Last week, I accepted an offer to teach journalism at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. I’ll be an assistant professor at the female campus of the university’s College of Communication and Media Sciences. I’ll be teaching three classes per semester to undergraduates, although I’m not sure of the subjects yet. (I should be finished with my PhD in Public Communication at the end of this month.)
The whole family is coming along, of course. The kids will go to a private school (hopefully this one), and my wife, Ann, will be writing her dissertation and completing a PhD in Education Policy. We have already made some great ex-pat friends who teach at the university — spent time with them in Cairo last November. They will help make the transition easier.
We’re looking forward to visiting a side of the world that the family’s never seen. We’ll be a relatively short plane ride away from Cairo, Istanbul, Nairobi, Bombay, and Athens. There’s plenty to see in the UAE as well — the tallest building in the world in Dubai, the Liwa Oasis, and great scuba diving in the Persian Gulf. Neighboring Oman also seems to be pretty welcoming. And, from Abu Dhabi, trips to Southeast Asia, South Africa and even the South Pacific, don’t seem quite as far.
We plan on living in Abu Dhabi for three years. I’ll have to stay out of the U.S. the first year for 336 days to establish non-residency status and avoid paying U.S. taxes on my salary — a major perk of the job. We plan to rent our house in Roswell/Marietta and move back into it upon our return. Our oldest daughter, Lydia, will be a freshman in high school when we move back in 2014. My son, Jake, will be entering 7th grade.
So, we’re looking forward to this grand adventure. We’ll be heading out sometime in August. Will be sure to post lots of pictures and keep my eight loyal readers appraised of our movements.