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Working in Egypt
Living in Cairo, Egypt

Work in Egypt

Get a Tourist Visa and Take Your Time Looking

Finding a teaching job in Egypt is a bit more difficult now than in the past. Private K-12s, where the language of instruction is English, now annually produce graduates fluent in both English and Arabic who go on to take positions previously filled by native speakers. Since most adult students want to know enough English to understand business and acquire computer skills, Americans who want to teach in Egypt will do better if they are specialized in one of these two fields rather than in general language skills.

Plenty of jobs do exist, but it will be easier to find what you want if you are already in Egypt and have enough funds to see you through two or three months. Come on a tourist visa and take your time looking around.

Cairo American College is a private K-12 school totally American in its system and therefore in the qualifications of its teachers. It caters to the children of diplomats and of other expatriates living in Egypt for a limited time. The tuition is extremely high, and teachers are paid on an American salary scale.

The American University in Cairo often offers jobs or careers for well-qualified English language instructors, usually requiring a Master's Degree in TEFL with experience..

Amideast promotes intercultural understanding between the U.S. and countries of the Middle East. It hires only very qualified teachers.

The internationally famous Berlitz School of Languages usually hires full-timers, trains them in their methodology, and pays well. Their website, www.berlitz.com, lists vacancies and in their branches worldwide.

The British Council, www.britishcouncil.org/egypt, another intercultural organization, favors British English speakers and insists on British certification. The International Language Institute (ILI) offers an instructor training course but no guarantee of a job upon completion of the course.

Numerous nursery schools around Cairo are looking for native speakers to work with preschool children. A love of children is more important than certification.

Tutoring Egyptian language school students is another possibility, but I don’t advise it unless you know the people you’ll be getting involved with or they come highly recommended. Strangers might set up appointments with you out of curiosity or with ulterior motives.

Job Information

The Cairo Yellow Pages, listing many businesses both in the capital and in Alexandria is available online. Searching under “Schools” and “Language Training” will lead you to updated contact information.

Learning “survival Arabic” will make your stay much easier. Taxi drivers and store employees do not always speak English. The institutions mentioned above offer all levels of Arabic at competitive prices.

Tourists report that Egyptians are the friendliest people they have ever met; they constantly help friends, acquaintances, or total strangers. So if you decide to visit Egypt for an extended period of time, you need never feel alone or isolated.

JANE CUCCIA is married to an Egyptian and has taught ESL in Cairo for over 20 years.