CBS is located in Kuwait – a wonderful place to live. A comfortable and safe sovereign state, Kuwait is a great location to be used as a base for travelling to other countries such as India, Malaysia, Greece, Egypt, and Africa during the holidays. Kuwaitis are well known for their hospitality and generosity. Expect to be treated well when visiting Kuwait. In Kuwait, once people are familiar with each other they greet each other with a handshake and a kiss or two on the cheek, generally with the same gender. Usually men don't shake women's hands. In keeping with the Kuwaiti culture and religion, men and women are not related to one another and are usually segregated.
Kuwait has a population of 3.1 million, and has an array of supermarkets and shopping malls selling most international brands at good prices. There are seven conventional banks in Kuwait offering the usual range of banking services.
Attending school for all children between the ages of six and fourteen is compulsory in the state of Kuwait and public education is provided for free to Kuwaiti children in the Arabic medium schools. Education is regulated by the Ministry of Education (MOE). The country has several universities for higher education.
Kuwait is predominantly an Islamic country. However, you are free to follow your religion and visit places of worship as per his/her religion.
Arabic is the official language in Kuwait but an English speaker can always be found.
The summers are hot and dry. The months of May through October tend to be warm. However, in November through April cooler weather prevails. There will be times when a warm jacket will be necessary. All apartments have heaters and can be a welcome relief on cold and windy days. Rain is infrequent.
Food plays an important role in the Kuwaiti culture. The most popular dish is the "Mach boos", which is chicken, beef or fish over a specially spiced rice. Kuwaiti tea is usually served after lunch. Kuwaiti tea is just regular hot tea, but many families add some flavours to it such as saffron or mint. Arabic coffee is also a very important part of Kuwaiti tradition. Traditionally, when people visit, the first thing served is the Arabic coffee. You can easily find KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Domino’s, Baskin Robbins, Chilli's, Johnny Rockets, Friday’s outlets as well.
Some people like going to the beach or desert. In the beach one can fish, boat, and swim, jet ski or water ski. In the desert one can camp, hunt, ride buggies or hike. Kuwait has so many beautifully decorated malls. Going to the mall is usually a group thing, where families or friends bond with one another while shopping, dining or simply walking around. Many malls have movie theatres in them. So, many people spend some time in malls. As mentioned in the food section, food plays an important role in the Kuwaiti culture. There are variety of restaurants and cuisines to choose from. Everywhere you go there are small sandwich cafeterias selling sandwiches like falafels and shawarmas (shredded beef or chicken). These are the common Arab or Kuwaiti fast foods.
There are several shopping malls in Kuwait which include shops such as Jack Wills, Bath and Body works, H& M, Debenhams, American eagle, River Island, Levis, Gap, Zara, Banana Republic to name a few. You can also visit IKEA store and Carrefour at the Avenues mall. You can find western style grocery shopping and products at the Sultan Center. They have several stores across the city. Here you can find wide variety of western products. You can also visit Co-op stores that are situated in suburban communities. For convenience, every block or two has its own small store selling a wide variety of daily use items. The Old Souk in Kuwait City and the open air Friday market offers traditional items. You can also visit the Exhibition grounds in Mishreif where products from the Middle and Far East are sold.
" Working at CBS has been an excellent international opportunity! Our students are unique, compassionate and energetic! They build strong bonds with their teachers, which makes fitting in easy. When leaving Canada, to move to Kuwait, I never realized the relationships I would develop with my colleagues and students. However, CBS is more than a school to me. I feel like I am part of a much bigger family. I honestly never thought that I would still be teaching overseas after two years, but there's something special about CBS that I can't let go of just yet."
Ms. Nabeeha Khan, OCT
High School English Teacher
"I started to work at the Canadian Bilingual School (CBS), Kuwait in 2015 as an elementary teacher. CBS is a wonderful school that provides both its students and teachers with opportunities to grow and learn academically. The staff at CBS works together seamlessly to create a safe and positive environment, which encourages all students to think critically and apply themselves to their learning. The students are eager and passionate learners with amazing and unique personalities. I've had a great experience working at CBS and I'm very happy to be part of such a dedicated family of international educators and leaders."
Ms. Mona Hamed, OCT
Elementary Classroom Teacher
"Teaching at CBS has been an exciting opportunity as it has added value to my career growth. I have learned so much in a short period of time and this has been my key takeaway. There is never a dull moment in the classroom and I always have a story to tell my family back home because my students always manage to warm my heart with their humor and loving nature. Colleagues are supportive and kind, we have become like a community at CBS. Kuwait is a place full of diversity, there are plenty of expats and culture is something that locals take pride in. The best part about Kuwait is the safety, I have never felt as safe as I feel in this country. Once you settle in you will start finding all the amazing food places, travel opportunities nearby and mesmerizing beach walks in the evenings. Kuwait is excellent for teachers looking for international experience!"
Ms. Zeina Lewaa Elamin
English, Business & Social Studies Teacher
"As in any profession, any person wants to grow in what he or she does. CBS has made it possible to practice my profession internationally. It gave me the privelege to experience new people, places and cultures. During my journey, I learned how to be steadfast, hard-working and independent. Every day speaks for itself and so I experience new things in different ways, with different emotions through various perspectives. Every day is not easy and hard work became an ongoing requirement. Apart from working hours, this opportunity also offered me various adventures, memories and friends who became family. Being in Kuwait has made it possible for me to set goals and even make a bucket list with things I could do someday. Kuwait is the center of where I want to be, opportunities and experiences waiting to happen. This was one of the best choices I could make regarding my profession and could be the same for other teachers looking for international experience!"
Ms. Van der Mescht
Elementary Classroom Teacher
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“Frequently Asked Questions”
What is the accreditation status of Canadian Bilingual School (CBS)?
We are currently in the 13th year of operation. CBS has been accredited from kindergarten to grade 12 by Middle States Association (MSA).
How many students will I be handling?
The number of students in a classroom will vary and will depend upon the intake and registrations. Final numbers may be known only a month or two after the academic year commences. The maximum number of students in a classroom would be 30. JK to Grade 2 classroom teachers are supported by educational assistants. Grades 3 to 6 are supported by an ESL teacher during language sessions.
I need help with lesson planning. How can I get assistance?
Please approach the Divisional leader for assistance in preparing lesson plans, academic clarification or training. The Divisional leader reports to the Principal and Vice-Principal.
How do I commute to school?
The school arranged transport will be from the school provided staff housing locale to and from school. However, please note that if you miss the school transport, you will have to find your own transport to school.
Will I be able to bring my family to Kuwait?
Yes, you can bring your family on a dependent visa after completing all your residency formalities in Kuwait but the onus of getting the visas and paying the fees is the responsibility of the employee. CBS can assist with providing information on procedures and paperwork requirements.
Would school accommodation be provided to the employee’s spouse/ family member?
School accommodation is strictly provided to the employee only. Prior approval from school business office, is required for short term visits of spouse/ family members to stay in the school accommodation. Upon school business office approval, the spouse who is employed in Kuwait but not with CBS can stay in the school accommodation, provided he/she pays a monthly fee of KD 150/- to CBS. A non-working spouse is permitted to stay in the apartment free of charge.
Am I eligible to get a driving license?
Yes, you are eligible to get a driving license once you have completed your residency procedures in Kuwait. CBS is not responsible to procure or cover the cost of a staff’s driving license. However, the school administration can support faculty in filling out forms and applications related to the completion of the license procedures. Please note that the administration staff are not mandated to provide this service but are generally willing to oblige.
Does the school provide cash in lieu of air tickets?
The staff may find the lowest fare in the market and if the school’s designated travel agent (Virtus Tours and Travels) is able to match the lowest fare, cash in lieu of ticket may be granted at the lowest fare available. The Business Office Coordinator needs to be contacted in this case.
Definition of roundtrip ticket: Air ticket to arrive to Kuwait in August and return in June from Kuwait to country of domicile.
The amount of cash in lieu of ticket to Canada/US will be KD 600 (Kuwait Dinar Six Hundred Only)
The amount of cash in lieu of ticket to UK/Ireland/Hungary will be KD 325 (Kuwait Dinar Three Hundred and Twenty Five Only)
The cash in lieu of air ticket will be disbursed in two equal installments:
1st installment will be paid on or before October 05.
2nd installment will be paid along with June salary.
Is there a Health Insurance policy at CBS?
Once the Kuwait residence formalities are completed, the staff will be covered by health insurance (medical & basic dental- dental covers cleaning, scaling and tooth extraction) mandated by the Kuwait government for the period of the contract with CBS.
Does the school provide baggage allowance?
CBS provides baggage allowance up to KD 100/- which shall be reimbursed upon arrival in Kuwait. This is only a one time allowance to support the new staff who would be relocating to Kuwait. The baggage allowance will be disbursed only upon submission of receipts.
Does the school provide shipping allowance?
As per the school policy, we do not provide shipping allowance.
Will I be able to have pets at my apartment?
Staff are permitted to keep only cats and fish as pets in their CBS apartment. Prior approval is required from the Business Office Coordinator. We respect the fact that you are an animal lover but trust that you will be mindful of its care and your responsibility to keep your pet from being a safety concern to CBS maintenance staff or neighbors.
Please note that no other type of pets are permitted in the apartments. Dogs are considered ‘haram’ in Islam. If a staff member is found in violation of this policy he/ she will be asked to relinquish the apartment and find their own accommodation.
The school policy on keeping pets in the apartment are as follows:
Permissible pets and conditions:
Type of cats: Domesticated cats only. No strays please. You may wish to adopt a cat from one of the local animal rescue agencies or pet stores after careful examination and vaccinations from a certified veterinary agency. This is for your own safety as well as the safety of those visiting your apartment.
A maximum of one cat in an apartment.
Maximum weight: 13 lbs. (6 kg).
Kindly ensure that your pet does not lounge on the sofas, chairs, beds or pillows provided by the school. Kindly provide your cat with a cat bed/ basket which it can use. Please respect the fact that the furniture will be used by subsequent tenants and it will be wrong to pass on Zoonotic diseases particularly fungal spores of ringworms to another person.
In order to prevent your pet from using school furniture as its scratching post, please provide your cat with a designated scratching post which is readily available at the local pet stores such as ‘Pet Zone’.
Kindly make sure that the cat litter is disposed of safely and that the apartment is kept clean at all times.
The care and security of the cat is the sole responsibility of the cat owner. Please make sure that your cat is not wandering around outside your apartment unattended.
Kindly ensure that your cat does not cause harm to the school maintenance staff or tenants in the neighboring apartments. In the unlikely event of an ‘attack’ by your cat, any treatment of injury caused by the cat to school maintenance staff is to be paid for by the pet owner. It is better to schedule maintenance visits when you are in the apartment to ensure that the maintenance staff member is comfortable with cats and has no allergies to cat fur.
Your pet’s health and protection will be your responsibility. Please make sure that the cat is regularly taken to the vet for routine checkups, shots, deworming etc.
Please do not take your cat to school at any time.
Damage deposit for keeping cats in the apartment:
Upon approval from the business office coordinator to keep your cat, please pay an amount of KD 200 which is reimbursable after covering for damages in the apartment which will have to be paid as a deposit to the CBS accounts department prior to bringing the pet to the apartment.
If there are any damages found during the inventory check, appropriate amounts will be deducted from the deposit money. Any balance deposit will be repaid at the time of leaving the CBS apartment. Should the damages exceed the deposit, the additional costs will have to be paid by the cat owner at the time of checking out of the CBS apartment.
Kindly refer to the apartment inventory sheet (form 12) for specific damage charges.
Non-carnivorous fish only.
The maximum tank capacity permitted: 3 liter tank or fish bowl.
Any tanks exceeding this capacity will not be permitted to be stored on school furniture (tables). If tanks exceeding this weight is stored on the school furniture, the teacher will have to pay a fine of KD 30.
Please feel free to purchase floor standing fish tanks or aquariums but please make sure that wires are run safely to avoid electric shocks.
We hope you enjoy your pet and stay at the CBS apartment while respecting CBS pet guidelines.
How do I meet my preliminary expenses in Kuwait?
School will have some food for you in your apartment upon your arrival, which should be enough for the first two days. We will arrange for grocery shopping during the first week. You will be handed over KD 100 /- as salary advance, which will be deducted from your first pay cheque. We highly recommend you to carry $ 1000 to meet your initial expenditure in Kuwait.
What is the salary pay-period?
Salary pay-period is calculated from the 1st of the month to the 30th of every month. Salaries will be disbursed by the 5th of every subsequent month.
The contract is dated from September 1st. Will the staff be paid if asked to work before?
The contract starts from 1st September. However, the staff will be asked to arrive one week earlier for the Orientation program. The staff will not be paid for the Orientation week.
What is the dress code policy?
The dress code for staff at CBS is meant to be that of a professional. We live in a Muslim culture where there is an emphasis on wearing non-revealing or excessively tight attire. Additionally, most Kuwaitis dress formally and very neatly and expect the same from people working in professional organizations. This includes wearing laundered and ironed clothes. Proper attire also minimizes drawing undue attention to oneself. In Kuwait (as in most Asian countries), the teacher is given much respect and held in very high esteem. This means that teachers are also looked on as role models. Therefore, please look at the dress code as being an essential guideline to improving staff safety, comfort, professionalism and cultural sensitivity.
Acceptable clothing for women:
Shirt and blouse necks should be high cut.
Skirts should extend past the knee.
Trousers/ slacks/ pants should be relatively loose and not tight fitting around the legs.
Shirts and blouses should have half or three-quarter sleeves. Sleeveless blouses and shirts are not permissible.
Shirt hemlines should be long enough to cover the midriff even when raising your arms.
A light and loose mid-thigh length sweater or this can be replaced by pashminas, shawls, scarfs is an excellent way to cover oneself and still look stylish and well appointed.
Acceptable clothing for men:
A formal/ dress shirt with a tie.
Formal slacks/ trousers or pants.
A sports jacket is your choice.
Shoes must be polished regularly and not scuffed or worn out.
Clothing that is not permissible:
Jeans, corduroy trousers, sweat pants, three quarter pants, shorts, low cut blouses, T-shirts with printed statements and transparent material are not permissible.
Running shoes/ sneakers, high heels, high boots and flip flops are inappropriate and must not be worn at school.
The PE staff are permitted to wear running shoes/ sneakers, shorts and T-shirts in school. It is preferable for women PE staff to wear sweat pants or loose slacks in school.
How do I lodge a query/suggestion regarding maintenance/housekeeping?
All staff who wish to post an issue should make appropriate entries in the online school facilities management software (GoFmx). This enables us to track the query/suggestion and resolve the issue efficiently.
Is there a specific time to meet the Business Office Coordinator?
For any queries, requests or suggestions the staff needs to make an appointment with the Business Office Coordinator by sending an email. You can make an appointment with the Business Office Coordinator on Sunday or Thursday between 12.00 P.M. to 3.30 P.M.
Is there a specific protocol to meet the Director?
The staff, after consulting with the Principal and the Business Office Coordinator can email the Director on issues they wish to discuss with him depending on his availability.
The information from the Principal and Business office are conflicting and confusing? What do I do?
The Staff Policy Manual supersedes all this and if any further resolution is required, this may be addressed to the Director in an e-mail.
Where can I meet the Director?
The director of the School, Mr. K.O Mathew’s office is located in Shuwaikh which is about a 20 minute drive from the school.
I do not know the local language (Arabic). How do I communicate when I deal with the government agencies or other institutions where they don’t speak English?
The mandoub/expeditor is a possible resource that staff may call upon. The staff can check the mandoub’s availability and can avail of his help after the official working hours. The mandoub is not mandated to help staff but may be willing to be of assistance in his private capacity.
Am I eligible for yearly increments?
The terms and conditions are as covered in your contract. This can be addressed at the time of your contract renewal. Any increments are subject to your performance, feedback by your administrators and management approval.
If during probation I am terminated, will I be eligible for a return air ticket?
What is the leave encashment policy at CBS?
CBS does not pay cash in lieu of leave. Leave must be availed as per the terms of the contract and the school policy.
Are staff guests permitted in school?
Written authorization has to be obtained from the Principal to bring visitors in to the school. Minor children of staff are strictly not allowed in school during working hours (unless they are a student of CBS). All visitors upon entering the school should collect the visitors badge after submitting their civil ID to the security at the gate.
How does CBS authorize expenditures?
All financial decisions and commitments are based on a financial budget. The budget is prepared on a yearly basis based on the inputs from the Principal, Director, Business Office Coordinator, HR, and Accounts department. The final budget is approved by the Board of Directors.
What if we need additional resources?
To begin with, the employees have to orient themselves to the resources available at CBS during orientation. After this, if you still feel that there is a need for additional resources, the employee has to submit the resource request to the Principal for approval well in advance, which will then be forwarded to the Business Office Coordinator by the Principal for approval and procurement.
If the requirement exceeds the budget for the current academic year, then it is has to be made available from fund raising activities further to approval from the Principal and Business Office Coordinator or it would be considered for the next academic year.
If the additional resources do not incur any additional cost, the additional resources can be availed with the approval from the Principal and the Business Office Coordinator.
What if we have suggestions for improvement?
Improvement is an essential part of growth and suggestions are welcome at all times. Please contact the Principal/Business Office Coordinator and feel free to discuss the same during a mutually agreed time slot
How can we earn extra money or take up additional responsibilities for additional pay?
Kindly note that the time used during school hours is not entitled for additional pay as the staff are already paid for those responsibilities in terms of their salary. Additional pay could be considered for activities that generate income which may be discussed with the Principal and the Business Office Coordinator.
I was hired for a certain position, but now I am being assigned different responsibilities. Why is this happening?
Considering the teacher`s qualifications, any long-term changes would match the teacher`s abilities and training. The expectation is that the teacher would be given the assignment as designated in the contract. Also in a (any) growing school, there are many new situations that makes fixing responsibilities a little more challenging. Staff are expected to be flexible in order to step in as required by the Principal so that the academic operations are smooth. A staff is hired based on his/her skill set so he/she should have the ability to be flexible and contribute in a grade or responsibility different from the one first offered to them.
The watchman (responsible for maintenance in my apartment) does not understand what I am saying. Can you assist?
We have the school mandoub who can assist you in these matters. The school mandoub could be available after school and official working hours to assist you in communicating with the watchman (Harris). Note that this is not mandated by the school but the staff are generally willing and are encouraged to oblige, so that our overseas staff are comfortable.
I went to the government run hospital but I was not happy with the treatment. What can I do?
All the hospitals under the Ministry of Health are reliable and covered by the Health Insurance issued by the Kuwait Government. However, you are free to approach the private hospitals which are costlier and the expenses are expected to be borne by the individual. We recommend Dar Al Saha Poly Clinic, which is 15 minutes from CBS.
Whom do I approach for a particular problem in CBS?
For Academic issues- Talk to- 1. Divisional Leader 2. Vice-Principal 3. Principal
What is the time required to complete the residency process in Kuwait?
The residency procedures in Kuwait can take up to 4 months. The time frame can increase when it occurs within the holy month of Ramadan or other extended public holidays.
How is my summer pay (July & August) calculated?
You will be eligible for full summer pay if you work from the first working day of the academic year to the last day of school. If you join the school in between the academic year, the annual summer pay is calculated on a pro-rata basis from the actual joining date.
Will school cover the expenses related to the process in the country of domicile?
All the expenses in your country of domicile before arriving to Kuwait, for the employment in Kuwait should be borne by the candidate. This includes the Medical Report, Criminal Record Check, Authentication of Bachelors and B.Ed. certificates, stamping of documents in Embassy of Kuwait and Foreign affairs etc. Visa/Residency expenses in Kuwait only will be borne by the school.
Please click here to see 'CBS Power Point presentation'