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Chances of American with no degree finding work in Tunis area?

Hello, I'm an American 38 years old living in the US. I am considering the possibility of moving to Tunisia. My biggest concern is that I am only now beginning to learn a little French and Tunisian Arabic and perhaps of bigger concern I do not have a bachelors degree. I don't even have an associates degree. I have been told that there are call center jobs for English speakers. I know that it is not possible to get a work visa to teach English in Tunisia without a BA, but are there opportunities for private lessons or tutoring in English?
Generally I'm looking for advice about the feasibility of an American with limited French and Tunisian finding work, earning a living, and staying in Tunisia longterm.

N7ebek7abiby :

Hello, I'm an American 38 years old living in the US. I am considering the possibility of moving to Tunisia. My biggest concern is that I am only now beginning to learn a little French and Tunisian Arabic and perhaps of bigger concern I do not have a bachelors degree. I don't even have an associates degree. I have been told that there are call center jobs for English speakers. I know that it is not possible to get a work visa to teach English in Tunisia without a BA, but are there opportunities for private lessons or tutoring in English?
Generally I'm looking for advice about the feasibility of an American with limited French and Tunisian finding work, earning a living, and staying in Tunisia longterm.

Tout est faisable en Tunisie, vous pouvez déjà venir et étudier sur place les opportunités en tout cas vous ne chômerez pas avec l'anglais que vous avez, mais j'aimerais comme même vous demander Pourquoi la Tunisie??????

Hello Censure, could you please post in English in this Anglophone forum?;)

Thanks,
Harmonie.

Censure :
N7ebek7abiby :

Hello, I'm an American 38 years old living in the US. I am considering the possibility of moving to Tunisia. My biggest concern is that I am only now beginning to learn a little French and Tunisian Arabic and perhaps of bigger concern I do not have a bachelors degree. I don't even have an associates degree. I have been told that there are call center jobs for English speakers. I know that it is not possible to get a work visa to teach English in Tunisia without a BA, but are there opportunities for private lessons or tutoring in English?
Generally I'm looking for advice about the feasibility of an American with limited French and Tunisian finding work, earning a living, and staying in Tunisia longterm.

Tout est faisable en Tunisie, vous pouvez déjà venir et étudier sur place les opportunités en tout cas vous ne chômerez pas avec l'anglais que vous avez, mais j'aimerais comme même vous demander Pourquoi la Tunisie??????

Anything is possible in Tunisia, you can already come and study on the spot the opportunities in any case you will not be idle with English you have, but I'd like to ask you the same Why Tunisia ??????

Hi N7ebek7abiby (what an unusual pseudo ; in love with a Tunisian girl ?),

What Censure said is absolutely incorrect. First you’ll need to speak Arabic (preferably darija) or at least French pretty fluently. Otherwise, you will feel very lonely here. Second, you will not find a job unless you have a work contract prior to coming or you plan to start your own business (a small ltd. company will do). This is necessary to get a residency card. Third solution: to marry a Tunisian woman, but you would have to find one and become a Muslim, if this is not your case, for your marriage to be recognized in Tunisia. Fourth solution for a residency card: to benefit from retirement allowances (which does not seem to be the case) or to be able to prove that you have a regular significant income (whether a pension or a life annuity, any kind of consistent allowance).
English, as a language, is not particularly valuable here; Arabic and French are the two main languages. Jobs are given in priority to Tunisians as the unemployment rate in very high. As for teaching English or working in a call center, you will also need to master Arabic or French, first. Otherwise, how could you understand your coworkers, supervisors, or students? Call centers will pay you around 600 dinars/month (about 400 USD), which is not sufficient to live if it is your only income. Many Tunisians live with less than that but they know all the ‘tricks’ to live cheaply and rely on family solidarity most of the times. Needless to say that it is also difficult as a non-Tunisian to get a job in a call center.
My advice: if you can afford it, come spend 3 months here and see if you like it while taking the opportunity to look for jobs or see if you can come up with a business idea. French citizens can prolong this 3-month stay by applying for an additional 3-month visa, which allows us to stay here for 6 months uninterrupted. I don’t know how it works for US citizens but you can find out via the consulate or embassy.

Good luck to you!

well said Valerie!!:thanks:

my advice to you is DON'T , you will regret it A LOT ! and about the call centers , i'm sure you could easily get a job , but it doesn't pay well , it's actually 3 TD per hour , you do the math...

in 2004,i took few courses at amideast(an american non profit language institute based in tunis),one of our tutors was a young guy with no degree,about 27 years old,spoke and wrote very well,actually,the courses we had with him were very interactive!!even better than some of the graduated tutors,he said that he was paid about 1500tnd(about a thousand dollars) and was quite satisfied,i think thats the best you can get in here,you can contact the institute and your embassy to know exactly.otherwise,a business like Valerie said but again you must ask americans who did do this to avoid a failure.

I am German and I speak french well enough to get along. However most of my friends also speak English well. I think that for a start you wouldn't have a lot of problems but in the long term you will have to learn either French or Tunisian.

If you try to find a job that can be done by Tunisians, this would be difficult for the reasons mentioned above. However, I think that it can be interesting for one of the bigger offshoring companies to have a native speaker coaching their employees and correcting or creating documentation.

My company is to small to justify an employment, but we would definitely profit from a native English speaker. Most Tunisians working in the IT field speak English good enough for communication but the quality in writing is generally quite poor.

You definitely don't want to work as Employee here. As foreigner you can start a company, you pay little taxes and benefit from the status as investor. The best way to do that in my opinion would be to start a export oriented business (working for companies considered to be non-tunisian, allowing your company to be considered as export company too). You should contact the chamber of commerce for american/tunisian companies, they will be able to provide some information for you.

Dear as I noticed in your profile that you are in love with a Tunisian woman so I believe that you don't have any problem to stay and live in Tunisia after getting married moreever you are eligible to get citizenship after a couple of years.
Once you move to Tunisia I think your woman will be the best intermediate for you to be familiare with tunisian lifestyle and move further to settle a small business or give some private tuitions which is also worthing and beneficial.
Good luck

My advise DON'T COME HERE unless you have a prearranged job here! I have a BA. and two master's degrees (ESL and Spanish) and I can't be employed because the law is clear:
1. Any Tunisian company can hire a foreign person unless there aren't Tunisian qualified for the job. A piece of advise here, education is free and at very low costs so there are thousands of qualified Tunisians with BA, MA, MAT, MBAs and they're unemployed.
2. You can be hired to train a Tunisian on a job, but this must be arranged between the company and you before you travel, and I think it's legal for only one year or two max.
3. You can open you're own business, but the economy here is not very stable at this moment.
4. French is very necessary (if you don't speak Arabic yet), so it's hard for an employer to hire you if you don't speak the local official languages.

Options: you can try to find jobs in American companies and ask for a transfer to Tunisia; also, you can get a TEFL certificate and try to teach in the British council or Amideast.
I used to live in USA, and I came here thinking that I could find a job... and now I kind of regret I didn't have someone to advise me before I canceled my US work visa. Living in Tunisia is not cheap, salaries are not high, and without a job, you can see your savings and checking accounts coming down every month. A piece of advise... marry the girl and live in USA...you'll both be happier there.
PS/ To be a Tunisian citizen (and be able to work without rstrictions) you need to live here at least for 5 years so it's not easy as some might tell you...
Good luck!!!

All post have been very informative! Thanks for your time everyone.

Did you go to Tunis?  I am thinking about moving there as well..do you like it?

Hi Tina913,

As you can see, this thread is from 2012. Feel free to create a new one if you have addtional questions or want the opinions of our members.

Regards,

Sarvesh
expat.com team

Yes i see that... was hoping for reply... see how things are with person now... thank you for your response...

Pls be careful
The salaries in Tunisia are very low($500)
At best.
Degrees don't mean squat
I am a retired American

Best,

Olivier

Hello there! 
                         There are plenty of small English-language private schools. all over the country. 
  Introduce yourself in person. good luck.

Aweful

Without a degree in teaching, it would be hard. I have a M.A. in  TEFL and couldn't be hired because if there are Tunisian teachers applying for the jobs, the law protects them. No foreign teachers can be hired if there are citizens applying for the same job. Some international schools might hire ( you need to be certified) but small language institutes, I doubt it. I was licensed in NC, MS, ans LA when I applied to teaching jobs in Tunisia.

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