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Life in Davao FAQs

Davao is a city of contrasts and provides a diverse cultural experience! Located on the island of Mindanao, the city is located between stunning tropical beaches and rugged mountains, offering outdoor activities of all kinds. Within the city, you’ll find modern shopping malls alongside local outdoor markets. Davao offers many western conveniences but has preserved its cultural heritage thanks to several tribal regions in the area. There are several local dialects spoken, but English is widely spoken and understood. Below is a list of frequently asked questions that will give you a taste of what life in Davao is like. 

Can I visit FIA before making a commitment?

Absolutely! We would love for you to come and see our school in action, meet our teachers and staff, and get a feel for life in Davao.

What qualifications are required to teach at FIA?

1. Being a committed Christian, actively pursuing a relationship with Christ who hold to our Statement of Faith
2. Regular attendance at a local evangelical church
3. Supported member of a mission organization
4. Professional credentials, certifications, and degrees applicable to the position. (students pursuing certifications/degrees may be accepted)
5 Ability to communicate in English orally and in writing
6. Physical capabilities necessary to fulfill daily tasks of the position
7. Acceptable proficiency with relevant technology

Does FIA provide a salary, housing, or airfare allowance for the staff?

In order to provide a quality, affordable education to our missionary families, our staff serve as volunteers and do not receive a salary or housing allowance. FIA does have incentives, some of which staff members must submit an application and be approved by the administration. Our staff members are financially supported through contributions from churches, businesses, and individuals. The best way to raise this support is through a sending organization. The sending organization will provide assistance as you raise support and facilitate your transition to the Philippines.

Can FIA help me find housing?

Our team at FIA can help our staff find housing best suited for your needs and budget. We regularly communicate with the community on what housing options are available. We would love to help you find your new home.

Will I need a visa?

Yes. If you are not able to acquire a visa through your sending agency, then FIA will assist you in obtaining an appropriate visa. We will provide the information needed to apply for a 9G missionary visa upon arrival in the Philippines. The process can be lengthy at times, but we will walk you through it to make the experience as smooth as possible.

Is medical insurance required? How is the health care?

Most mission organizations require their members and their families to have medical insurance both overseas and in their passport country. FIA does not provide insurance for missionary staff.

Davao has numerous clinics and hospitals, many of which have state of the art medical technology. Most procedures are very affordable, and most pharmaceuticals are widely available.

I would like my children to attend FIA. Do I get a discount for teaching?

Tuition and/or capital fee discounts are available for FIA missionary staff members. Staff members must submit an application and be approved by the administration.

What does a typical calendar year look like at FIA?

We begin school in early August and finish by the end of May. Breaks or holidays throughout the year include October, Christmas, and March breaks. Take a look at our calendar for the current year and the following year.

What staff orientation does FIA offer?

Most mission organizations offer pre-field cultural and missionary orientations. FIA may require you to attend cross-cultural training if it is not provided by your sending organization; FIA recruiting can provide a list of options for you. Faith has a new teacher orientation, as well as an all staff orientation before the start of each school year. This allows new staff to meet returning staff as well as get a feel for the FIA culture before the school year begins.

What is the cost of living in Davao?

Compared to most developed nations, the cost of living in Davao is fairly low. However, this number can fluctuate depending on your family size and standard of living. Your sending agency, in coordination with FIA, will help you determine a budget.

Is Davao a safe place to live?

Davao is consistently ranked as one of the safest cities in the world. Many of our missionary families work in high risk areas but choose to live in Davao because the city is so safe. However, the island of Mindanao frequently sees conflict due to the unrest between differing political groups. Common sense, awareness, and basic safety measures should always be followed.

Is public transportation available or should I have a personal vehicle?

Public transportation is very inexpensive and widely available. However, many staff members, especially those with families, opt to purchase a motorbike or car to allow more freedom. You will need to obtain a Philippines driver’s license, but if you already have a license from your passport country, it is fairly simple to acquire one.

Are there malls and stores in Davao that offer western items?

Yes! Davao has several shopping malls that contain western restaurants, movie theaters, and grocery stores that stock imported items. There are a variety of open-air markets that offer fresh produce, local meat, and almost anything else a modern grocery store would offer. Most items available at your local stores are available in our stores here in Davao.