RE: Histologists working in other countries. . .

From:"Morken, Tim"

Mark, Can't say anything about Germany or Spain, but I did work in Saudi Arabia for 5 years. What your co-worker told you about Saudi is a little far fetched (only a little though!). Unless she was looking at someplace in a really remote area where they are desparate for techs I doubt she would be offered so much money. Even then it's more likely they would get a tech from a different country much cheaper (in Saudi they have no qualms about paying techs from different countries vastly different salaries). Usually you start at about what you make here in the US, but they do not take out taxes (a US citizen can make up to $70k/yr without tax liability), they do pay for housing and utilities and they do pay for a plane ticket. Most also have a severance payment that is accumulated as you work but is only paid when you leave for good (usually 2 weeks pay per year). They also normally have a re-signing bonus of one-months pay that you get each time you re-contract (on a yearly basis). When you factor all that in, then you actually do make a lot more money than in the States. Consider that your taxes in the states decrease your takehome by about 30 percent. So going to Saudi is like getting a 30 percent raise. Factor in the cost of housing and that's another 25 percent at least. So you could easily double your take home pay, but not necessarily your gross pay.
As for wearing a veil, the only places that I have heard of women having to wear a veil at work is at some really remote hospitals that are in the really religious fundalmentalist areas. Most western women would not go to those places (The Saudis have a definition of a "westerner" for employment purposes - anyone from North America, Europe, Australia or New Zealand). At the hospitals I worked in, and had contact with, only some of the Saudi women (not all Saudi women) wore veils. The hospitals are "western" in the sense that they follow a "western" medical philosophy, have a large percentage of  western staff and use english as the official language of the hospital. These are all government hospitals. Private hospitals can be far different. There is a real disconnect between the hospital and life outiside the hospital. While you are in the hospital you are working in an environment that is almost indistinguishable from any hospital in the US. Then you go out on the town and enter a whole different world.
Personally, I enjoyed  the time that I and my family (wife and daughter) spent in Saudi. My wife and daughter enjoyed most of it too. The living was very easy. You adapt to the culture and can enjoy a lot interesting things. Travelling is the big pastime and you get about 6 weeks of paid vacation every year. You can take it all at once, or spit it up. We traveled all of the world during our time there. I would recommend looking into it if you are serious about working overseas.
Tim Morken
-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Saturday, June 22, 2002 4:12 PM
Subject: Histologists working in other countries. . .

Does anyone know about working in countries besides the UK?  I'd be interested to hear what kinds of regulations exists in various countries.  I'd like to work in Germany one day, if it is possible. . . or Spain or a latin american country to practice Spanish.

Anyone know anything?

One tech at my lab was telling me today about a job offer she recieved for Saudi Arabia.  She said that they would pay her 50k a year tax-free, and that they'd place her in a condo with two other women to live without any rent.  Two trips a home a year were included, as well. She ended up not taking the job after she found that she would have to wear something over her head and entire body, all day long, and do what she was told by any man(that is if a man spoke to her, as she would not be allowed to speak to them).   Sounds pretty crazy.

.... but if anyone knows anything about working in Germany, Spain, or a latin american country please write about it!


Mark Tarango

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