Preparing to Teach English Abroad: Tips on What to Pack

Packing your suitcase can be a daunting task when there are so many things you need to remember to bring with you on your travels abroad. Review the list below to ensure you have thought of everything you need to pack prior to your departure.

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General Living Items
Items to Take for the Classroom

In the US, we enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. Do not expect it to follow you!  Pack enough so that you are comfortable, but not so much that you are limited by your luggage.


Documents (passport, visa, birth and marriage certificates) and copies of each document
Airline tickets and photocopies of your airline tickets and itinerary (with phone numbers, if possible). Keep these separate from the original documents.  Copies of your ticket provide proof that you indeed purchased the ticket; if you lose the original ticket, having a copy will help speed up the reimbursement process.
Extra passport photos
Health insurance and emergency contact information
Criminal check, if completed
International driver’s license, if obtained
Prescription medication
Traveler’s checks, credit cards, ATM cards
Copies of traveler's checks, credit cards, ATM cards, etc.
Copies of your credentials
Proof of vaccinations
Spare glasses and a lens prescription 
Portable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

General Living Items

Appropriate clothing for the classroom
Clothing suitable for the climate and traveling the country (remember, you may travel to nearby countries as well)
Wallet and money belt
Personal items, such as a mini photo album of your loved ones
The contact information for your family, friends, accountant, lawyer, etc.
Some favorite luxuries (to spoil yourself), such as music, ipod or mp3 player, books, etc.
Camera, charger, and extra batteries
Writing journal
American souvenirs for gifts
Hygiene products such as deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, brush, comb, cosmetics, and toiletries, as they may not be available in your destination country
An electrical adapter, as you may need to use your portable appliances before discovering where to purchase one
Specialty food items, such as tea, snacks, etc.
Sentimental items, such as pictures and knick-knacks; this will help ease the Culture Shock and the transition of moving to another country
Luggage tags
Guide Book and maps of your destination country
Phrase book


Items to Take for the Classroom

A few educational games (Scrabble®, children’s word association games)
An English dictionary
A concise grammar text
Writing paper, pens, etc. (just in case some of these items are not readily available)
Glossy catalogues and magazines with lots of pictures
Additional teacher resource books and English game booklets
American souvenirs for students
ESL teaching resources, such as lesson activities, lesson plans, classroom and teacher resources, theory and research, and additional resources

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