Important Information Before you Travel
It’s about that time of the year again! Time for a new semester to start and teachers to fly off to various locations around the world– how exciting! But wait, before you take off, There may be a few things for you to consider.
1. You won’t have some of the things you have now, if ever.
Did you have a car? A bank account? A phone? Knives, forks, and plates? Maybe you will acquire some of these things while abroad but you will not have them straight away, if ever.
People will think it’s strange or really difficult to get around without these things, but you will get used to it. It’s almost easier to live simply without these things, especially if you keep traveling. Take the opportunity to simplify!
Much like the things you won’t have for a while, money is a fickle thing when traveling abroad. Before you take off, you will have to exchange currencies at the bank. They will ask you how much you want of each bill. Try to get a grasp on the bills and have a plan in mind for how you want your money split beforehand.
Once you get your new currency, be sure to take a look at the bills– are they all the same? Sometimes the bank might give you old notes that will not work in the new country.
3. Initial costs
Make sure you bring enough to budget for two months deposit on an apartment, one month rent up front, any VISA expenses, and about a month or two of spending money.
This can equate to quite a bit of money! It will definitely be tight for a couple of months– hours might be low at your new job, taxes will be taken out of your paycheck at a pretty high rate, and you might have to buy some ancillary items you might have forgotten!
4. What to pack?
Thinking of what to pack can definitely be overwhelming– you are packing your life away for a whole year without knowing for sure what is in your new country.
Will they have that facewash you really like? Deodorant? What clothes will you pack? Will it be hot or cold? Make sure to try your best to research the country you will end up in, but after that, leave it be.
Pack as best you can but know that you can either find what you need in your new country, find something that will suit you just as well but a little different, or do completely without.
Again, you can always simplify! Just so you know, though, pants and plain colored t-shirts are a staple! Also, be sure to bring some pictures or familiar from home to remember your family, it might be a nice thing to have after several months abroad!
For additional help with packing, check out some of our Reach to Teach articles below.
5. Visas and Flights
If you have everything packed now and all things are considered, it is time to board that plane! Consider taking the shortest route to your destination as long flights can be pretty harrowing.
Remember to research the VISA rules for the country you are flying to– some will require proof of further travel the airports might be a little picky about.
Bring headphones on your flight and a book– do not rely on in-flight entertainment. Sometimes the headphones they supply you with will not fit in the jack for the screen ahead of you.
There will be movies with subtitles, if you are willing to watch them without sound, however. Bring a power bank for your phone or ipod, plug in with some music and a good book!
Also, it’s a very good idea to always have a pen handy. You never know when you’ll need it– maybe at the end of the flight when they pass out the Visa paperwork to fill out?
There are many things to think about and consider before taking a flight to a foreign country for a year! Hopefully these tips will help a little– there are also unlimited resources for questions you may have. Be sure to utilize as many as you can before taking off!
Michaela left her small town in the flat cornfields of Iowa in April of 2015 to explore the world before becoming condemned to a desk in an IT corporation. She has been teaching at Hess International English school in Taipei,Taiwan and shopping, hiking, and eating her way through the foreign streets. She has traveled alone and encountered many interesting experiences and hopes to aid others traveling alone as well.