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WOW! It has really happened...now what?

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by cityfree, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    <font size="2">Okay, so this week I accepted a job in China. I am very excited and although still waiting for dates etc, I know it will be end July/beginning Aug for the move. This is my first international post...so any tips for what to do next/first? There are the obvious things - shipping etc but what do people wish they had remembered to do before going? I am going to have a spring clean this weekend I think so that I can start to sort out what I want to take and what I need to get rid of. I'd love to hear from you more experienced bods. </font>
    <font size="2">[​IMG]</font>
     
  2. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    <font size="2">Okay, so this week I accepted a job in China. I am very excited and although still waiting for dates etc, I know it will be end July/beginning Aug for the move. This is my first international post...so any tips for what to do next/first? There are the obvious things - shipping etc but what do people wish they had remembered to do before going? I am going to have a spring clean this weekend I think so that I can start to sort out what I want to take and what I need to get rid of. I'd love to hear from you more experienced bods. </font>
    <font size="2">[​IMG]</font>
     
  3. I look at a lot of things and wonder why I ever thought of bringing them, as opposed to discovering I didn't have what I needed. How about ditching your (leisure) reading materials and getting an e-reader instead? Put dvds onto a hard drive instead of carting around cases or wallets. Go around to places you like or frequent, especially those you haven't thought of taking photos of before, and start snapping away over the next few months. As well as seeing spring in bloom and perhaps appreciating what's around you before you leave, you'll also have the pictures to remind you of home when you're away.
     
  4. Find out what is cheap and what is expensive in China - take the expensive and leave the cheap. Do you get an allowance?
    Other than that, ipod, computer and Swiss army knife (packed in the suitcase of) course.
    And on arrival, DON'T pull your eyes tight to look Chinese like Prince Philip and Ronaldo did.

     
  5. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Thanks guys(?). I like the taking photos ideas. I don't have too much in the way of books etc as I am quite good at getting rid when needed. Some things that I don't need over there but don't want to through away will find their way to my sister's loft (I hope). I know there is no need to buy plates etc as these will be so cheap over there (plus, world's second largest IKEA - [​IMG]). I get a furnished flat along with shipping and relocation allowances. Pretty good deal tbh. Really lucky looking at what some people have had to put up with!
     
  6. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    P.S. FP, I am a good girl and would never do that...I do wonder why some people are quite so dim in these matters mind.
     
  7. If you like cooking, the IKEA 365 cook's knife is one of the best in the world (7" or 8"), certainly for quality and value. 7.99 and keeps its edge for weeks. I reckon they're better than Zwillings Henkels (60, 70, 80 quid a knife).
    Still, if you are not into your cooking, you can always buy a nice bowl.
    'Kow char no ski tang wa'.

     
  8. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    That is a good deal! Found them on the IKEA.cn site. Good deal on prices over there. Ahhhh....IKEA....my happy place with the Green Cake...
     
  9. Congratulations! Whereabouts in China are you headed?
    Clever Son's Wife is the best brand of cooks knife in China. I don't think you need to worry about taking knives with you!
    If you colour your hair, take enough packs with you. Or be prepared to go 'au naturel.' Unless you have black hair, in which case, it's not a problem.


     
  10. Not everyone is happy with their black hair.
     
  11. stopwatch

    stopwatch Occasional commenter

    As far as 'stuff' is concerned (clothes, books and things for your home), it is surprsing how few, really important things can make your house into what feels like 'your' place.
    We have amassed loads of things on our travels and always taken the whole lot - at cost, on our 3 moves overseas. Subsequently we have now got too much and the house in fact looks more cluttered than homely.
    I would suggest the following:
    Household kitchen utilities: Buy these in China
    Clothing: I think China has a varied climate, so you will need to be prepared for warm and cold weather, but don't go overboard. Think about how much you would take on a 3 week holiday, and take that, plus a warm coat, hat and scarf.
    Electrical goods: other than GHD's, if you have them, I would buy most of your electrical goods in China.
    'Housey' things: Don't take too many books. I have over a hundred, and they have just become ornaments in that I have never read them in the last 2 years. Take up to 8 pictures, including those of family and friends. Take a few nick nack/ornament type things which mean something to you, but not boxes and boxes of them.
    Like I said you would be surprised how few things can make you happy.
    Minimalism can be good.
     
  12. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    I'd say that there are probably only around 20-30 books that I would take, them all relavent, sentimental or used regularly. I'm planning a charity shop clothes bag this weekend. Lots of general things really can go.
    Does anyone reccomend a particular shipping/air freight company? There are a couple I know, but having never done this before tips would be good.
     
  13. ian60

    ian60 New commenter

    If you are taking any electrical goods, check to see if you will need an adaptor.

    If anyone in the school has been particualrly helpful in getting things organised for you, maybe a small gift of appreciation could go a long way in terms of brownie points.
     
  14. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Ooooohhh...good tip about the pressie, I was thinking of taking a supply of Cadbury's for people.
     
  15. 576

    576 Occasional commenter

    You also need to consider things here.
    If you rent - no problem, but if you own property - you'll probably want to arrange to rent that out.
    You need to fill in a form for HMRC that you're leaving the country (sorry - I forget what it's called) and consider whether or not to continue with NI conts (this will depend on how many years you have paid & how long you plan to be away for)
    I added my Dad onto my current account and he acts on by behalf with the agency who rent out my property - so you need to consider things like that. When I go home this summer, if it is only a temporary visit I'll be looking into giving him power of attorney.
     
  16. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Thankfully I am renting, but the NI and Pension thing needs to be sorted. I don't know what happens with the pension. I think I will keep paying my NI while away. The school seem amazingly supportive so I am sure they will let me know about pension and finance paperwork, but might call HMRC and Teachers' Pensions to check.
     
  17. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    Congrats on your new job.
    I read that you will move into a furnished flat, but even so, it could be worth going through the IKEA catalogue (in English) before you go to China, and make a shopping list. It can be overwhelming having to kit out your flat when you get there, especially when all the signs/explanations are in Chinese!
    Start taking a note of who sends you mail over the next couple of months, and contact them to cancel, or change your address to a family member. Royal Mail also redirect mail (for a small fee) for a couple of months, so set that up for when you leave, and then you can contact those companies that continue to send you mail after you've left the UK.
    Do a P45 - because you're leaving the UK halfway through a tax year, you'll likely get a tax refund for the 2011-2012 year.
    If you're at all patriotic, it can be fun having some things from home; the odd teatowel or mug to remind you of home is surprisingly nice.
    Think about the teaching resources that you have come to take for granted; particular textbooks, worksheets, etc? Make sure you have worksheets etc. all on a hard-drive, and even buy copies of particularly important textbooks to take with you. It's a lot easier than trying to buy them online when you get there, and can save a lot of unnecessary duplicate planning.
     
  18. 576

    576 Occasional commenter

    HMRC actually advised me not to keep making conts as I was only coming out for an 18 month contract & already have 15 years fully paid.
    You have upto 5 years to make up missing payments - so if I stay away I will make them up.
    No need to contact Teachers Pension - that will just sit there. You can't pay anything into it whilst away.
    Cancel GTC membership; Union membership


     
  19. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    I hadn't thought about tax refunds...good plan...I had one when I trained, so it is a good idea. Thank you. I also need to sell my car (sister just asked for first refusal so that should be easy!). It will be nice to get that chunk of money before going (although China bank account with money (guessing relocation allowance) in will be ready and waiting!).

    Sorry for any spelling errors. Had op under GA yesterday and about to fall asleep.

    Happy Friday everyone. x
     
  20. Living in China, I have to say, you can get most things here. If your must have item says, 'made in China' on it then you can get it here with a little ingenuity. Look on tao bao (China's ebay - www.taobao.com) and try searching for well known brands, everything's there! (if you babel fish a word to simple-Chinese then tao bao the characters) You'll need a Chinese-speaking person to order for you though. If you are 'big', on or over a size 16, then bring a years supply of underwear. If your feet are wide, on or over a size 7, then bring a year's supply of shoes. Take medicines you know and trust, like lemsips, monthlys, throat lozenges, beechams, ibruprofen, nurofen, asprin, paracetamol etc... you can get them here cheaply but under who's scrutiny? If you already want to plan your first holiday the check out c-trip (english.c-trip.com), you can book hotels without a creditcard - you do need a local mobile telephone number. You can book flights, packages, tours and cars etc. Bring you U.K mobile and get a pay as you go mobile sim card when you arrive. An on-line supermarket is city shop (cityshop.com.cn). I think a must will be learning pinyin (Chinese phonetic alphabet), I am sure Amazon or such will have lots to offer or Canonese, depending on where your going! Good luck x
     

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