Teaching English in Iraq

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Iraq Overview

Iraq has never been a popular TEFL destination but opportunities are growing rapidly, especially for the training of local teachers and in private language institutes. Those without experience or knowledge of Iraq would be wise to volunteer in the country in the short-term and make contacts and assess the situation in the meantime. Most local Iraqis are very pleasant people but the dangers associated with being a foreigner in Iraq are considerable so be aware of this before making a decision to accept the offer of a contract. It helps enormously if you already have contacts in Iraq and bear in mind that Kurdistan is the only vaguely-safe area in which to live and work. The country has some fascinating historical sites but the country remains in a state of war-ravaged turmoil.

Type of Institution Typical salary (USD/month) Typical hours Typical annual leave
Language centres 500 – 2,000 Various shifts 2 weeks plus national holidays
International schools 3,000 upwards 8am – 4pm Monday to Friday┬áplus some weekend work 10 weeks plus national holidays

Main places for jobs

Kurdistan.

Typical requirements

Degree, TEFL certificate, 1-2 yrs exp.

The University of Toronto TEFL Online - Internationally Recognized

Tips

1. Stay abreast of political developments and register with your embassy to notify them of your address in Iraq. Try contacting the US Embassy in Baghdad regarding job opportunities.

2. American English and pronunciation seems to be favoured here so Americans and Canadians are probably more likely to find the positions with the best salaries. Britons should consider contacting the British Council who do operate in Iraq on a limited basis.

3. Those with a knowledge of Arabic are at a great advantage and it would be advisable for anyone considering working here to start learning before arriving in Iraq.

Red tape

Work permits must be arranged to work legally. This can take several weeks and must be done in conjunction with your employer. All of this must be done before you arrive in the country.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Iraq is low but security is a major issue. Clearly, security is worth spending money on but speak to your prospective employer regarding accommodation as part of the contract package.

Tax and salary information

You should receive your salary on a monthly basis unless otherwise stated in your contract.

Summary

Growing demand for English tuition An unstable and dangerous nation at present
Friendly, eager students Poor pay for those without considerable previous teaching experience
Certainly an ‘interesting’ place in which to live and work The cultural differences associated with living in a Muslim-majority nation may be a shock to the inexperienced

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7 Comments

  1. John Springer says:

    Hello:

    I hold a Master of Science in Education degree with the noted specializations of Instructional Design and e-Learning. I also have several years of teaching experience, Children ages 5 – 18 in both the public/private school sectors.

    I have been living and working in Kuwait as ForcePro (US DoD contract) since January 2010. Military down sizing has taken my job with it and I would like to go to Iraq to teach English. I am a decorated Combat Veteran, former US Army Special Forces soldier, and frankly, dangerous conditions cause me no undue alarm. I think I’m a good fit for Iraq. I was there in Desert Shield/Storm and would like to go back to Iraq as something other than a solider.

    So, my question to you is this: Where would you suggest I look for employment opportunities? Thanks in advance for your anticipated response, John.

  2. Akbar zaman says:

    hi,i am Akbarzaman,a dynamic pakistani, i have MASTER DEGREES in English TEFL,(2) Political science,having double MAs,i am looking for a good job having high salary & other benefits.At present i am working in a college in Karak Pakistan.Iraq & Egypt are my favorite countries.however,i like to join job anywhere .please suggest jobs & location for me.thanks
    regards.
    AKBARZAMAN

  3. Anthony Allbright says:

    Mr. Springer:

    If you happen to still be looking to work in Iraq, try OT Solutions. This is a veteran owned and operated company executing government contracts to teach English in the Middle East (currently hiring for Iraq).

    Best of luck,

    Mr. Allbright MSEd

  4. Mudassir Hussain says:

    hi. I am Mudassir Hussain from pakistan.I have recentky been graduated in English Literature.besides,I have Masters of Education degree.Presently I am serving as English Subject Specialist In an ISO Certified Higher Secondary Institute.Hope, I may be given a chance to teach English in Iraq.
    Thanks.
    Mudassir Hussain.
    M.A English, M.Ed

  5. Robert says:

    Dear Sir Madam
    I found your advert on site and thought i would leave you a message?
    I am currently 66 years old and i am English, i know what you are thinking to old but i would have to disagree with you i am Tefl qualified i have a BA in English literature i also have a Masters degree in English Tesol, Iraq is not unfamiliar to me having worked there before at Ishiq University in Erbil teaching contemporary English to first year students. I would like another chance to go back and teach again i have also about 10 years experience teaching in Turkey at language schools and colleges the like. I am Currently living in the Philippines with my family at present i would love to go back there and work again.
    Sincerely
    R.M.Eastwood

  6. Tom says:

    It’s very telling that nearly all the (other) comments are from people looking for work in TEFL, and that MA holders are considering working in an admittedly dangerous part of the world for a humble salary. Very telling, indeed.

  7. Joanna says:

    Dear Sir/Madam
    Aug 30,2017
    Toronto, Canada

    I would like to find out more about opportunities in Kurdistan for TESL, I am Canadian and had some experiences teaching in Morocco in 2012. I am very interested in learning more about Kurdistan. I can be reached at the email posted.

    Thank you,

    Ms Joanna L.Goyette

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