So! You just booked your TEFL course in the country of your dreams and you are so excited you want to dieee (but not really, we know the feeling). It may be months away, or happening just next week! Either way – you will need to start thinking about what the heck a globe-trotting, adventure-having English teacher might need!
Don’t fret – we are here to help. Here are some steps to go by:
1.What’s the weather like where you’re going?
This is pretty much common sense, most of the countries that TEFL Heaven has placements for are quite warm so don’t pack your giant sweaters or jumpers – they take up wayyy too much space and you will never use them. Of course if you’re going somewhere like the Czech Republic, and it’s winter – you’re gonna need your cozies.
2. Teacher Clothes!
Teacher code is that what you are wearing shouldn’t be distracting to the students, nor should it be disrespectful of the new culture you are embracing. For example in Thailand it’s considered quite rude for females to show their shoulders or any cleavage. Stick to button ups or blouses with sleeves and long skirts or loose pants/trousers. Boys should also keep their shoulders and legs covered, stick to wearing long pants/trousers and a button up/polo shirt. Shoes for girls should be closed toe shoes, flats are the easiest – flippy floppies are a no-no while teaching :(. Boys should stick to dress shoes.
Keep in mind that everything will be different when you get to your new country. It doesn’t mean you won’t be able to buy it, just that it won’t be the good stuff you’re used to at home. One example is that suncream and deoderant in Asia tends to have “whitening” in it as the culture idolizes white skin. Most westerners feel the opposite – you wanna get nice and bronzed! So pack your own suncream. Some girls like to bring female products along in bulk since they feel better this way, some guys like to bring their shaving or hair products. Overall it’s really up to how fussy you are
4. Clothes are cheap when you’re traveling!
You are probably going to buy clothes from cheap street markets as you go along. In most of our countries clothing is quite cheap – so don’t think you need to bring your whole wardrobe.
5. Adventure gear
Whatever you need for the fun stuff – Scarfs come in handy always, swim costumes, flippy floppies, hats, suncream, hiking boots, running shoes, camera, that outfit you look super hot in for the bars on the weekend, etc.
6. Make sure you have access to your funds from abroad
Remember to contact your bank/credit card company to let them know you are traveling abroad. It really sucks to be stuck with no way to access your accounts. After a month you will be making money and have a local bank account, but for the first 30 days of training you need to be prepared.
7. A valid passport!!
Make sure your passport is valid for more than 6 months or you could end up in trouble while abroad. Quite a few countries don’t let you travel unless you have 6 months left. Also, look up the visa rules (or get the info from us :)) for the country you’re traveling to – most have a Visa Upon Arrival so you don’t have to worry, but there are some you may have to prepare a visa for.
I’m sure there are more things you are thinking of bringing – If you have a question about anything, don’t hesitate to start up a chat with any of us on the site or at firstname.lastname@example.org