Q: Does the program cover costs that my school will have to bear due to my absence?
A: No. Your round-trip travel, local transportation in Saudi Arabia, lodging, meals and insurance will be covered for the duration of the in-country program; however, costs due to your absence from school, such as hiring a substitute teacher, are not funded by the program.
Schools are encouraged to regard this opportunity as a valuable long-term investment for the students, teachers and community, and explore avenues of cost-sharing to support participation.
Applicants should note that they also may need to consider other pre-departure expenses such as passports, travel supplies, a medical examination, and immunization. These costs are not funded by the program.
Q: May I apply even though my primary role is not as a Social Studies teacher or Library Media specialist?
A: No. Eligible applicants are full-time teachers in grades 1-12 with a primary concentration in Social Studies or Library Media only. If you are an administrator or a counselor and teach classes for only part of the day, you are not eligible for the program.
Q: I am an elementary school teacher and do not teach Social Studies full time, am I still eligible?
A: As a general rule, to be eligible to apply as an elementary school teacher, social studies should represent the primary subject that you teach on a daily basis in addition to general grade level studies.
Q: Are there any special health requirements for participation?
A: There are no special health requirements for participants; however, participation will require extensive travel and a rigorous program schedule. Therefore, applicants are asked to consider the physical demands of this program, including carrying luggage, desert climate, etc. before applying. If you are accepted as a participant, you will need to have a medical examination, up-to-date immunizations and provide a completed medical form with your doctor's certification of your fitness for travel.
Q: Will I need a passport and visa to travel to Saudi Arabia?
A: Yes. You must have a passport valid until at least 9 months after the dates of the program. IIE will assist in securing a visa for travel to Saudi Arabia following selection as a program participant.
Q: I don't speak Arabic and I've never traveled overseas. Will this matter?
A: No. Program activities will be conducted in English and participants will receive detailed information packets well in advance of travel. Before departure for Saudi Arabia, all participants will attend a pre-departure orientation workshop in Houston to discuss details of the in-country program. Participants will travel to Saudi Arabia together and will be escorted by program officials throughout the program.
Q: Are there any program requirements upon return to the U.S.?
A: Yes. Following the study program participants are asked to submit a report based on their experiences including an updated follow-on plan and general observations from the trip.
Q: May I bring family members or friends with me on the program?
A: No. The program will not accommodate family members or friends. Participants will travel as a group throughout the program and are expected to attend all program activities. Each participant's time will be fully occupied with site visits and related discussions.
Q: I want to apply, but am not sure if I'll be able to go. What should I do?
A: All applicants should obtain supervisor clearances or make other necessary arrangements before submitting their applications. On your application form, you must confirm that you are available on the indicated program dates. If you aren't sure it is better to apply during another program year.
Q: I am planning to retire and/or leave the field of education in the near future. Should I apply?
A: The principal objectives of this program are accomplished through long-term classroom impact activities of educators who have returned to their U.S. classrooms. For this reason, preference will be given to applicants who plan to remain in the field of education as a classroom teacher.
Q: Do you accept applications from teams of educators?
A: No. Each application is considered individually and will not be read in conjunction with any other application. The Educators to Saudi Arabia Program encourages interdisciplinary Follow-On Plans and collaboration with other educators; however, an application submitted by a team will not be considered. We encourage educators applying from the same school to submit fully-developed applications that can stand on their own.