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  1. #1
    sherrie15 is offline Newbie
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    Default practicalities of moving to a new country

    I am nearing the end of my TEFL and have an idea of where ideally I would like to teach, jobs permitting of course. I am contemplating Vietnam, Indonesia or countries around that area. Hence it won't be possible to travel back and forth to Britain easily. Although I hope to get fully furnished accommodation, I would like to be able to take more luggage than a holiday baggage would allow. I.e. a printer, laptop, books etc. along with the necessary clothes, toiletries and suchlike. How did you experienced travellers manage to overcome these obstacles and also if there are any among you who had homes with years of belongings, I mean things like, kettles, ironing boards, settees, beds and so on, what did you do with it all? I'm frightened to sell it all in case it doesn't work out and I have to come back to Britain with my tail between my legs, so to speak. This is the one thing which I'm really worrying about.

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: practicalities of moving to a new country

    A few thoughts:

    The stuff you own.
    See how much you can secrete in the attics and spare rooms of parents and friends. However, be ruthless first. Is it really worth asking a friend to store that battered old frying pan? Wouldn't it be better to makes a fresh start when you come back, initially with something from Poundland?

    If you try to sell your furniture, you'll find you get far less for it than you expect. On the other hand, it's a comforting thought to know that you'll have an idea of the price you'll have to pay for second-hand furniture when you get back - rather less than you expect.

    The stuff you take
    When you know where you are going, see if your future employer will put you in touch with some teachers there who can give you tips on what you must bring - and what you needn't bother to bring. Search the internet - many countries and some large cities have expat sites where you can find out all sorts of useful things. Find out the price of clothing. In some countries you can buy several outfits for the price of transporting one suitcase in the hold.

    Think twice about books - they are heavy to carry. For your personal reading, invest in a kindle. Your school should have some sort of library of EFL books, though you might like to take your own treasured copy of Murphy or Swan, or whoever you rely on in your course. Do find room for the lesson plans you used on the course - they may come in handy in your early days.

    Why do you need a printer? Your school should have one you can use. Toiletries? Unless you are working in the back of beyond, you should be able to find most things you need these days in the place you are going to.

    Every time you put something in your 'to pack' corner, ask yourself if it is really essential that you carry it several hundred/thousand miles. And remember - if it's important enough to take, it will presumably be important enough to bring back. Take too much, and you will be unable to bring anything back from the country you are going to.

    Now some advice that slightly contradicts what I have just written. Things like needles and thread, safety pins, tin-openers and tools (screwdrivers, scissors,etc) are of course obtainable in the country you are going to, but you might well find that you need them in the first couple of days of arriving - before you have had time to find out where to buy them. Consider buying a (fake) Swiss army knife and/or Leatherman-type multi-tool. - and one of those converter thingies so that you can plug in your laptop and the microwave that you couldn't resist taking.

    Others may have other ideas. Start a new thread when you know where you are going, and you may get some replies from people who already work there.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: practicalities of moving to a new country

    I move country every couple of years and try to keep possessions down to a minimum because it makes moving so much easier. What happens if you decide that you like ESL after a year in Indonesia, but want to try Vietnam and maybe China after that? The lighter you can travel, the easier it is to do that. If you are going to settle somewhere, it's different, but until you're sure on a place, I would try to keep things light.

    You can freight things in boxes by sea relatively easily and not too expensively, but check out duties, customs problems, etc, first.

    I got rid of most of my stuff before I left the UK and we have some things stored with our families, but as little as possible.

  4. #4
    sherrie15 is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: practicalities of moving to a new country

    Thanks for that advice, it has been really helpful. Think the main message I take from them is, 'be ruthless and brave'. I'm not going with the intention of coming back so I suspect more positive thought from myself would be advisable. i.e. don't set myself up to fail, the more ruthless I am, the less likely I would be to give up at the first obstacle I think. When I have a job I will certainly look for ex pats to help me, also would be nice to think that I could possibly meet them when I get there instead of being entirely alone. Thanks again.

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