Schools, it looks as religious classes and Arabic classes are not taught everywhere. 2) I have also noticed that in the American Schools, female teachers and students do not wear the hijab. 3) In these schools, I have the feeling that there are no prayer times and Jummah on Friday for Teachers and students? Am I wrong? If I'm right, where are the schools that hire Americans and where it is possible to do it? Thank you very much.

Kyle de Villiers's picture
Last seen: 1 year 37 weeks ago
Joined: 01/03/2018

Hi A,

What subjects do you teach? Many private and international schools seek to employ American teachers for to teach English. There are a few agencies that help to place teachers in schools in Saudia Arabia. Apart from applying to schools directly, this might be the most convenient way of finding employment.

Onto your questions,

1) According to the Ministry of Education, all international schools should dedicate one hour per work to teach Islamic Studies as well as a few other Ministry prescribed subjects. A lot of international schools don't place a huge emphasis on these subjects, so the attention given to these studies will vary between schools. 

2) I'm not sure about this one. It might be school dependent. 

3) Adhering to prayer times seems school dependent. All schools will have prayer rooms, but their use may be restricted to before and after school, as well as during lunch breaks. Schools like the Al Hejaz International School in Jeddah seem to adhere to prayer times. The weekend in Saudia Arabia is from Friday-Saturday, so Jummah won't be a problem. 

Are you looking to teach in a more traditional Islamic school?
It might be worth looking into some private schools. 

Either way, see this Expat Arrivals page on International schools in Riyadh, and this Expat Arrivals page on International schools in Jeddah. They give you some leads.


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Anonymous's picture

Thank you very much. The information you gav are very helpful.

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abdulkadir's picture
Last seen: 1 year 42 weeks ago
Joined: 12/03/2018

Hijab was compulsory till the start of this year but in the recent updated law and regulation the government gave rights to women that either they want to wear it or not. The school system also got many changes and the teaching methods have also been changed. It is not compulsory for foreigners to study Arabic in international school but it is compulsory in Saudi school.

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