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By Thiago Silva

Preparing to move in your own town can be daunting enough – now imagine having to pack everything and move to another country! When choosing to teach overseas most people get excited about the opportunity to have the adventure of a lifetime, and might overlook some of  the practical aspects of relocating.

Aside from cancelling your cable and forwarding your mail, there are some important decisions to make when planning to move overseas. If you have a pet, for example, you should evaluate if the best option is to take Fido along or leave him with a relative or friend.

Taking a pet overseas can be a costly and paper-work heavy endeavour as many countries will require vaccination certificates, and the airline may charge extra to transport the animal depending on their size. It is also stressful for most pets to travel long distances in a cage.

The local culture at your destination should also be taken into account. In the Middle East, for example, it is not common for people to own pets, so it is harder to do simple things such as finding pet food, or veterinary services.

Other countries might have less strict requirements. Mona Lisa Wessel, who lived in Japan, mentioned in the Teach Away community page that she was able to transport her pet between Canada and Japan with relative ease.

“Japan is very good about letting you bring in your pets if you can prove they have had their rabies shots within 60 days of arrival,” she said.

You should also check if your chosen accommodation allows you to have pets, as many places will not allow pets, especially in situations where you are sharing accommodations with other teachers.

Ultimately, it is a very personal decision whether bringing a pet overseas is the best option, but if you can’t live without your four-legged friend, you will have to do some research about the laws in your destination country and evaluate if the extra expense and time to care for the pet will not hinder your plans to save money and travel. You can read about other teachers’ experiences in taking pets abroad on Teach Away’s Facebook page and community forums.

Thiago Silva is the Teach Away blogger.

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