If you have completed your TEFL online course and you just got a job to teach English abroad, it is normal to be swallowed up in the euphoria. The dreams of a cozier salary and the opportunities to see new places are definitely going to cruise through your veins. More than that, there are basic tips that you should never forget amidst all of the fun.
When travelling abroad to teach English, never forget these simple tips. Keep it refreshed in your head:
You should do this before accepting the offer, however, you can research after too. You should know the country you are travelling to, at least a little knowledge will hurt no one. You should also have a rough idea of the school you will be teaching at. Your responsibilities should be clearly spelt out, that is the very first step.
Always be alert
No one is asking you to be paranoid, there is a huge difference between being alert and being paranoid. At every point, you should be alert and notice the things in your environment. It will help you learn the culture and language of your new location fast enough. Your environment can also send you signals; you should not ignore these subtle signs. Ensure you act on these signals.
Have an emergency plan
It would be sheer folly to keep all of your credit cards, identification and every other financial device in your wallet. Nowhere on earth is entirely safe, that is why you must be prepared for eventualities. Endeavour to have a credit card that is stashed away in case of emergency or theft. You must also keep record of your financial transactions.
Look and act confident
More often than not, muggers and thieves scan a place casually and usually pick the most clueless looking person to attack. That is exactly why you must look and act confident. If you look like you don’t know what you are up to or where you are going, you are presenting a vulnerability that can be easily exploited. If you are visiting a location for the first time or you are just picking up the language, it is safer to go with one of your local students. Never let down your guard.
Learn from the locals
Whatever you do, the way to enjoying your life as an English teacher in a foreign country is to learn from the locals. It is more likely that you will not be the only foreign teacher in the school, you should learn from other foreign teachers too. Locals can be your most valuable point of information about what to look out for and how to act within the limits of the law. Do not only learn by observation, ask a lot of questions.
Teaching abroad can be a lot of fun, especially when you stay safe. Keep these tips on top of your mind, you will be glad you did.