Travel Blogger. ESL Teacher. Optimistic Millennial Adventurer!
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You're all set. You're ready to pack your bags and begin a new adventure teaching English abroad, but maybe, just maybe, there are a few things you've forgotten to take care of.
Here's a checklist of 10 things every ESL teacher should do before moving to teach English abroad:
Gather up all the necessary travel documents you’ll need to identify yourself, that you'll need from and for your employer, for your transportation, and to complete your visa process. This will include key items like your passport, contract, resume, college diploma, TEFL certificate, letter of recommendation, health check results, criminal record check, and invitation letter.
Travel Tips & Warnings
Check your local embassy’s website and the consulate of your intended destination for any travel tips and warnings. They’ll often list places that they don’t recommend travel to due to extreme cases of violence, health safety, civil unrest, environmental hazards, etc. They'll also provide warnings for scams and dangerous situations to look out for.
Register With Your Embassy
Register your arrival, location, company, and duration of your stay with your country’s local embassy. Be sure to also jot down their locations and emergency services numbers as well, just in case.
Oh boy, for your safety, learn as much as possible about your intended destination's laws and customs before traveling. You can visit the website of their local consulate, do research on the internet, or purchase travel guides. Remember, things legal in your country may be prohibited there.
Again, do your research on your destination. The more you research, the more you’ll be prepared if or when you experience culture shock. Read up on their history, traditions, lifestyle, political structure, etiquette, and entertainment. Learn statistical information about populations in various cities, average household incomes, etc.
Ask your doctor or check with your local embassy to see if they recommend any necessary vaccinations before traveling to your intended destination. Furthermore, remember to bring any medication that you often take at home, as it may not be so readily available there.
Family & Friends Communication
Does your family know how to reach you for a simple chat or in case of emergencies? Make sure to exchange the necessary emails and contact numbers, and download apps for chat service software like SKYPe or What's App.
Who, What, When, Where of your Employer
Share your employer’s information with your family in case of an emergency. Make sure they know who you have mainly been in contact with, where you will work, and when you will start.
What To Bring
Search the web, speak with teachers, or ask your employer for any suggestions on items you should bring. If this is your first time traveling outside of your country, you should know that everything from food and technology to electrical voltage may be different than what you’re used to.
Try checking with your bank to see if they have partner banks in your destination. Write down your bank account's routing numbers, account numbers, and your bank's international code so that you may be able to transfer funds.
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