Teaching at PNU

Alliecat :
StellaDee :

Allie Kat, I don't know what your problem is,but I am trying to help.

I am only a teacher,not HR. So forgive me for not being technically correct.

I would suggest that you stop commenting on everything that I comment on,since you haven't given any real feedback either. Unless you work at PNU as well?


You told ME to 'do my homework,' implying you know more than the rest of us.  With that in mind,  I simply asked you to share what you know.

Unfortunately, you came back with incorrect information regarding direct hire, which I then inquired about.  No need to get your knickers in a twist!

Moving forward, Kathri absolutely NAILED it with her post, verifying the information I have been sharing but but adding that Teach-Away steps away after the initial hiring and teachers then deal directly with HR at PNU.  If they are doing this now, it's certainly a positive step forward!

I can't recall if I really saw two cats fighting with each other at the beach last night. I mean, I am sure they were both females at least, :P


Thank you for your response.  Very helpful & I've a clearer picture of teaching life from what you've said, I think.

I can't believe that you teach 25-35 students! Has this been okay for you? I never taught more than 20 in an ESL class and my classes were usually much smaller. I was wondering: How has it been teaching classes (including writing!) with so many students? Do you have to teach standardized tests like IELTS and, if so, to as many students?

I agree that the students can be a handful, but most of them are really sweet. I'm not worried about the students so much, more the logistics and the adults! :-).

Thanks again!



Dear All,

I am going through the process of hiring for PNU via SBC. The job offer came in late May and I was interviewed last week. It went very well and the recruiter told me that SBC will get back to you next week. Now this week has ended with nothing from SBC. Does anyone know how long it takes to send a contract via email after the interview. I will be locally hired from Riyadh (transferable Iqama).
How long should I wait ....or should I pursue other recruiters? Please help!

Aren't you a male @saudimachine?

Wait for some time as they crawl in moving things ahead..

TheLegendLeads :

Aren't you a male @saudimachine?

Good question.

Girls....my hubby made this account and I also use it. Thanks so much for your reply...any idea if TeachAway presence is at PNU or online only?

Only banks, stock market and communication companies are properly online here apart from the social networks :)

saudimachine :

Girls....my hubby made this account and I also use it. Thanks so much for your reply...any idea if TeachAway presence is at PNU or online only?

I think you're asking if TeachAway recruiters are physically present at PNU or if they just do the online recruiting.

According to an earlier poster, they just do the online recruiting and then PNU HR takes over once you're hired (I can't vouch for this, just repeating what somebody said earlier but it makes sense to me since TeachAway is involved in SO many other projects it seems unlikely they'd have people 'on the ground' everywhere they're placing teachers).

I just read that PNU's curriculum is already set and you can't use your own materials. Does anyone know if this is true?  I don't know how much I'd like that, honestly. 

Could a teacher at least supplement with her own activities and materials when necessary, or is this a strict no-no?

Would very much welcome feedback and information from current PNU teachers.

Thanks a bunch.

Hello, i am looking for a job in PNU too...

i could not find any vanacncs on their website...

would like to know about your experiences with SBC and working at PNU and how you like or don´t like the compound. Your threads sound positive thats why Im asking - read many negative stuff about SBC which makes me apprehensive. Your input is valued. Thx.

Just wanted to share my "professional" interview experience with those interested in joining PNU

To start with I've got a Ph.D. from the states and a few years of postdoc experience to follow. I'm a green card holder of Egyptian origin. However, since I've always been educated in international schools I'm considered a native English speaker. I applied for an assistant professor job at the faculty of medicine at pnu. A few days later I received an email advising me to prepare a 10 min powerpoint presentation "under" the level of undergrads as well as my skypeID. They asked me to send it to them a day ahead and so I did. Well up until the day of my interview I practiced and practiced and practiced. I also prepared for the usual questions that any teaching position would entail. Oh I had quite the imagination of how I would love to assist in the setup of a new research facility and man did I have tons of scientific ideas that flashed through my head (hehe I can only giggle silently now).

My interview was scheduled for 10:30am Saudi time, meaning 3:30 am my time (I'm currently in the states). My husband asked me to tell them that 3:30am was ridiculous but I decided to play the nice gal and went along with them. So I'm all up and ready at 3:00 and at 3:25 I receive an email saying that the interview has been postponed for another 3 hours due to connection issues. Now I'm starting to get ticked off. Back to bed for another 3 hours and at 6 I get up again and go over my presentation one more time.
I sign into Skype at 6:15 and at 6:22 I get an incoming call. Eight minutes earlier but that's fine. I answer but the interviewer asks me to open up my cam. Hmmmm once again kinda strange since I wasn't informed it was a video conference. Good for me I was ready for this situation. She asks me to introduce myself and where I studied and worked. In my head I'm like "Seriously? You have my CV!". Anyway I answer and then she asks me to share my powerpoint presentation through my screen. Fine I share the file and start my presentation. Two minutes into my presentation I get stopped and she's like "ok that's good". Now here are the ground shattering questions:

1. Did you teach before?
Hmmm. Did you look at the CV?

2. Do you have publications?
C'mon people. Did you even download the CV?

3. Did you do a postdoc?
Open the freakin CV ughhhh!

4. Are you currently working?
Hmmmm is that gonna affect the salary if I answer with a no?

5. What is your nationality?
Lol I guess that definitely has something to do with determining the salary huh?

6. What are your salary expectations?
Well let's say the average postdoc makes xyz so I'm expecting at least more than that amount to move half across the world.

7. Do you mind teaching in the preparatory year program?
Seriously? Why what happened to the faculty of medicine? Does it even exist?

Well that concluded my interview. 11 minutes or so in total. Hehe so much for my practice.

I can only wonder what their salary will be like if they decide to offer me a job. Any offers out there? Or what I should expect as a minimum?

Sounds something like my interview from JUC Jubail University College. They were absolutely awful. The only bad interview I've ever had, to date. The offer letter was almost as much fun. :)

(I wrote about my experience here. )

I must say, though, I was surprised that you would get such un-professionalism at the Post Doc level, but then again, maybe I shouldn't really be that surprised.

Got to say I talk to a few of the people who teach there (which I suppose is not really allowed) general consensus I hear repeatedly, and bear in mind I was what was termed "an expat brat" is that their biggest bug bears are (and this just gets chanted at me)

1. The have a driver but he only goes to the expensive malls.
2. The facilities are ok, but the 50,000 females together drive each other crazy - level of gossipyness.
3. A lack of interest among the students quote being "I spend 45 minutes of an hour lesson telling them to put down their smartphones"
4. Captive feeling, again we go back to the please please please invite me to something -  we've seen elsewhere on this forum.
5. Constant comparison with Dubai/Abu Dhabi/Somalia/.

My standard response to all of it "Didn't know it was conscription". I do hear good stories from the Aussies so whoever they use, agency wise can't be all that bad.

Just my 2 cents


This is nothing new. It's the same-old blah, blah, blah experience of western female teachers who came to the Kingdom via one of the notorious contracting companies.  They arrived with high expectations (i.e., a focus only the money aspect) and little knowledge about the reality of working/living in Saudi Arabia and the reputation of their employer/sponsor.  I suspect these teachers also lack the level and type of qualifications required for direct-hire spots---some might have minimal teaching experience given your reference to the classroom management issue (it's easier to label the students as uninterested).

Instead of whining and complaining and spinning their wheels, they should try to make the most of the situation by being proactive, which is probably what the Aussies did.  That is:

1) Negotiate with the driver to have him take them to budget-friendly malls;

2) Keep personal info to themselves.  Don't give others fuel for gossip and don't participate in this petty behavior.  Better yet, be vocal about refusing to engage in such nonsense;

3) Take charge of the classroom by either confiscating the students' phones at the beginning of class or establishing rules and consequences for phone use (and following through).  Reward desired behavior.  Better yet, incorporate more student-centered activities so that the students stay focused and interested;

4) Take up a hobby, learn Arabic, enroll in an online course or degree program, create their own social club activities, etc.; and

5) Quit comparing teaching in KSA to Dubai, Somalia, North Korea, the Bermuda Triangle, Mars... wherever.  What's the point since they're presently not teaching in any of those places. 

Just my 2-cents' worth.

smurfette I agree, it's easy to get caught up in the bickering and unproductive habits - here just like anywhere else - where there are many employees in close contact.

Full Monty :

smurfette I agree, it's easy to get caught up in the bickering and unproductive habits - here just like anywhere else - where there are many employees in close contact.

where there are many employees in close contact with no outlets for stress or frustration.

Alliecat :
Full Monty :

smurfette I agree, it's easy to get caught up in the bickering and unproductive habits - here just like anywhere else - where there are many employees in close contact.

where there are many employees in close contact with no outlets for stress or frustration.

Reminiscent of John Calhoun's renowned experiments on rats and population density---how a lack of physical and personal space negatively impacts social behavior.  Fascinating stuff...

"He", I don't think that's what PNU are looking for, maybe other people know differently


Skylaray25 :

Yes, Auckland and Teach Away recruit only,but you don't work for them. ( You will be a direct hire ).

The other three companies that I've mentioned are recruiters and you work for them as well,so they have contracts with other universities/companies. They place teachers where they are needed. PNU,summer programs, IELTS training etc.

I started a new thread requesting information, this is quite helpful. Any more updates I should know about?

Hi guys!
I've got a job offer at PNU through Education Experts. Accommodation will be provided in an accommodation complex with other expat teachers and families with a gym next door.

Has anyone else got the job through edex? If so whats the accommodation like and the gym? Does it have a swimming pool by any chance?

Any input is appreciated :)


I'm in the final process of negotiation- w/PNU and have been investigating a few different agencies. So far, it seems each recruiting agency has their own cluster of housing on various compounds- off or on campus. (I don't know specifics; hopefully an experienced expat will respond!)

I suggest that you ask for pictures of the housing to which you will be assigned. The two I've seen pictures of may/may not be part of Edexpert housing, but both have pools- I think one (inside) is the pool on campus, the other is an outdoor pool next to a workout gym & bb court. Quite nice-... I'm encouraged by the photos & assurance of "actual housing" photos. Good luck!

Thanks for responding.
I've seen pictures of an apartment looks pretty decent I just hate the curtains lol.. I guess I won't actually know what my apartment will be like until I arrive! But its not on a compound its an apartment complex.

When do you arrive?

Hello all! I'll be coming in 9 days! I'm starting to freak out a little. Working for EdEx, not in the compound....worried about living arrangements. Anyone else working for EdEx can give some insight?
Thanks! :)

can you give a bit info about your qualifications and your offers? I have interviewed with EdEx

Hi. Pretty standard offer, as I understand these things. At this point, well, I guess in a few days I'll see...


I hope i am not repeating a post.  I have been offered 11'000 to teach english at PNU.  Housing and transport is paid seperate.
Can anyone tell me what is the average salary there?

newbiedoo :

Hi. Pretty standard offer, as I understand these things. At this point, well, I guess in a few days I'll see...

Have you arrived there yet?

Out of curiosity, are you working as a direct hire for PNU, or are you working through a contracting company such as SBC or EdEx?

What's it like so far?

bellabellabella :


I hope i am not repeating a post.  I have been offered 11'000 to teach english at PNU.  Housing and transport is paid seperate.
Can anyone tell me what is the average salary there?

Well it really depends on your qualifications, experience, nationality, and who's hiring you.

are you in saudi live2travel?

rareshine :

are you in saudi live2travel?

Not currently, but I was there earlier this year. Are you there?

Hey all,

I have just accepted an offer at PNU. Wondering how long people have had to wait for attestation etc?  Also, anyone know about facilities on campus? Gym for females? Or am I thinking too ambitiously? :)



It may take up to 4 months for you to arrive, or you could be here in a month! It all just depends.

There is a gym for ladies and it's very nice. It will be 200 SR per month this year.

Expect to work very, very hard! PNU teachers are teaching 6-7 classes right now with an average of about 50 students per class. This means 18-21 periods each week. Many classes have around 70 students. You will have a minimum of 300 students each week. Some teachers have closer to 400. There are 4 different preps that you may have to do, including 2 writing courses. The writing courses also have large enrollment. It was the same last year as well. This year they have added Reading & Writing Portfolios, Weekly Attendance & Assessment Reports and a larger speaking component where you will oversee presentations. All this for around 300-400 students.

You should know that you can be required to teach up to 29 periods per week without overtime pay because PNU counts one class hour as 50 minutes and not as one hour. A class period is 50 minutes. This means each 3 hour course counts as only 2.5 hours, not 3. This is because 50+50+50 = 150 minutes = 2.5 hours.

On the up side, the teachers are generally nice and work well together. The academic administration try to be supportive. However, teachers are bound by the constraints that come from the structure and extremely large classes.

I have come to know that PNU is very good university and look forward to work there?
Dr. Purnima Swarup Khare
Professor  & Head of the Physics Department,
Course Coordinator School of Nanotechnology
Founder School of Energy Environmental Management

Hi Fozia

I was working at PNU , but i leave the work , im Saudi one , but sooo excited to meet native ppl , coz im interesting in English very much , thats why i studied an English language in my college ✌️ Plz i want to have friends who r native to share the language together , that is the best way to improve language and its fantastic to have native friends 😍😍


Hi can u pls share your experience at PNU and with Sbc?  I will be starting there soon. Do they pay on time ? How is the  medical insurance?  Accomodation etc? Is the company helpful?

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