Living and working in another country

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Read about someone living and working in another country for the B2 First Reading Part 5 which practices reading for detail, opinion, tone, purpose, main idea, the implication of the idea.

travel, gap year

B2 First Reading Part 5 Set 1 (Living in another Country)

For B2 First Reading Part 5, you are going to read an article about the benefits of getting fit. This exercise consists of a text with multiple-choice questions. For each question, there are four options and you have to choose one of them.

Working and Living in a Different Country

Yearnings for the bamboo forests of China, the ski slopes of Switzerland and the karaoke booths of Japan – highlights of my previous gap years – don't surprise me, but I never imagined the minarets of Saudi Arabia would call me back. It is two years since I returned from Jeddah, but when I close my eyes on a grey English day I'm walking the city's ancient streets again, seeking out Bukhari chicken or Egyptian flatbread.

Money was my motivation for going to a country famous for exporting oil and terrorism; it has some of the best paid English teaching jobs in the world, and I managed to save £8,500 in just six months working at a boys' school there. I chose my new home city carefully. As the gateway to Mecca, through which the Muslim world passes on the hajj, the port of Jeddah is Saudi Arabia's most cosmopolitan and liberal city.

My new Saudi friends warned me against even visiting the capital Riyadh, home of Wahhabism. In Jeddah, I knew Saudis, as well as western women, who walked the streets unaccompanied by a man and with their heads uncovered, something they could never do in Riyadh.

Jeddah also boasts some of the world's best coral reefs. Diving on the Saudi side of the Red Sea offers the same underwater riches as the Egyptian Sinai, but without the crowds. On the downside, I didn't speak to a woman for my first two months there, but I eventually found a private beach where the sexes could mix.

My first lesson on a jet ski was fleeing the coastguard. A Palestinian girl had taken me for a ride when we saw their ship approaching. For fear of being caught together, we hid in a cove. Women are barred from driving any kind of motorised vehicles so I had to take the controls and when they passed we sped out of the cove and back to the beach James-Bond style.

Bizarre experiences inform my anecdotes about Saudi Arabia – gate-crashing a wedding and ending up on stage in front of 2,000 guests, my Saudi girlfriend's mother catching us at my apartment together … But what I long for is visiting the crumbling, centuries-old buildings of Old Jeddah, smoking shisha in coffee shops and sipping sweet Adeni tea with a friend. This kingdom is a harsh place, but the people who live there are the most hospitable I've ever met. I went for the riyals but came back richer in so many other ways.

David Trayner, 29, news reporter, Leicester


Question 1 of 6

1. Where does the writer imagine being?

Question 1 of 6

Question 2 of 6

2. Why did he choose to live in Jeddah?

Question 2 of 6

Question 3 of 6

3. What differences does Riyadh have compared to Jeddah?

Question 3 of 6

Question 4 of 6

4. What was the writer pleased to find after some time?

Question 4 of 6

Question 5 of 6

5. What does the word 'barred' mean?

Question 5 of 6

Question 6 of 6

6. How does the writer describe the people in Saudi Arabia?

Question 6 of 6


More exercises available:

B2 First Use of English and Reading Section

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

B2 First Writing Section

B2 First Listening and Speaking Section

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

In this part, you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare for about 1 minute. After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute, you will be asked a question about their photos.

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

In this part, you will hear an interview.

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