Living in Brunei
Most people would never think of teaching in Brunei. The tiny but oil-rich nation doesn’t attract many tourists, and you won’t find many jobs in Brunei posted on teachers’ job boards. However, there are quite a few jobs for teachers in public and private schools in Brunei, and if you’re lucky enough to get one you’ll be quite well paid and taken care of. You’ll need a bit higher qualifications than you will for teaching in other countries, but living and teaching in Brunei can certainly be attractive for some teachers.
Brunei speaks Bahasa, which is the same language spoken in Indonesia and Malaysia. The language is written using Roman script. There are no tones to worry about, and the grammar is simplified such that you don’t even need to worry about conjugating verbs. It’s recognized as one of the world’s easiest languages to learn, so it won’t take you long to begin communicating with the people around you.
Eating in Brunei
Food in Brunei has a lot of Malay and Indian influence, so you’ll find lots of curries, rotis and rice. The food is a bit creamier and heavier than the food of Thailand or Vietnam.
There is a small expat population in Brunei, and a few familiar western chains have set up in the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan. You’ll be able to find western food without too much trouble.
When it comes to shopping for food, you’ll be able to shop in quite modern supermarkets and grocery stores. While there aren’t so many and they aren’t so big, as Brunei is a small country, you’ll find many imported foods to go along with local fare. Teachers in Brunei are often provided accommodation in full houses, so you’re likely to have a kitchen of your own.
Brunei is officially a dry country, so you won’t find much of a party scene there. Alcohol is sold in just a few hotel bars and speakeasies. Foreigners are allowed to bring in a limited amount of alcohol from abroad for home consumption, so social life tends to revolve around house parties more than outside gatherings.
With fewer vices to occupy their time, though, foreigners in Brunei seem to get involved more often in healthier activities. The sultanate tries to provide its people with healthier diversions, so you’ll find plenty of public sporting facilities.
There is a quite limited system of public buses in Brunei, which will take you between cities and around the capital city. Most foreigners end up getting their own transportation. The streets are safe and quiet, so its an ideal place to try to ride a motorbike. However, it’s not too difficult to get a car while you’re there and many foreigners seem to do so.
Teaching in Brunei
One of the first places to check when looking for work in Brunei is CfBT Education Services. Like Singapore, it’s not easy to just show up in Brunei and expect to find a teaching job. Schools there tend to have more formal recruiting processes, so it’s best to get in contact with schools and organizations that you like while you’re still outside the country. If they’re interested, they’ll contact you to set up an interview by Skype.
Most of the teaching work appears to be in primary and secondary schools, both public and private. There is also a limited amount of work in language centers and universities.