5 Things to Do Before Leaving to Teach Abroad  - Alvinology

5 Things to Do Before Leaving to Teach Abroad 

Congratulations, you have made the exciting decision to teach abroad and got accepted to a position. An exciting adventure awaits you! But first, there are a few things you’ll want to do to prepare for this huge life change. 

The following recommendations will ease your transition. This move will come with changes to every aspect of your life and some inevitable cultural shock. Through research and organization, you can help yourself feel more comfortable in your new country. 

1. Study the Native Language 

Moving to a new country and not speaking the language can be scary. But you do not have to know a lot to get around in your new country. A few months of learning common phrases and words will serve you well. Once you get there, you can further build on the foundation you’ve made. 

The fastest and most accessible way to practice a new language is on a mobile phone app or website. Some of which, like https://meetkleo.com, offer personalized language tutor services to help you retain and understand. 

2. Review the Cultural Differences and Customs

Every country has unique customs and etiquette that are expected. Not behaving correctly towards cultural customs could land you in trouble in your new country. Some things you consider to be polite may actually be rude

Take some time to research proper greetings, food etiquette, tipping expectations, and other common practices to help you fit in and adjust. 

3. Prepare Your Documents

Having all the necessary documents and keeping them organized will save you a lot of hassle during your move. Start by obtaining your work visa which the teaching agency should help with.

Then gather the following documents and make multiple copies. Keep one copy in your home country with a trusted family member or friend and another copy with you. Consider keeping originals in a lockbox or locked suitcase to protect them. 

  • Passport
  • Native Country ID
  • Immunizations Form (check for required immunizations by country)
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Documentation (if applicable)
  • Work Permit or Sponsor Letter from the teaching agency
  • Information with your new address (for initial airport immigration)

4. Evaluate Your Health 

Before you leave, consider getting a physical with your primary doctor and various specialist checkups, such as dental and eye appointments. 

Any appointment that should take place annually should be completed before you leave. Most teaching contracts are one year or more, and you can avoid the hassle of finding a doctor within your first few months of getting settled if you take care of these tasks in advance. 

If you have prescriptions, talk to your doctor about your options. Some prescriptions they can give you upfront for the whole year, but many will need to be shipped or issued by a doctor in your new country.   

5. Organize Belongings  

Moving can be bittersweet and stressful. Take the time to organize and sort through your belongings to keep them safe until your return. 

Start by separating everything you plan to pack and take with you. No need to overpack; you can purchase most personal items there. Then, decide where you can store your remaining belongings for the long term. Perhaps, at a friend or family member’s house or rent a storage unit. 

If you own a car, decide if you want to sell it or not. If not, speak to your insurance agent about your options for modifying your auto insurance policy while the vehicle is not in use.  

Bon Voyage!  

You will thank yourself later if you take the time to plan and accomplish these steps. They will significantly help you when you arrive and once you return home. 

Keep an open mind and stay positive. Your hard work has paid off, and it is time to enjoy an experience that few people have. 

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