Teaching Abroad for the First Time

Getting ready for teaching abroad

TeachingĀ abroad for the first time is a scary prospect. Going away from home, family and the familiar is going to push you out of your comfort zone. This is a healthy place to go. With the right preparation and a good attitude it will be a positive move.

Do Your Research

Find out as much about where you’re going, who you’ll be working for and what to expect before you go. Don’t be frightened of asking questions, even if you think its a silly question. The people you are contacting will help you. The only silly questions are the ones that don’t get asked. Or the questions you wished you had asked.

The Internet is your Friend

Search on the internet, use our website to find a good school. Research your destination country, the food, the money, the housing. Try and find out other peoples experience teaching in that country. Try and find reviews of the school where you’re going to work. Don’t just rely on the recruiter, try and get a second opinion (and a third and fourth if possible).

What to take

Having done your research, you know what weather to expect, so pack accordingly. With the average teaching contract being a year, keeping up communication is super important, for your families well-being, as well as your own. I started travelling with an enormous laptop, my ipad wins the computer battle now. But whatever works for you.

An Open Mind

You’re going to be teaching abroad, in a foreign country with people from a different culture and they will have a different way of doing things, they’re sometimes better, sometimes worse. But it’s always important to respect the local way of doing things, you don’t have to agree with it, just respect it. Keeping an open mind is going to be key to coping with those new, foreign things.

Finally, teaching abroad is a great opportunity to travel and see and experience new places. As a teacher you will develop an awesome skill set. You will develop skills that are transferable into many different careers.

You can help other teachers find good schools by reviewing your experience teaching abroad.

Dan has been teaching English overseas for more than six years. He specialises in teaching young learners and has experience in teaching in the UK, South Korea and Thailand.