International School Community Blog

The Journey to School: Al Hada International School in Taif, Saudi Arabia

The journey to work is indeed an important one.  The journey though is not so clear for international school teachers, when looking for jobs at schools and cities/countries to which they have never been.  So let’s share what we know!

One of our members, who works at the Al Hada International School, in Taif, Saudi Arabia, described her way to work as follows:

The Walk to School
Before the newness of my morning routine fades away into complacency, I thought it wise to describe how I spend 15 minutes every morning during the school week.

The walk starts off by getting ready to leave my apartment (Bldg 23, room 102a). I throw on the abaya, swing my book laden day pack on my back, drape my catch-all satchel with my all important water bottle, small notebook where I scribble Arabic words and phrases, ID, working pens and an English-Arabic dictionary over my shoulder, and gather my fist full of keys.


Instead of using the elevator, I opt to take the stairs close to my door and down a flight and leave the building. Once outside I walk by white plastic plates that have been left out with cat food to feed the 101 some odd stray cats by the building. I spy a cat or two sleeping in the brush or gnawing on discarded chicken bones. Outside of the female restricted apartment zone, I turn left and head up the hill.

This is a pleasant walk because of the scenery and views along the way. I come to very tall bushes and walk on the sidewalk. I came to very tall bushes with white and pink flowers. These bushes were prevalent in the bay area along Foothill Expressway and 280. The name of the bush escapes me now (bougenvilla) but seeing them here brings comfort in the form of familiarity and bringing back fond memories of living in the Bay area.

The bushes border the Arabic school for boys. If my timing is off, I walk past the school when the boys are being dropped off around 7:05 AM. The left side of the hill I walk up is mainly vegetation consisting of eucalyptus and scrub brush. This is a very dry & arid climate so unless something gets watered all is very brown and barren. As a whole compound does have nice landscaping although some places are unkempt.

Past the boy’s school, there is a row of trees lining the sidewalk and here are some pine trees. Also from this spot is a nice vista overlooking the hospital, the entrance with a working fountain and in the background there is a high rocky ridge that has some buildings together in a cluster.

roses-of-taifAfter the row of trees I uses the cross walk to access the stairs that cut up the hill to the school and a mosque. This hill is rather steep and the 85 steps leading to the top gets the heart racing. This area is also a pleasant one because of the many trees and some flowering bushes. On some occasions coming back from school when it is prayer time, I sit on the steps to admire the setting sun against rocky and hilly landscape while the chanting of the prayers emanate from the mosque. There have been afternoons when the sun is blood-red and there is a yellowish hue in the sky.

The top of the steps lead to the mosque and a parking area. Many times I have seen groups of men sitting under a tree in the parking lot in the midst of a picnic. Mind you this is around 700 AM. I cross the parking lot and then a road and arrive at the gate to the school.

The peace and quiet of the walk to school is just what I need before I turn into, Miss – the teacher.

Currently, we have 33 international school listed in Saudi Arabia on our website.  16 of them have had comments submitted on them by our members.  Check out which ones here by using our school search feature and ticking the box ‘schools with comments’.


So what is your journey to the international school you work at?  Earn 6 free months of premium membership to our website if you participate in this blog series – ‘The Journey to School’.  Email us here if you are interested.