Chalkboard is i-to-i's TEFL community.
It is currently still in testing phase which could mean you find the odd bug!
Q: What is i-to-i Chalkboard? A: It's the online community of TEFL specialists
So, it’s the day/week/month before you head abroad to teach… you’ve either got all your worldly goods strewn all over your bed, or a very neat list of things to take with you. Either way, to preserve your sanity while trying to teach abroad, make sure you find space to cram the following things into your suitcase:
You could be spending 12 months abroad without decent chocolate. Make sure you take initial supplies and get an emergency supplier (usually your Mum) lined up to see you through those tough times.
Mmmmm, chocolate... (Photo: Rocknroll Guitar)
You’ll justify it to yourself that you’ll need it to do lesson plans. In reality, you’ll need it to spend hours chatting to your friends on Skype, wasting time on Facebook and blogging on Chalkboard.
As well as using it to decorate your new abode (what?! It’s what every home needs…), it’s worth putting in your case, as you’ll inevitably need your TEFL certificate for some bureaucratic nonsense or other. And if you haven’t found a job yet, waving that magic piece of paper under people’s noses will open a lot of doors.
Cosmo’s 101 Ways to Make That Cute Guy Swoon probably won’t last you an entire teaching contract. However a good stash of magazines (no, not that kind…) are brilliant bargaining chips and also great to use as lesson resources/inspiration.
5. Pictures from home
If you’re not interested in using your TEFL certificate to decorate your walls with, pictures of your friends, family, home-town, cat etc are nice reminders of what’s waiting for you back home. Plus, they’re great starters for classes on family, pets, appearances or, if your party snap-shots are anything like mine, the dangers of binge-drinking.
If you’re female (or just like a spot of cross-dressing) and heading outside of Europe, you might want to take spares of your favourite make-up when you head abroad, especially foundation and concealer, which will be difficult to get in your skin tone.
If you’re heading to Asia especially, a lot of the moisturisers will contain bleaching agents. If, like me, you’re pale enough already these are a big no-no. Other moisturisers can be really expensive, so it’s worth taking a big bottle of your own.
To be honest though, as long as you take some ideas, enthusiasm and a LOT of patience, you’ll be able to survive – but the chocolate does come in handy…
What do you think is the most important thing to take abroad?