Preparing to teach English overseas
| Teaching House Nomads Blog
October 2, 2023
Teaching English overseas offers a unique opportunity for adventure and personal growth. However, to ensure a successful experience, proper preparation is crucial. We will guide you through the essential steps to take when preparing for your teaching job internationally. By following these guidelines, you can set yourself up for a smooth transition and make the most of your time in a foreign land.
Research your teaching destination
Researching your teaching destination is essential before embarking on your journey. Take the time to delve into the local culture, traditions, and educational system. This understanding will not only aid in your adaptation process but also demonstrate your dedication to embracing your new environment. By familiarising yourself with the local customs and educational practices, you'll be better equipped to connect with students, collaborate with colleagues, and navigate the nuances of your teaching experience abroad. Moreover, your commitment to immersing yourself in the local culture will be appreciated by the community and contribute to a more enriching and rewarding teaching journey.
Secure the required qualifications
Securing the required qualifications is crucial for teaching English abroad. Research the specific requirements of your destination country and ensure you obtain the necessary credentials. Programs such as TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), offered at Teaching House, provide comprehensive training, equipping you with the essential skills and knowledge to thrive in the classroom. These certifications are recognised globally and will not only enhance your teaching abilities but also demonstrate your commitment to professional development and provide you with a competitive edge when seeking employment opportunities overseas.
Learn the language
Learning the local language, though not always obligatory, can significantly enrich your experience abroad. It facilitates effective communication with colleagues, students, and locals, while also showcasing your commitment to embracing the local culture. To familiarise yourself with the basics, you may opt to enrol in language classes or utilise language-learning apps. These resources will enable you to develop essential language skills and enhance your ability to connect with the community around you. By trying to learn the local language, you'll not only gain a deeper understanding of the culture but also foster stronger relationships and create a more immersive and rewarding teaching experience.
Manage your finances
Effectively managing your finances is vital for a successful teaching experience internationally. Begin by researching the cost of living in your destination country to establish a comprehensive budget. Include expenses such as accommodation, transportation, visas, insurance, and daily living costs. It's advisable to save money before your departure to cover initial expenses and ensure a smooth transition. By being financially prepared and adhering to a well-planned budget, you can navigate your teaching journey abroad with greater ease, alleviate financial stress, and focus on making the most of your time in a new and exciting environment.
When preparing for your teaching job abroad, it's crucial to organise your documents and plan the trip details smoothly. Ensure your passport is valid throughout your stay and gather necessary documents like your degree and teaching certificates, keeping copies in a secure place. Start the visa application process well in advance to ensure ample time for any necessary documentation or appointments. Understanding and meeting the visa requirements will prevent any last-minute complications and delays, allowing you to enter your chosen country smoothly.
When preparing to teach abroad, take the time to research different accommodation options. This may involve arranging housing through your employer, finding a roommate, or searching for local rentals. Additionally, familiarise yourself with the local transportation system to determine the best way to get around. If needed, consider obtaining an international driver's license to facilitate your mobility.
Packing efficiently and thoughtfully is essential for ensuring a comfortable and productive teaching experience abroad. Begin by considering the local climate and pack clothing that aligns with the weather conditions of your destination.
To stay organised, create a detailed packing list and ensure easy access to important documents and personal items upon arrival. Keep your passport, visa, and other essential documents in a secure and easily reachable location. We recommend utilising packing cubes or organisers can help keep your belongings neat and easily accessible during your journey.
Prepare emotionally and mentally
Prepare yourself emotionally and mentally for the exciting yet challenging experience of teaching abroad in a new country. Be ready to navigate cultural adjustments, potential language barriers, and a different teaching environment. Seek support from friends, family, and professional networks to help you during this transition. Join online forums, social media groups, and professional networks to connect with educators who have taught or are currently teaching in your desired destination. They can offer valuable insights, advice, and support as you prepare for your new journey.
Stay flexible and open-minded
Embrace the unfamiliar and welcome new encounters. Recognize that teaching abroad can present unforeseen obstacles and cultural variations. Keep an open and flexible mindset, readily adjusting to novel circumstances, and approach each experience with optimism and positivity. By embracing the unknown and remaining adaptable, you can navigate the challenges and differences that may arise while teaching abroad, ultimately enriching your journey and personal growth.