We recently had a chat with Christine Burias, an ICU Nurse at the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz University Hospital. She graduated Cum Laude from the Ago Medical and Educational Center in Legazpi City, Philippines.
Tell us about yourself.
I am from Bulan Sorsogon in the Bicol Region (Philippines). You could say that I am a simple person with a big dream. It’s been my principle in life that if you want something, then you must work hard for it, and to never stop despite the obstacles.
Tell us about your career path.
I graduated back in 2008 and passed the Nursing Board during the same year. Once I’ve had enough experience, I decided in 2012 to go abroad. I was fortunate enough to get accepted within the year as an ICU nurse at a private hospital in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Once my contract expired after two years, I applied once more and was fortunate to have been accepted at King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz University Hospital. I have been working there since then.
What do you do outside of work?
I like to paint and play guitars. When I have the chance, I like to bake and cook Filipino food. It’s no problem cooking that as the ingredients are readily available here. We have a local market that’s comparable to Divisoria. I also love to travel, which is an indulgence that I could now do because I earn more as an OFW. I have been to Japan, Singapore, Dubai, and just recently went to Tbilisi in Georgia. One of my bucket list is to see snow, and Georgia has a visa upon arrival for Filipinos.
I would like to go back to Japan, particularly in Osaka and Kyoto, since I found my first visit to have been not enough.
Would you say that you are enjoying the expatriate life?
I wouldn’t have lasted if I didn’t enjoy it. I also like the fact that it’s helping me become a professionally and culturally competent health care practitioner by working in a diverse and ever changing healthcare system.
People say that Saudi is a hard place to live in, but I found the opposite to be true. It will just depend on your employer, as well as how you blend in with people of other cultures. Crab mentality is real, though, but it would be up to you to be strong.
What are your future plans?
I’m thinking of moving to the USA as I have a relative there. I would need to study and pass the IELTS first, and I plan on doing that in the next two years.
What are your tips for your fellow OFWs?
Homesickness would not be an issue if you have been independent even if you are living in your home country. I would also advise them to be strong, be ready for the unknown things and remember to be flexible at any time. Change is constant in this world. Always Pray.
How was your experience with TrueProfile.io?
I am satisfied with TrueProfile.io’s service because their interface is user friendly, easy to follow, and any queries were answered quickly.
Would you recommend TrueProfile.io to your colleagues?
I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND TrueProfile.io to my colleagues because reports can be used in any GCC country, anytime! And all it takes is one click.
And finally, if given the chance, would you be an OFW all over again?
Yes, I would definitely love to be an OFW again.
Edited for clarity
All photos courtesy of Christine Burias