In the beginning, it always looks like a big step to take when you are contemplating teaching English overseas for the very first time. If you haven’t been to your destination country before then you mind is likely to be full of questions about what to expect. A lot of these questions will be to do with making your new environment really feel like a home. The good news is that the ‘big step’ doesn’t look anywhere near as big on the other side once you’ve made the leap, and chances are you will have a great time settling in and making new friends.
Unless you are going to a remote village, there will probably be many other English teachers from similar backgrounds to yourself. It should be easy to find them – some may even be working in the same school as you. It will soon become obvious where other foreigners go to socialise. It is always good to talk to people from similar backgrounds when you first arrive because they will be full of advice and will usually make you feel very welcome in their social circles.
If you haven’t already done so, check on Facebook if there are any relevant groups that you can join for expatriate or just foreign teachers in the city or town you will be moving to. This way, you can even start getting helpful advice before you make the move. If you like running and drinking (not at the same time) then do a Google search for the Hash House Harriers. These ‘expat’ clubs exist all over the world and have a continually shifting membership.
When living abroad for an extended period of time, it is very common and often very easy to form romantic relationships. This is due to many, many reasons and differs from person to person, but it’s a nice thing to bear in mind if you are in any way anxious about starting your new adventure.
It probably goes without saying that if you want to making friends with local people it is much easier if you know some of their language. You don’t have to be an expert. Just making an effort to learn about their culture will impress them and you will be encouraged to continue.
You’ll probably be surprised just how easy settling in is. It normally takes just a few weeks and then from that point on, as you experience more and more and become quite an expert on the city or town, the even newer arrivals will be looking to you for advice!