The recent turbulent history of Iraq is well known. However, for the past few years the country has been trying to rebuild and part of that process has involved education including English language teaching.
The American Embassy in Baghdad, for example, runs a scheme to train Iraqi teachers to teach English.
Although some areas of the country are still very unsafe (for both locals and visitors) the northern autonomous Kurdistan region has not been so heavily affected and there are a number of schools and foreign teachers working there. Often these are joint projects between foreign universities (mainly British, American or Canadian) and local Kurdish universities.
Thus, for the time being, when talking about teaching English in Iraq, this effectively means teaching English in Kurdistan.
TEFL Pay & Conditions
A university position in Kurdistan could typically pay around $2500 USD (€1978, £1591) per month with health cover, accommodation and return airfares. The qualifications for this kind of job are:
- a first degree
- a TEFL Certificate such as the IWeb TEFL Certificate
- experience teaching overseas
You may be required to take an HIV and drug test when you first enter the country.
Notes on Living in Kurdistan
- There is little access to alcohol except in one of the few Western restaurants.
- Although travel outside the region is possible, it is not advised as whilst Kurdistan is safe, the rest of the country is not.
- It is reasonably safe in Kurdistan and crime is almost unknown (but heavily punished when it is committed – and this includes by foreigners).