7 Insider Tips to Survive Your First Year of Teaching Abroad

Teaching abroad can be both a daunting and challenging experience. From adapting to foreign cultures to making friends with locals, teaching abroad can be an adventure. However, your first year of becoming an English Tutor abroad will likely test your resolve and patience.

It is not easy to leave your family, friends and the environment you have known for almost all your life to go and take up a teaching job in a foreign country. You may have to deal with cultural differences, language barriers and esoteric cuisines (yes, food is a very important aspect and we’ll talk about that later).

So to make your first year of schooling abroad less of a burden, here are 7 insider tips to help you survive your first year of teaching abroad:

1. Patience Is Your Friend

If you have ever been stuck trying to explain something to someone who doesn’t speak your language using hand gestures and the likes, then you know what it means to be patience. In your first year of teaching abroad 99% of the people in that school don’t know you, you will need to build relationships, to build relationships, you will have to learn how to adapt to their custom, to try and blend in. It may take some time for them to accept the new English Tutor that just came in, but if you are patient enough those friendships will pay off.

2.Understand the Culture

Every country or region has their own culture and to avoid unnecessary problems during your stay, it is wise you don’t just learn or know, but that you understand the Culture. Certain things you do in the United States could be offensive in China and vice-versa. It is good you understand the culture of your host country to avoid offending people unknowingly or getting into police trouble.

3.Learn The Language

You may or may not want to, but either way, learning the language of the country you reside in will play a large role in helping you blend into their society as a whole. It is advisable you learn at least the basics of the language of the country you are residing in to avoid going to a market or a bazaar to practice sign language.

4.Mind The Food

I know you love fries, but since you can’t carry all the fries you need from home to where you’re going, it’s very important you learn to adapt to whatever food or cuisine is commonplace in your host country. Reports of food poisoning are usually rampant among expats working in foreign countries with extremely different cultures from theirs. My advice, don’t just eat anything served to you, try and find out what the ingredients are if you are allergic to them.


5.Get a TEFL Certification

This should have been first, but I decided to put this in now, a TEFL Certification increases your chances of getting a good job when you decide to teach abroad. It also has courses that will help you teach English, manage a classroom better and overall become a better English Tutor.

6.Read your Teaching Contract

Taking a teaching Job abroad isn’t like joining Facebook where you just skip the Terms and Conditions and  click on “I Agree”. You have to settle down and properly understand the Terms and Conditions of your contract, so you don’t end up signing up for what will work against you. If you can afford to do so, hire a lawyer to look into it for you.

7.Go with The Flow

Nobody can prepare you for everything you will encounter when you choose to take a teaching job abroad, every country is different and has their own customs that differ from each other’s. One important trait that will help you is the ability to adapt, some things will come your way that you will never see coming, you’re just going to have to adapt, make the most of it and practically go with the flow.

Taking a teaching Job abroad is not as hard as people want it to seem and look. With the right dedication, skills and knowledge, you could have a swell time teaching English abroad and adapting to a foreign culture.