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A Checklist for Preparing to Teach English Abroad


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If you're moving overseas to teach English, make sure you complete these ten tasks BEFORE you go.

Published in: Education, Career
  • I would add that you might want to get passport photos shot too before you go. I needed these in Taiwan and in Korea for visas and other stuff. Make sure you have at least 6 months remaining on your passport. It's a wicked pain to have to get a new passport in another country.
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A Checklist for Preparing to Teach English Abroad

  1. 1. Reach To Teach Recruiting - Teaching Adventures Abroad By Carrie Kellenberger for Reach To Teach Recruiting
  2. 2. If you’re planning on teaching English abroad, here are some things you should consider doing before you go. Start with steps 1 through 3. These steps will take you the longest to complete.
  3. 3. 4 to 6 Months in Advance 1. Volunteer at a local school or community center to gain experience working with children. 2. Do you need a criminal background check? Criminal background checks can take several months to process. Apply for it as soon as you can. 3. Take a TEFL course. i-to-i offers a 120-hour online course that is easy on your wallet and your time. Use this code ‘reachtoteach2013’ to get 10% off your course. Contact us at info@reachtoteachrecruiting for more information about TEFL courses that our teachers recommend.
  4. 4. 4 to 6 Months in Advance 4. Learn the language. A few key phrases and a smile can go a long way in a new country! 再见 ฉันดีขอขอบคุณ 5. Do as much research as you can on the country that you want to move to. You haven’t entered into this decision lightly, so make sure you prepare yourself as best as you can for your big move.
  5. 5. 2 to 3 Months in Advance 6. Make sure you have a clear, professional photo of yourself that you can use for applications. If you don’t have one, get a friend to help you out. DO send in a professional photo or a photo of yourself with kids. DON’T send in silly photos, bar photos, or photos of you dressed inappropriately.
  6. 6. 2 to 3 Months in Advance 7. Scan your documents, label them, and put them in one file on your computer so you have easy access to your documents while you’re filling out application forms. Include your CV, cover letter, a recent photo, a scan of your passport, a scan of your TEFL certification, and scans of your letters of reference. 8. Once you’re done scanning your documents for your application, get a manila envelope and place your documents in it for safekeeping. Make sure you bring it with you when you leave!
  7. 7. Just before you go… 9. Call your bank to let them know that you are leaving the country, especially if you plan on using your credit cards or debit card abroad.
  8. 8. Just before you go… 10. Get a travel and medical insurance plan that covers you for your first few months abroad. A large number of schools offer health insurance to their teachers, but it usually doesn’t kick in until a month or two after you’ve arrived in country. Our teachers use With travel insurance from, you can buy, extend and claim online, even after you’ve left home. It’s available to to people from over 140 countries and it’s designed for adventurous travellers, with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage, and a range of adventure sports and activities.
  9. 9. Still have questions? No problem! Contact us with your questions at and you’ll soon be on your way on the adventure of a lifetime!