Moving abroad

So you have the job! Now, you have a few more things to do!

Secure your visas and paperwork

I can not emphasise how important this is. Often laborious, securing your Visa is the single most important thing you must organise. This may involve certifying degree certificates, marriage documents and other items. I always start with this, as early as possible. Some countries demand a medical also, again get this completed as soon as possible.


Also get on to this quickly, check your country recommended vaccines, but also any countries you can think that you wish to visit. Again, this can be difficult to do in your host country (or vaccines may not even be available) or you may need several weeks between each vaccine.

Packing and planning

Do you want to ship items? Is it better to buy furniture when in your new country? This is a big question! Personally, I’ve always bought on each move my new furniture. I’ve rented several times without furniture and picked up furniture from teachers which are leaving or on classified sites. My advice: link up to facebook, see if there are sites buy/sell and costs. Or contact the school and ask to be included in the mailing list. Also, if you are wondering whether to buy new, depending on the country you can check the retailers. For example, Taiwan has both B and Q, Hola and Ikea. If you choose to ship, again ask HR or a contact at the school about the best shipping firms other teachers have used. When you book a shipper, make sure all taxes and holding fees are included.

After I’ve sorted out what I will do with the big things, I think about the things I definitely need. Such as: hair products, beauty products, favourite (dry) foods, bras, underwear, etc! Some things are tricky to get in certain countries. Again, see if you can establish a link with your school to ask about this. When I lived in Egypt very little Western products were available, but in Vietnam they were everywhere! This wasn’t what I expected as Egypt is much closer to the UK.

Get a buddy!

I’ve mentioned this a couple of times, but again this is so important. Ask the school to give you a contact you can ask questions of, ideally a teacher in the same year group or with similar circumstances (children). Then you won’t feel like you are bothering HR constantly. I will talk about this more later, but even before you apply for a school you can use forums on platforms such as Facebook to find teachers from schools you are interested in. Then you can ask questions about what is important to you (in terms of the country, school and offer).

Questions? Join and post on my Facebook page, New International Teachers

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