Anyone who is embarking on a TEFL adventure is bound to be open-minded (which is great!) so we’re far from suggesting that you should head overseas wrapped in cotton wool too scared to touch anything/ talk to anyone or leave the house but don’t be forgetting the obvious –your safety is key!
So this is just a gentle reminder of a few ways to ensure that you have an amazing time but are keeping safe too!
Lots of people decide to earn some extra spending money through private tutoring. This is a great way to not only meet new people and afford that weekend trip away with your friends but also be independent. However, don’t jump at the first chance to meet up with a prospective student without giving it some thought first. Always meet up with your student in a public space rather than agree to go to theirs. This leads me to my second point...
...Keep in contact
Teaching English abroad, as cliché as it sounds is a great voyage of self-discovery. If you’ve chosen to embark on your TEFL adventure as a way of leaving the constraints of your old life behind and moving into the unknown remember that your common sense can’t go out the window too! It’s simple stuff but things that can easily be forgotten in the heat of the moment. So, if you’re out exploring alone: a) don’t do it at night b) let someone know when/how you’re coming back. If you’re still in the early days of your new life, then write down where you’re staying in case you get lost!
Value your valuables
Pickpockets, no matter how much Oliver Twist might have tricked you in thinking that it’s all a song and dance, are a menace! Like any big city, keep your belongings safe. Even if you are proud of that nice necklace your Grandma gave to you, if you’re not careful it will be gone! Make sure to have anything of value thoroughly stowed away, or better yet, not on you at all.
Photo by kaybee07
A word of warning to the skimpy dresser – regardless of the climate, a scantily clad foreign woman in some countries is highly offensive to locals. So at all times remember to be respectful and do your research before you arrive.
Get around safely
Unmarked taxis can get you in all sorts of hot water. Make sure you are well aware of the transport system in your new destination
Photo by Eric Brechemier
A few obvious things health-wise:
- Remember to apply sun cream generously
- Trying new food is great but GO WITH YOUR GUT.
- Keep hydrated
- Don’t forget to leave abroad without your travel insurance
If you’re about to head abroad to your new TEFL job remember to look after yourself! Exisiting TEFLers – feel free to share any safety tips and stories for our newbies!