1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

info on relocation packages?!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by alice_howett, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. alice_howett

    alice_howett New commenter

    My family (husband and two young children) and I are currently looking into moving away from the UK based on myself getting a primary teaching post... somewhere! With limited savings we are currently looking at places which might include good relocation packages (yet we are not really considering the middle east or china as options for us!).

    One query we do have though is that even in schools that do provide flights, housing allowance etc. what sort of savings might we need to have in order to relocate? I realise this may very much depend on where we are relocating to but basically wondering things like, do some relocation packages provide money up front to cover costs of flights or deposits for accommodation or do we pay for those things ourselves and then claim back?

    I have taught in an international school in Spain before but I was already living there at the time so don't have experience of the relocation part of things. So any advice or info on relocating, especially with a family in tow, will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Fer888

    Fer888 Occasional commenter

    School are unlikely to offer cost of flights up front in case the teacher doesn't show up- can sometimes borrow the money for deposits from the school, but it really depends on the school. As to how much it all costs it's very difficult to say as countries differ as do locations in the place where you are staying. When in Oman accommodation was provided for me so I didn't have that headache. In China I had to find the accommodation myself but luckily did not need to borrow to cover the cost of the deposit.

    Be aware that when moving to a new place you will likely need to buy a whole host of other things to get comfortable- especially if accommodation is not provided- kettle etc
  3. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    We spent somewhere in the region of 4-5K when we first moved (just two of us). The school offered to buy our flights but they were only willing to buy economy on China Air and it was something crazy like 24-30hrs in flight time and we weren't up for that. So we paid for our own flights (still economy but on a better airline and only 16hrs), our shipping, all the set up costs for our apartment, down payments on various things, and then we had to get through an entire month (end of July to end of August) with no money coming in. It was tight. The head kindly offered to lend us some money (from his own pocket). We didn't get any of the money back until January of our first year. It was a pain in the ass. Other schools are better with this and I've been told that our school now pays all these things back in the first pay check but they don't give you anything up front though. We're not in a top tier school so it may be different if you're at one of the big schools.
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  4. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Some wise words from Fer888. My wise words are to read my blog and you can find it at www.bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com

    Also I have sent you one of those silly TES Conversation things, alice_howett.
  5. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Good schools often pay flights for you. Shipping is usually yours to pay up front and get reimbursed “later”, whatever that means in your school- one month at a minimum. There is often but not always a settling in cash allowance or advance on first paycheck to help in the first weeks.
    Take cash to see you through. It’s expensive to set up a new life and stock all the cupboards.
  6. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Yep... we were pretty broke the first couple of months. I think we blew about £4,000 getting ourselves and our stuff here, then had to fork out another €2,700 on rent, deposit and agency fee for the house we've rented. Luckily, I'd earned a big chunk from doing exam marking and the tenants in our house back in the UK had paid (of their own volition) a big chunk upfront too... if they hadn't, we would have really struggled and probably run up a huge credit card debt. It wasn't really until November, when money started coming back from the school that we felt able to breathe!

    It might be worth you using the school's relocation allowance as a guide - for example, if they offer €5,000 euros relocation (as a school in Germany did), then assume travel, shipping and accomodation fees and deposits will cost that much. Therefore, you'll need to have that amount available and accessible in case the school doesn't pay for certain things up front.

    Then again, a former colleague of mine who went to work in Brazil had all flights and shipping paid for her in advance (plus accomodation provided) - I don't think she had to pay out anything at all in advance.

    Good luck!
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    It really does depend on the school. I once arrived at a school in eastern europe, it had cost me about £800 all in the get there, and at my apartment (which was free) they handed me an envelope with $4000 in it to "cover my expenses". Since then i have had flights paid and visas paid up front by schools but shipping has usually been up to me, then paid back in my first pay slip.

    There is no definitive answer for this one. Each school will do things differently.
  8. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Forgot to say, in all my proper schools i have recieved a cash advance on arrival in local currency to buy food etc. Also every proper school has provided a fridge full of essentials to start me off, plus either a phone, or at least a sim card so i can contact home. Good schools look after you.
  9. GeordieKC

    GeordieKC Occasional commenter

    Good comments above, and a move definitely costs, but there may also be savings such as:
    • Tax refunds - leave UK in August and you may be due a considerable tax refund.
    • Selling and not replacing items - selling a car in UK and not needing a car in you new country.
    • Double salary - your international contract may commence (possibly as early as August 1st) before your final salary payment in the UK
    • Savings in the holiday - you may be able to holiday cheaply close to your new school, or may not have time for a holiday.
    In my experience the final cost of moving has not been very high, but managing the cash flow has been more challenging.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  10. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    Each school will tell you how what, and how much, they provide as part of the overall package. For some schools this will be everything - incoming flights, shipping, an settling in allowance etc. Some of this will be paid for/provided up front, sometimes it might be reimbursed on production of receipts.

    Sometimes schools will advance you all or part of the first month, or two, salary to help you settle.

    Moving is costly so you really should be able to cover the costs yourself and then depending on the school you may get some, none or all of these costs back.

    As an example, in our last two moves we purchased flights ourselves after finding out the budget from the school and then got reimbursed. Why? Well, it meant we could travel on our preferred airline in business class and bump up the air miles!

    Once you get to the point of being interested in a school you should ask them for their position on what they cover etc.
  11. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Too true - final cost I have found has been minimal. It's the upfront outgoings before it all evens out that are challenging. Particularly as you shift money into a country from which hopefully in a few months time you will be shifting money out of.
  12. 576

    576 Established commenter

    both my overseas schools booked and paid for my initial flights.
  13. charb74

    charb74 New commenter

    In ME, banks are quite keen on offering loans by the time you step foot on the soil, as much as around £100K. If you don't intend to stay long, like 4 years, do not get any, as it will be a problem if you need to leave before you complete your installments. Normally, any package offered in ME would normally get you up on your feet within a short time, financially speaking.
  14. grdwdgrrrl

    grdwdgrrrl Occasional commenter

    We took out a loan of 7,000 GBP when we left for our first international post, one non-working spouse and a toddler in tow. We went to China. Now, it is 13 years later, we are a family of 5, and two working parents. There are a few more schools opening in Thailand including Wellington. Have a look there.
    alice_howett likes this.
  15. alice_howett

    alice_howett New commenter

    Wow! Thanks for all these really helpful comments. I've never really used a community forum before. Clearly lots for us to think about and plan (not least actually getting a job in the first place anyway!) we've got to the point of both wanting to be somewhere new again - my husband and I met while TEFL teaching and have always thought we'd like to live somewhere else in the world again. Now he has a degree under his belt and we have our children (1 in Reception year and the other almost 2) the time seems totally right. only problem is having enough money to get out to the places where we can actually earn some money!! However I'm also slightly torn between staying closer to home In Europe (but less likely to get relocation package?) or travelling further where we may have the potential to actually start saving. Something that seems impossible here. We rent here in the uk and don't have a deposit on this house either so I feel we are in a bit of a catch 22 situation! Any advice on countries in Europe that may be more likely to offer relocation cost would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again.
  16. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    The further east you go into Europe, and beyond into the former Soviet state, the more generous the packages in terms of covering accommodation, flights, shipping etc.
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  17. charlottesaville

    charlottesaville New commenter

    I’m in Romania, and we still get housing/flight/baggage allowance. You would need some money for deposits etc, but flights are booked for you (not that they’re that costly!)
    alice_howett likes this.

Share This Page