After arriving at your international teaching job, you may want to go over your checklist of things to do. Landing an overseas teaching position is more than just adjusting to the classroom, using new teaching methods, and getting to know the students.
It is common to feel overwhelmed once you arrive in your host country. There will be lots of things you will need to do before school starts. Below are a few things you should do to get comfortable in your new environment.
Can you drink the water?
There are lots of things you may have taken for granted in your home country that you will have to pay fresh attention to in your new home.
For example, in many developing countries, you will need to check if you can drink the water. Play it safe at first anyway. Decide whether or not you will brush your teeth with tap water. Depending on how much water you ingest while brushing, it may not be worth the hassle.
Get a list together of things you need to bring to your new country and employment. Continue to scrutinize the list to make sure you have everything you need.
Though this is an important example for many teachers adjusting to new placements abroad, you’ll want to research your new home country and figure out which things about it are very different from home.
Once you know, be sure to keep track of those differences so you don’t accidentally reach for a glass of tap water and find yourself not feeling well.
Go Make Friends!
Try to socialize and make friends in your new community. Friends will help you acclimate to your new surroundings, help you find things and introduce you to fun and interesting things to do in the area.
Places to meet people:
- The school where you have secured a teaching position
- A course, you have enrolled in, whether it is related to education or not
- At a national group or association for people from your home country or who speak your language
- Community center such as the local library. Look for conversation groups, opportunities to engage in shared activities, and gatherings for people of your age group, like young professionals or retirees
Find a Home in Your New Homeland
If your school doesn’t provide housing, you’ll need to find a place to live. Being able to move out of the hotel will help you and your family feel more settled. Sometimes it’s necessary to move into temporary accommodations prior to finding your long-term home.
Although you may not have internet set up in your residence as soon as you arrive, there are other places you can get online. Check out some internet cafes, or find out what kind of setup your school has for internet and email.
A priority could be opening a bank account when you arrive. Your school will probably be able to help you with this. Once you get your bank account opened, look into getting an ATM card and credit cards. This will prevent you from having to send money home each month to pay your credit card bills. You’ll also avoid having to pay transaction fees for purchases in currencies other than that of your home country.
Once you get settled in your home, you’ll feel more prepared to take on the challenge of teaching internationally. Following these steps will help make that adjustment process simple, and get you ready to go in no time!