Canada to Kuwait - Expat Interview With Georgia

Published: 1 Dec at 1 PM
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Filed: Interviews,Kuwait
Georgia Bull grew up in small town Alberta with her loving parents and sister. They roamed the globe a lot when she was young, and she fell in love with travelling and adventure when she was very young. If travelling is her first passion then teaching is her second, there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for her students. Georgia could not have found a more supportive school, a greater group of students or a better place to live! She lives for adventure, so who knows what will happen, but for now Kuwait is her home! Georgia writes for her blog called Diving into Adventure (see listing here)

Diving into Adventure

Here's the interview with Georgia..

Where are you originally from?
I am originally from a small town in Alberta, Canada! No, I don’t live in an igloo, and no I don’t have a team of sled dogs to take me to work and back!

In which country and city are you living now?
I am now living and working in Kuwait.

How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
I have been here for three months and will be staying until the end of the school year for sure. I am unsure about next year, but so far I am really liking it, and would probably stay for another year or two!

Diving into AdventureWhy did you move and what do you do?
I just graduated University in April with a Bachelor degree in Education and was just starting the hunt for jobs. A recruiter found me for a teaching position in Kuwait. I had always wanted to teach abroad, and so I went ahead with an interview. I am not a believer in fate or whatever, but when a job finds you and it seems to be a perfect fit, who am I to turn down the adventure? So here I am, teaching grade 6 – 9 English, and loving my job!

Did you bring family with you?
Nope! I came all on my own. Of course, it helps when you’re single!

How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
It was a huge shock at first. I mean the heat was totally overwhelming when I first arrived, but after that initial shock it was pretty good. Something’s just aren’t that different from living at home. I mean, I go to work, come home, eat, go shopping or for coffee - pretty much the same routine as back home, just a little bit more interesting. When you move to a new country it’s like seeing things with new eyes. There is just so much to see, you want to see it all! The language barrier isn’t really a barrier, because most people speak decent English. Sure, living in a Middle Eastern country has made me more aware of how I dress but, it’s still my style with a conservative flair. Also, they have most American brands that I buy my clothes from here anyway, so it’s really no big deal.

Diving into AdventureWas it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
It was! I met a great friend through work, and she has intrudiced me to tons of people, expats and locals. Once you get to know a few good people, the friends just keep rolling in! People here are super friendly, and more than willing to show you around!

What are the best things to do in the area; anything to recommend to future expats?
I love shopping here; the malls themselves are an attraction. Though prices are higher here than they are back home, it is worth it just to go see them. They are beautiful! The Souks also are interesting to see, and more reasonably priced.
You should also head out to the desert, and out on a boat. You probably need to get ‘in’ with a Kuwaiti to do so, but this is not very difficult. At least once, you need to watch a thunderstorm over the ocean – I know this is weather permitting but it is absolutely beautiful!

What do you enjoy most about living here?
I love the atmosphere. It has a really cool vibe, it is easy to live here. It is a great place to live, but you have to do some leg work and go out and meet people. You have to make it work for you, but it will work for you! I have not once truly felt lonely, there is always something to do, or someone to hang out with.

Diving into AdventureHow does the cost of living compare to home?
Well, clothing is much more expensive: a nice shirt from H&M costs about 8 KD (30 Dollars) where you can get the same back home for about 15-20$.
A latte at Starbucks (a habit I have NOT been able to break, ever) is 7$ vs the 5$ it costs at home.
Most American restaurants are quite expensive in comparison; but, going out for Shisha, or local food (Shwarma) is generally inexpensive.
Groceries are very reasonably priced at the local CO-Ops, and Bacala’s rather than the chain stores.

If you could pick one piece of advice to anyone moving here, what would it be?
I did a LOT of research before moving here, because I am young and female I was quite nervous and I scared myself a bit. Yes, I am vigilant but it is not a scary place to live. BRING a lot of clothes!!! I didn’t pack enough and had to buy quite a bit since being here – you can pretty much wear whatever you want; stay away from tank tops on their own and short skirts and you’ll be just fine.

What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?
Missing my family has been really hard to deal with. We are a small family so we are really close and being away from them is hard. My sister and I went to the same University and lived in the same city after so after spending so much time around her and her family (her husband and my neice), its hard being away. Even though I cant just call them and talk to them whenever I want and skype is not the perfect answer but at least I get to see them every now and again!

Diving into AdventureWhat are your top 5 expat tips for anyone following in your footsteps?
  1. Really research what is going on in the area you are moving to! You want to know what you are getting into, and what appropriate conversation material is.
  2. Pack heavy! The suitcase charges from the air line are less than doubling your wardrobe once you are here! Your bank account will thank you. Also make sure to pack a winter coat, you WILL need it!
  3. Unlock your smart phone and get a SIM card at the airport! You will be able to get in touch with your family right away! Once you are in the country it is much more difficult to get a SIM card, so do it at the airport!
  4. Always carry a sweater, even in the summer. The AC gets really cold!!!
  5. Come with an open mind and a smile on your face. You will have more ups than downs, meet many a good friend and have a wonderful time if you do so!

Tell us a bit about your own expat blog.
I have always loved to write, but I started my blog because my friends and family wanted to keep up with what I was doing. I thought it would be easier to start a blog than email them all! It has really been a good way to gain perspective on my own experience. I have also been keeping a travel journal for more personal things that I don’t really want to share on the web.

How can you be contacted for further advice to future expats coming to your area?
Feel free to email me: georgiacebull{at}gmail{dot}com or tweet me @georgiesphia, I always respond as promptly as I can! If you are coming to Kuwait and need someone to show you around, I would be more than happy to do so!

Georgia blogs at which we recommend a quick visit if you haven't been already. Diving into Adventure has an listing here so add a review if you like! If you appreciated this interview with Georgia, please also drop her a quick comment below.
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Comments » There is 1 comment

Stacey wrote 4 years ago:

Very helpful and honest comments. I'm very curious about teaching at international schools and living abroad. I've been a preschool director for 3yrs but have a k-8 credential as well. Since it's not k-8 experience I'm wondering if schools would shy away from me for jobs other than preschool or will my experience as valid and transferable?

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