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Preparing for Overseas - Top Tips Checklist?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by MsOnline, May 7, 2019.

  1. MsOnline

    MsOnline Occasional commenter


    new to the scene so would like some tips to prepare for overseas working.

    Anything you'd wished you'd bought / brought along / remembered for your first job abroad?

    Any banks people would recommend, certain amount you saved?
    A general checklist would be great - especially as you can't pop back!
    Based on SE Asia.

    If anyone blogs this - let me know as I couldn't find up-to-date ones online. Thanks.
  2. tigi

    tigi Occasional commenter

    If you are a woman:
    - bras, menstrual products
    - shoes and clothes.
  3. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Go to the dentist before you leave
    576, Mr_Frosty and le2012 like this.
  4. SecondPlace

    SecondPlace Occasional commenter

    • make digital copies of all important documents and store in the cloud somewhere
    • don't close all your UK bank accounts
    • HP sauce
    • Worcestershire sauce
    • Marmite
    • Yorkshire Tea
    spanboy, 576 and Mr_Frosty like this.
  5. MsOnline

    MsOnline Occasional commenter

    Thanks guys.

    Tigi- gosh very good point.

    Dentist - yes good point. Any experience of opticians, suppose i'd order lots of contact lenses in advance.

    Second Place - any banks make salary payments any smoother in your experience? Assume you'd be paid in local currency?
  6. mas_o_menos

    mas_o_menos New commenter

    Whatsapp and Uber have been a lifesaver for me. Get those downloaded if you haven't already. Whatsapp wasn't widely used when I left the UK...

    Unlock your phone before you go so you can use the local SIM ASAP. A friend of mine had to wait 30 days AFTER she got here because she didn't unlock it before.

    Sort out NI contributions if this is something of importance to you. It's easier to do now rather than 2/3 years later!
  7. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Get your VPN sorted out BEFORE you get on the plane to the Middle Kingdom. It might not be so easy once you have arrived.

    Dentists (in SZ, I do not know about anywhere else) were very good, spoke excellent English and were a fraction of the price for the same work back in Dear Old Blighty.

    Blogs? I was not going to say anything, of course, but well, since you have asked, MsOnline, you could read something called bulgariawithnoodles.blogspot.com
  8. taiyah

    taiyah Occasional commenter

    - update your vaccinations + yellow fever
    - (if you have it) make paying off student loans as a priority
    - supply of deet/mozzie spray
    - new swim wear
    - supply of sun screen
    - flip flops
    - preffered facial creams, moisturiser et al
    - towels and at least 1 set of linen
    - work attire & general attire (unless you fit in Asian sizes)
    - wet bag, (if you are water baby) your own set of snorkels
    - a small back pack & water bottle
    - headache tablets!
  9. MsOnline

    MsOnline Occasional commenter

    Wow - thanks all, I'd hate to leave something important.

    Taiyah - I'd read about the size thing and I am NOT SE Asian size or stature.

    Completely forgot about vaccinations too.

    The Hippo - I'll check your blog out, just what i'm looking for i'm sure.
    I'd never even heard of VPN.

    Do your medical allowances usually cover dental too?
  10. MsOnline

    MsOnline Occasional commenter

    Cheers - just call the .gov helpline?
  11. MsOnline

    MsOnline Occasional commenter

    ....no worries I can see whole thread on this. This forum is actually invaluable.
  12. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    An external hard drive, onto which you hace copied all of your favourite teaching resources.
  13. rouxx

    rouxx Lead commenter

    Oh yes, but you don’t want to be dealing with an emergency visit in your first few weeks
  14. 576

    576 Established commenter

    In Asia it's Grab not Uber but same principle..

    Sort out NI and the taxman before you leave (can't remember the form number but you can fill it in and have someone else send it once your P45 arrives).

    If your school does not have a pension scheme make provision. Andrew Hallam's expat millionaire is recommended for this.

    Don't store or ship everything you currently own. This is a great opportunity to have a really good clear out and benefit your local charity shops.
  15. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    Definitely headache tablets! Get a couple of the big boxes of ibuprofen from Boots.

    Women - make up, especially if you are fair-skinned like my wife. Much of it here has skin lightening in it. In the same vein, fake tan if you use it (I suppose this could go for some men too though!)

    Clothes - do a trip to Asda or Primark and buy a whole load of clothes - shirts, shorts, trousers, the lot. It's relatively easy to get things made here but not so easy to buy.

    Food - teabags. Yes, I brought tea to China - they really don't do normal tea much!

    If you can, get favourite DVDs etc copied before you go so you don't have to bring them. You can buy programs to do this and it means you won't get challenged by customs. BTW, if you're going to China, don't bother shipping DVDs if you can avoid it as they sometimes will open up your packages....
  16. StrangePanda

    StrangePanda Occasional commenter

    At a minimum, I'd definitely get a tetanus booster and hep A sorted...
  17. SPC2

    SPC2 Occasional commenter

    This one's a maybe...a Critical Illness Policy.

    When I first went overseas, I saw an independent financial advisor who advised me to take one out as I would be on short, fixed-term contracts. I kept the policy up for a few years until, in my opinion, the premiums outweighed the risk (...healthy brute that I am). Depending on age and medical history - personal and family - one to at least consider IMO.
  18. MissTilscher

    MissTilscher New commenter

    Border roll for display boards! It doesn't exist in Thailand and I spent hours my first year cutting strips of coloured paper to border my displays. Drove me bonkers. Now I order a pack of five rolls every summer for my own sanity. Also bring some displays already laminated etc if you can as printing/laminating facilities can be hit and miss dependent on the school.

    Opticians in Thailand are very good - not sure of the rest of SEA. Contacts and prescriptions affordable.
  19. Mr_Frosty

    Mr_Frosty Established commenter

    Patience, a positive attitude and an ability not to be too stressed out by any bureaucratic nonsense you might face.
    576 likes this.
  20. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    My priorities for must buy every trip to the UK,

    1.M&S underwear.
    2.M&S Lambswool shocks for the cold winter.
    3.Jungle Formula Insect repellent.
    4.Insect bite cream.
    5.Anadin Extra at least 150 tablets.
    6.Fabric plasters that stay on for 5days strength.
    7.Wifi Router.
    10 Bisto

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