Are you looking to get away from the craziness and business of your everyday life while still having a professional, worthwhile, extraordinary experience? Look no farther than Maldives! (Pause for a Google map search…)
This island nation is found in the Indian Ocean, just south of India and right above the equator. It’s made up of 26 atolls, which are ring shaped coral reefs, islands, or islets that have been formed by volcanic activity. And guess what? You can teach there!
There are three main school types in Maldives, according the the Ministry of Education: Quaranic schools, which focus on the teachings of Islam, English language schools and Dhivehi language schools.
There is also the Maldives National University in Malé and private international schools throughout the nation.
As a foreign teacher, you’ll most likely have to secure a job through a third party rather than through one of Maldives’ schools directly. From there, you’ll be placed according to your skills and the schools needs, which means you could be teaching anywhere from primary to secondary and beyond!
When and Where to Look
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of resources out there just yet for securing a job in Maldives. One of the best resources is Islanders Education, which is a private education franchise that has numerous types of school from preschools (adorably named “Kangaroo Kids Preschools”!) to high schools and higher education.
Teach Away Inc also posts positions for Maldives teaching positions and is free of charge, unlike many teaching abroad recruitment sites.
Maldives Jobs may end up having more tourism related jobs, but it wouldn’t hurt to check out their listings as well. Who knows, maybe you can score a job as a tourism educator!
School starts in January, so it’s important to start looking for positions well in advance. It is also possible to find positions in the June/July time period, as that falls right after school’s first break. If you don’t have your passport yet, be sure to factor in another 4-8 weeks waiting time before you plan on leaving, on top of 3-4 weeks waiting time for a working visa.
Salary and Cost of Living
Salary information isn’t readily available for teaching in Maldives positions. When preparing to interview with a potential employer, be prepared to ask for specific information, such as when and how often you will be paid, how much, and in what currency. Here are some pointers to help you ask those questions!
With that being in mind, you’ll what to make sure that what you’re being paid will be sufficient enough to live on when you’re there! According to Numbeo, a 1-bedroom apartment could run you anywhere from $450-$975, depending on location. Milk, break, eggs, and potatoes all average under $2.00, but a bottle of wine can run you as much as $20 (most likely because it’s an imported and a tourism item).
Classroom and Work Culture
There are two major forces at play here! On one hand, Maldives is basically an island paradise, so it’s really hard to not feel completely relaxed and free during your time there. But, on the other hand, this isn’t Cancun. As an Islamic country, drinking is normal forbidden outside tourist locations and women are expected to be appropriately dressed.
In the classroom, it’s safe for men to wear a short sleeve button up shirt with a tie and light pants. Women often wear light dress suits, not showing more than their arms. Keep in mind that you’ll want clothes to be very breathable, as it’s going to warm down there by the equator!
What it’s like inside the classroom will greatly vary based what type of school you’re working in. You’ll mostly not be in a Quaranic school unless you identify as Muslim. Private schools may have particular rules for each different school. But keep in mind, kids are kids, no matter where they live!