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.


checkbox Documents (passport, visa, birth and marriage certificates) and copies of each document.
checkbox 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.
checkbox Extra passport photos
checkbox Health insurance and emergency contact information
checkbox Criminal check, if completed
checkbox International driver’s license, if obtained
checkbox Prescription medication
checkbox Traveler’s checks, credit cards, ATM cards
checkbox Copies of traveler’s checks, credit cards, ATM cards, etc.
checkbox Copies of your credentials
checkbox Proof of vaccinations
checkbox Money
checkbox Spare glasses and a lens prescription
checkbox Portable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

General Living Items

checkbox Appropriate clothing for the classroom
checkbox Clothing suitable for the climate and traveling the country (remember, you may travel to nearby countries as well)
checkbox Wallet and money belt
checkbox Personal items, such as a mini photo album of your loved ones
checkbox The contact information for your family, friends, accountant, lawyer, etc.
checkbox Some favorite luxuries (to spoil yourself), such as music, ipod or mp3 player, books, etc.
checkbox Camera, charger, and extra batteries
checkbox Writing journal
checkbox American souvenirs for gifts
checkbox 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
checkbox An electrical adapter, as you may need to use your portable appliances before discovering where to purchase one
checkbox Specialty food items, such as tea, snacks, etc.
checkbox Sentimental items, such as pictures and knick-knacks; this will help ease the Culture Shock and the transition of moving to another country
checkbox Luggage tags
checkbox Guide Book and maps of your destination country
checkbox Phrase book

Items to Take for the Classroom

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