Please! Deactivate your file first!
In all the excitement of securing a new position, it’s easy to forget about deactivating your Search Associates file. You have a million things to do, plans to make and people to tell.
Please, take a moment to do this, not only so that other schools aren’t still looking up your file after you’ve signed a new contract, but also for your search associate. Often we don’t find out about your new position until you update your file two or three years down the track.
Schools usually recruit from a variety of sources and don’t always remember the platform they used to look up a candidate. We ask schools to let us know when they hire our candidates, but they don’t always do this. Retrospective invoicing is not the best practice, especially when school budgets have been allocated for the year.
Oftentimes a school may not tell a candidate that they’ve accessed their file before offering them a new position. We understand that candidates don’t always know that their new position is considered a search placement. This is why we ask all candidates to sign an agreement when they register with us that they will deactivate their file within seven days or let us know if they are successfully employed in a new school.
Search Associates charges a fee for each candidate placement and part of it goes towards maintaining and upgrading our database.
Be Prepared but Nothing Prepares You!
Check the contract
Don’t sign on the dotted line of an international teaching contract until you’ve read the fine print and double-checked these key areas.
Learn as much as possible about the country, city, and language where you are going
Find as much information as you can about your chosen destination. Most countries have expatriate community websites with personal articles, blogs, and practical advice and information
to help new expatriates settle in. Check your local library. Take the time to watch videos or browse travel literature together as a family, and discuss the likely benefits of the new destination as well as any concerns that family members may have. If you are thinking of moving to a distant location, find out how easy and affordable it will be to make trips home, or for family and friends to visit you. You’ll need to consider whether there are direct flights or not, and what the overall travelling time is likely to be, as well as the cost. Long-distance travel can be stressful, particularly if you are travelling with young children.
One good source of information is Kwintessential which has profiles for most of the world’s countries and their customs and etiquette, along with translation services.
Listen to the local language on podcasts etc to get a feel for and build your repertoire of basic words.
Make a list of tasks that need to be done and when (as far ahead as possible)
In Thailand, they want your marriage certificate for everything. We left our original back in Melbourne because we thought we were coming back in 6 weeks! Luckily we had a certified copy from the Australian Embassy in Bangkok otherwise we would have had massive problems. Mick Green
- Provide required documents to your new international school in a timely manner (including report cards or other reports for your children’s admission)
- Medical appointments and records (take copies of prescriptions for medications, eye glasses, and contact lenses with you, along with immunization records)
- Check into the medical coverage offered by your school/country (Does it cover pre-existing conditions? Do you need additional health or travel insurance:?)
- Make digital copies of passports, drivers licenses, marriage and birth certificates, etc. Take originals with you. Plan on getting an International Driving Licence as well.
- Do you have a will? Where is it? Does your family have access to documents that might be needed in an emergency?
- If you don’t already have one, get an online bank account from which you can pay bills back home; PayPal is another way to send money around the world; if you have to send large sums, look at USForex (usforex.com) or Xoom (good currency rates and very user friendly). Here is a reliable review of ways to send money abroad.
- Consider subscribing to an online password security program and put every password you use in it.
- Are you hoping to take a pet with you? Some countries require you to start the process six months ahead and transporting your pet can be very costly. Ask questions of those who live in the country you are moving to.
Decide whether to keep or rent/sell your current home/apartment. Who will manage it if you keep your residence? Check that your insurance coverage will be appropriate.
Ask about the dress code for school and bring appropriate work clothes suited to the climate. Take along at least one or two “nice” outfits for receptions, weddings, international dress-up days etc. If you are moving somewhere remote, take items that will be hard to find in your new location.
Be sure you understand the school’s shipping allowance if it is offered. Take needed items and favorite children’s toys/snugglies on the plane with you. Go with as little as possible and remember that items you ship could take many weeks to arrive.
If you have teaching materials you cant live without, ask if they are already at the school or if the school might help you to ship them. Put as much as possible (lesson plans, assessments, signs for your room, organizational materials) in the cloud where you can access them from anywhere.
Research moving abroad checklists for expats on the internet.
How To Make Moving To A Different Country Less Stressful
Change address (and email if required)
Verify the new international address to use (often this is the school)
Make a thorough list of addresses to change and those to forward to a local contact (tax bureaus, dept of Motor Vehicles (don’t let your driver’s license expire!), banks, insurance companies, investment firms, credit cards, subscriptions, stores where you have accounts, etc). Make a spreadsheet and do as many changes to online services as you possibly can.
Cancel internet/television/health club/utilities etc