TEACH ENGLISH ABROAD: Read up On My amazing adventures as an ESL Teacher in South Korea & China For Over 5 Years!
So, you've decided to teach English abroad and are just about ready to pack your bags and begin a new adventure, but maybe, just maybe, there are a few things that you've forgotten to take care of.
For instance, did you know that you can register your name and information with a local embassy in your destination just in case of emergencies? Or, how about checking to see if you'll need to bring along a travel converter and adapter because the country you're traveling to uses different electrical voltage from your home? You see! Don't worry, that's exactly what I created this site for! So, I've provided a checklist of 10 Things Every ESL Teacher Should Do Before Traveling Abroad:
1.Travel Documents: Make sure you have all the necessary travel documents you’ll need to identify yourself, that you'l need from and for your employer, for your transportation, and to complete your visa process. Make photo copies of important documents, such as your passport, itinerary, and contract.
2. Travel Tips & Warnings: Check your local embassy’s website, as well as 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 will also provide warnings for scams and dangerous situations to look out for.
3. 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.
4. Local Laws: For your safety, learn as much as possible about your intended destination laws and customs before traveling. You can visit the website of their local consulate, do research on the internet, or purchase travel guide books to assist you. Remember, things legal in your country may be prohibited there.
5. Fact Check: Again, do your research on your destination. The more research you do, the more you’ll be prepared when you personally 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.
6. Medical: 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, as well as medication for travel sickness.
7. Family & Friends Communication: Does your family know how to reach you to 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 Facebook and SKYPE. You can also purchase Calling cards if necessary.
8. 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 communication with, where you will work, and when you will start.
9. 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. Pack a travel converter & adaptor, any medication you’ll need, food spices, your favorite snacks and candy, grooming materials, deodorant, birth control pills, your favorite snacks or candy, a camera, comfortable shoes, formal attire, photos of your family and friends, posters, weather specific clothing, technology (IPAD, MP3, etc.), and a positive attitude!
10. Finance: Notify your bank that you will be living overseas; after all, they might have partner banks in your destination. Write down your routing and account numbers so that you may be able to transfer funds. Cancel all necessary payments to companies whose services you will no longer use, such as for your phone, utilities, and internet.
MORE ESL POSTS
MY ESL JOURNEY
About the Author: Don is from Los Angeles, CA, USA and has served as an ESL Teacher & Foreign Department Manager in both China & South Korea!
ESL TEACHER BLOG
Join a TEFL Course