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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.

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.


checkboxDocuments (passport, visa, birth and marriage certificates) and copies of each document.
checkboxAirline 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.
checkboxExtra passport photos
checkboxHealth insurance and emergency contact information
checkboxCriminal check, if completed
checkboxInternational driver’s license, if obtained
checkboxPrescription medication
checkboxTraveler’s checks, credit cards, ATM cards
checkboxCopies of traveler’s checks, credit cards, ATM cards, etc.
checkboxCopies of your credentials
checkboxProof of vaccinations
checkboxSpare glasses and a lens prescription
checkboxPortable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

General Living Items

checkboxAppropriate clothing for the classroom
checkboxClothing suitable for the climate and traveling the country (remember, you may travel to nearby countries as well)
checkboxWallet and money belt
checkboxPersonal items, such as a mini photo album of your loved ones
checkboxThe contact information for your family, friends, accountant, lawyer, etc.
checkboxSome favorite luxuries (to spoil yourself), such as music, ipod or mp3 player, books, etc.
checkboxCamera, charger, and extra batteries
checkboxWriting journal
checkboxAmerican souvenirs for gifts
checkboxHygiene products such as deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, brush, comb, cosmetics, and toiletries, as they may not be available in your destination country
checkboxAn electrical adapter, as you may need to use your portable appliances before discovering where to purchase one
checkboxSpecialty food items, such as tea, snacks, etc.
checkboxSentimental items, such as pictures and knick-knacks; this will help ease the Culture Shock and the transition of moving to another country
checkboxLuggage tags
checkboxGuide Book and maps of your destination country
checkboxPhrase book

Items to Take for the Classroom

checkboxA few educational games (Scrabble®, children’s word association games)
checkboxAn English dictionary
checkboxA concise grammar text
checkboxWriting paper, pens, etc. (just in case some of these items are not readily available)
checkboxGlossy catalogues and magazines with lots of pictures
checkboxAdditional teacher resource books and English game booklets
checkboxAmerican souvenirs for students
checkboxESL teaching resources, such as lesson activities, lesson plans, classroom and teacher resources, theory and research, and additional resources
Teach English Abroad
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