Teaching abroad is exciting, there’s no doubt about it. However, there’s a lot of preparation involved, and some people can become overwhelmed by that process.
Not to worry though. With the right planning and knowledge, you can be off on your teaching journey in no time. The following quick tips will help you to stay organized and simplify the tasks involved in preparing to teach English abroad.
1. Make the Decision
This is where you get to be egocentric for a little. Think about yourself and what you want to do. Decide where you fancy teaching, for how long, and don’t forget to to think about what happens after your teaching time overseas. Are you going straight back home, or are you going to venture somewhere new?
2. Research, Research, Research
Now that you have a clear idea of what you are going to be doing, learn more about how you can achieve it.
Find out whether you need a visa to work and travel overseas, do your research on the country you’ve chosen, and learn about TEFL/TESOL certification.
3. Plan It All
Planning is crucial when it comes to such big changes. There are plenty of things you have to deal with and a step-by-step approach can save you a lot of headaches.
Being away from home for seven or eight months is something that you want to time right, and setting deadlines will help you. Dedicate some time to learning the local lingo – it will prove useful on your travels.
4. Stay Organized
You must keep track of the progress you make on your plan. You don’t want to forget packing your favorite book and realize it only after you have crossed the Equator.
Going with your iPhone’s Notes or Reminders is okay, but if you want to really make sure you’re on track with everything, get Evernote. This app will make remembering everything effortless and will sync all your tasks and notes across your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Later, it will prove itself useful in your classroom, too.
5. Get Through the Legal Requirements
Different countries have vastly different legal requirements for working in them. Some require obtaining visa before you enter the country, some have visa procedures that are based in the country itself. The Department of State provides country-specific information that even lists U.S. embassies’ locations. Get in touch with LanguageCorps if you need any extra information.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will often need photocopies of your documents. The best thing to do is to have extra copies and to keep scans in the cloud as well.
6. Get Checked
Although medical insurance can be included in your LanguageCorps program, you can never be too sure. Besides, the countries you’ll be visiting may have certain diseases lurking around. Consult your doctor and get the necessary vaccines.
Visiting your dentist is also a good idea, don’t skip out on it.
7. Prepare Your Electronics
If you want to fry your laptop, go ahead and skip this step. Getting electronics ready for traveling overseas is something people don’t consider until they try to plug a U.S. device into a European socket.
Truth is, many electronics may need more than just plug adapters. Go through your manuals (or the label next to the power cord) and see if your gadgets can work with 220V as this is the most commonly used voltage around the globe. If your laptop charger doesn’t support 220V, going for a transformer may be impractical, so just get a new charger when you arrive.
8. Pack Like a Pro
Lifehacker posted a great mini-guide that turns travel rookies into veterans in under two minutes. Although the guide focuses on suitcases and duffel bags, I assure you it does wonders when packing a backpack, too.
9. Terminate Your Contracts
Going with almost a year of roaming data plan for your mobile is disastrous for any budget. The best thing to do is to get a local prepaid SIM card and roll with it for a few months. Contact your mobile provider and negotiate something that suits you if you don’t want to terminate your contract.
10. Get Your House Ready
Having a trustworthy friend plays a big role in your travels. Get them a spare key to the house to keep an eye on it. Unplug electronics, stop the water and gas supply, get rid of all the food, and record a new answering machine message, before you set off. Thinking about your fridge is not going to be the only thought in your head when traveling across Vietnam, but it will give you some inner peace.
Preparing for a teaching abroad seems like a big deal, but if executed well, it can be a piece of cake. Furthermore, the time and effort you invest when preparing for your journey will pay off greatly and ultimately open up new travel opportunities.
Now that you know how to prepare like a pro, get familiar with LanguageCorps Teaching Abroad Programs. This is the easiest and most comfortable way to teach in places like Cambodia, Peru, Hungary, and Italy. Get your suitcase ready for the most rewarding experience in your life.