February is coming to an end, but this year you have an extra day to plan your future teaching adventure! Taking a leap of faith by moving to a new country can be exciting, but it’s important to know how to dress for success abroad.
In this month’s Teach Away Telegram, we bring you tips on how to dress for success as an English teacher overseas, info on how to cope with homesickness while living abroad, and our country spotlight features Korea.
So take that extra day this February and start preparing for an exciting teaching career overseas!
Happy reading! – The Teach Away Team
Dressing for Success When Teaching Abroad
When planning to work abroad one often thinks about the new sights, food, and culture of the destination country, but close attention should also be taken to local interpersonal relations. The ways you conduct yourself in public and in professional settings are important aspects to be considered when moving to a new country, and this includes your wardrobe choices!
There is no universal dress code for teachers and the written and unwritten rules of each country may be very different from what you are used to in your home country. While teaching in places such as Abu Dhabi, for example, you should be mindful of exposed shoulders and the length of your skirt (for women). Some countries in the Middle East might require women to wear a hijab headscarf, while teachers in Asia may be able to wear more casual clothing, especially if teaching young children.
To make sure that your choice of clothing fits in with the classroom and working culture of your host country, follow these tips:
- Observe how your coworkers dress and follow a similar style.
- Check to see if the school has a specific dress code for teachers (private schools might require more formal and business oriented attire, such as suits for men).
- Dress comfortably but make sure your clothes are not revealing, and any visible tattoos are covered.
- Ask your Teach Away placement coordinator about the dress code at the school where you are going to work.
- Don’t wear the country’s traditional clothing to work unless there is a special celebration or event related to it. Traditional wear is usually reserved for special occasions such as weddings, tea ceremonies, etc.
Coping with Homesickness
Embarking on an adventure abroad can be very exciting, but after a few months the honeymoon period might be over and you could feel like you’re stuck in a bad marriage. Once the initial excitement dissipates it is normal to feel homesick, however, there are many ways to overcome this problem and make your experience abroad a memorable one.
An effective way to cope with homesickness is to keep close contact with friends and family back home by phone, email, or Skype. Be careful not to rely solely on your support network in your home country though! By immersing yourself in the local culture you can start to make your host country feel more like home.
Take part in local cultural events and make local friends – great ways to understand the local customs and feel more engaged in the community.
You can also start writing a blog to record your experiences, post photos, and keep up with friends and family. Teach Away blogs are easy to use, and a fantastic way to remember your time abroad!
Country spotlight: Korea
The Republic of Korea is located on the southern part of the Korean Peninsula in Eastern Asia. Whether you are looking for the hustle and bustle of a big city, or a tranquil lifestyle in a rural area, Korea has a lot to offer.
The Korean economy is the third largest in Asia and its capital and largest city, Seoul, is a modern and cosmopolitan city with an extensive subway system, many different types of cuisine, and a diverse and intense nightlife. In the countryside you can find a more serene lifestyle where temples and mountains are everywhere you look and people enjoy a more slow-paced lifestyle.
Korea offers some of the best ESL teaching positions in Asia. All positions offer free accommodations, roundtrip airfare, and an excellent salary. There are monthly start dates available to teach in Korea, check out our teaching jobs board and join our Teach Away Community to learn more from other teachers’ experiences.