FREE TUITION FOR DEPENDENT KIDS - KUWAIT, OMAN. SAUDI

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Bookworm
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:35 pm

FREE TUITION FOR DEPENDENT KIDS - KUWAIT, OMAN. SAUDI

Post by Bookworm »

I hope it is ok to post this here and not get blocked/banned. In general do international schools in the ME (especially Kuwait) offer free tuition to dependent kids of faculty members, or only discounted fees? I am a single IT (specialist area) with 2 Primary age kids (7yo 6yo) plus trailing spouse. I want to return to work in the ME preferably in a Brit. curriculum school (IB at a push - I do have experience). Kuwait, Saudi and Oman appeal more than the other countries. Any info or suggestions?

SparkleMotion
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Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:58 am

Re: FREE TUITION FOR DEPENDENT KIDS - KUWAIT, OMAN. SAUDI

Post by SparkleMotion »

The usual suspects are going to come here and tell you that, with three dependents (two kids and a dependent spouse), that you basically carry the mark of the beast and that no one will hire you based on your two kids and your trailing spouse. They’ll also tell you that being specific about the countries you want to work in will make it more difficult to find this arrangement and that a more broad search will make you more likely to find tuition waivers for both kids with a trailing spouse.

The truth is, you will get what you negotiate. What is your experience level in your home country and with other international schools? What are your credentials? Is there any way for your wife to get certified and become a teaching couple? This would reduce your dependent count and increase your value.

Typically, schools will give you tuition waivers for each teacher. If you have two kids, two teachers greatly increase your odds of getting two tuition waivers. That being said, if you have great credentials, experience, and Gulf experience - you may be exactly what a school needs and they may negotiate with you.

It may be unlikely to find the arrangement you’re looking for without great credentials and significant experience, but it’s not impossible.

My husband and I looked at similar problems and are both getting US teaching experience to add to our resumes. We want to make sure we have tuition waivers at a good school for both of our kids. My husband could easily work in infrastructure / oil in the ME but, for a longterm career abroad with a good family balance, it makes the most sense for us and our kids for both of us to be certified, experienced teachers. I’m in the process of switching my certification area (adding to it, really, but teaching Math ornScisnce for the next 2-3 years) from English to Math or Science and my husband is getting certified in Math (his degree is in Math). We’re staying here for a couple more years than we planned to make that plan work. You may want to consider doing the same if possible. Does your wife have a degree?

Are you registered with ISS or Search Associates? From what I understand, you can review all of the posted jobs and the expected benefits (Including tuition waivers? Someone help me out here.) and get a more realistic idea of what the market standard is in those areas. If you’re targeting certain schools, you can definitely pay for the ISR service and pose this question in regard to specific schools in the member board. If I were in your position, I would find those routes to be a relatively small but good investment.

PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Response

Post by PsyGuy »

It varies as an OSH benefit, the determining factor is whether the IS has a wait list, meaning that a place for a ITs child means losing tuition/fees from a paying parent. Places are one of the easier benefits to negotiate providing the IS has space to spare.

The common practice is one full waiver/place per employee, two would be a small ask assuming the IS is under capacity and has the space. Beyond that you find a mix of benefit schemes. The first child is 100% waiver, the second 50% waiver, and further places at full tuition cost.

Bookworm
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:35 pm

Re: FREE TUITION FOR DEPENDENT KIDS - KUWAIT, OMAN. SAUDI

Post by Bookworm »

Many thanks for the replies. I do have considerable UK and IB experience and over 10y in the ME and my specialism is often in demand and hard to fill in those areas (which also translates as fewer openings on a year by year basis). I guess the best approach is to keep an eye on schools and areas I am interested in and negotiate if I get an offer. Some years are a feast of openings and other years are very sparse indeed.

PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

DIscussion

Post by PsyGuy »

@Bookworm

It sounds like your breaking point and deal breaker for you is going to be the tuition/place waivers, its uncommon but given your resume Id suggest putting it in your opening paragraph of your intro message or cover letter, and in your reply to interview requests. Why waste time with ISs and interviewing only to find out 30 or 45 minutes into the interview that you arent worth an exception. However, there are likely to be differing positions on this from other forum contributors (both minor and major).

sid
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Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: FREE TUITION FOR DEPENDENT KIDS - KUWAIT, OMAN. SAUDI

Post by sid »

There are schools that offer free tuition for up to 4 children. It's more common to offer free to one or two children, but anything is possible.
The economy in the ME has been changing, and schools no longer spend as freely as they did. With 2 children and a spouse, it would be a good idea to cast your net widely. And your best bet is to have a strong pedigree in terms of experience, references and credentials.

Bookworm
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:35 pm

Re: FREE TUITION FOR DEPENDENT KIDS - KUWAIT, OMAN. SAUDI

Post by Bookworm »

So aside from the ME where else should I consider? China is not an option for us. Also, I am going to be early 50s by the end of my current contract.

sid
Posts: 1133
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: FREE TUITION FOR DEPENDENT KIDS - KUWAIT, OMAN. SAUDI

Post by sid »

Try anywhere and everywhere. Sometimes good, well-established schools are able to hire without consideration of expense. Sometimes decent schools in lesser-known locations take on more expensive families because they're happy to get someone who is happy to come to their location.
It's very disparate. You can't find them by concentrating on one location.
Apply, apply, apply, and see what happens.

PsyGuy
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Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

I concur with @Sid, you dont really have any choices at this point. You need to maximize your opportunities by applying to everything an anything that is suitable for your resume so that you have some choices moving forward. It doesnt matter if X region has the best pension/retirement options for you if you dont have an appointment opportunity there.

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