Thursday, 10 March 2011

A moment to catch up...

So. I thought I'd take a moment to write about my experience in the application process up to this point. As of right now, I have accepted a teaching contract for high school English in the UAE!! My husband and I anticipate moving there in August, but he may have to wait and come later--depends on what the education council wants to do, I suppose. But so far, thanks to Teach Away, the application process for Abu Dhabi has been the smoothest by far compared to teaching jobs in the U.S. Teach Away takes you step by step, and the process never overwhelmed me (until authentication that is)!

First, an online application, resume, cover letter, and photograph. They don't ask up front for your license, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and all the other hooplah that comes with every single school to which you apply in the U.S. If Teach Away likes your resume, which I assume they liked mine, then you fill out another online application with contact information and times for a prescreen phone interview. Next the phone interview, and if that is successful, THEN you provide the rest of the documentation, such as teaching license, letters of rec, diploma, criminal record check, passport copy... no wasted time if you don't end becoming a candidate for the official interview (unlike in the US where you have to provide everything and you may not even get an interview)! So, onto the in-person interview, which was lovely, by the way (yes, I used lovely and interview in the same sentence)! I did my interview in London because, for the time being, my husband and I are staying in Bristol.

Anyway, I now have the lovely task of authenticating my documents (not so lovely, actually) to prove that they are real, I suppose. The only three documents that I will need to authenticate are my teaching license, highest diploma, and marriage license. The main problem for me, though, is that I will need to go to Oregon to authenticate my teaching and marriage licenses and to Iowa for my diploma, and I will have to do this once I return to the US at the end of March. I will be using a courier service to make the process a bit easier because, otherwise, after sending the documents to the US Department of State, I would have to wait three to four weeks before being able to send the documents to their final destination, the UAE embassy, and time is already zipping along the yellow brick road!

To summarize the authentication process: (1) Notarize documents in Oregon and Iowa, except my marriage license because I must purchase an 'official' copy from Oregon DHS. Also, the university was kind enough to give me an official copy of my diploma with seal and registrar's stamp, but I still need to notarize it. Also, the university sent me a letter stating their official accreditation status that I must include with my diploma. (2) Take marriage and teaching licenses to Oregon Secretary of State for authentication. I can call the Iowa Secretary of State and receive authentication over the phone--I believe they will send me a letter to attach to my diploma after they verify the notary. I am happy that I called each of the state secretaries before doing anything else! (3) Contact ProEx with the quote they gave me and send all documentation and fees to them--they will hand deliver to the US Department of State and UAE embassy, and send all authenticated documents back to me. I take all authenticated documents with me to the UAE along with the original everything!

O.K. I think I'm caught up now. More to come!


  1. How long did you have to wait after document authentication?

  2. I finished the authentication process in May of 2011, I believe. After that, I had to wait until July (near the end) to receive my airline ticket and visa. I think I received both at the same time. The only thing in between authentication and the flight was a informational webinar. I was not told when I would be flying until the travel agent contacted me about travel arrangements (again, near the end of July). I was in the first group of teachers, so the other teachers who did not receive a ticket/visa did also not receive any notification about when they would be flying. I basically had to wait until a week before departure.