How can you cram all of your life in to one simple suitcase? Well, the simple answer is that you can’t take everything…but there are a few essentials you’ll want to make sure you fit in. Here’s the i-to-i guide to packing the essentials for your new life teaching abroad!
1) Pictures of family and friends. Trust us, you’ll appreciate these far more than that 3rd pair of jeans that you’re trying to cram in. Having pictures of your family and friends will help you feel connected to the people back home, not to mention they’ll make great decorations for your new pad!
2) Some comfy shoes. We know, we know, we sound like your mum but hear us out first. Teaching abroad is an active job and you’ll likely be standing up, parading the class (and possibly dancing around to English songs for a large portion of your day) so you’re going to want something comfortable! This packing essential is particularly important if you’re heading to Asia as larger sizes (anything above a UK 5 for women and an 8 for men) will be hard to find.
3) An e-reader. Even for the book purists among you, when packing for a year teaching abroad it’s worth considering buying an e-book. Not only will it help you to save on excess luggage fees when shipping your entire library, it’ll mean that you can access any hard to come by books with complete ease. No more missing your copies of Harry Potter…nope, just us…right.
4) Birth control. If you’re planning on meeting a certain someone when you’re abroad… it’s a smart choice to bring condoms and any other birth control with you. You might find that in certain countries things are either not available or may not be safety tested to the same standards.
5) A universal adapter. There’s not much worse than arriving in your new TEFL destination and discovering that you can’t plug in your laptop, phone or hairdryer because they won’t fit in the plug socket. Avoid this by packing a universal adapter; you can pick them up from most high street shops and in the airport (at a premium of course). Whilst you’re teaching abroad, make sure to check out traveller apps for your phone. Our favourite is the Viper app which will allow you to make free international calls wherever you have Wi-Fi.
6) Medicines. You probably can get them over there, even if they are under a different name, but when you’ve woken up with an awful cold or banging headache, you’d probably rather not have to try and navigate a supermarket/pharmacy in a language that you might not fully understand. Our i-to-i suitcase essentials are Lemsip for those nasty colds and Alka-Seltzer for after a night out. If you wear contact lenses or glasses it’s also an idea to pack an extra pack/pair of these.
Now you’re all packed get ready to go and start your Teaching Abroad adventure! Watch out for next week’s blog on what your TEFL accommodation is likely to look like.