It can be a bit daunting when packing to move abroad, especially when it is your first time. You don’t want to bring too much, but you also want to make sure that you have everything. Don’t worry, we have put together a comprehensive list of everything you need for your first time teaching abroad!
As a rule of thumb, we recommend only bringing one check-in luggage and a large backpack for your weekend travels. We know that may seem impossible now, but you will definitely want to purchase goodies when you arrive. To save some space, roll your clothes and use packing cubes!
First things first, when packing toiletries, be sure to bring FULL SIZED items. A lot of times, when moving abroad there are different brands that you may not love. If you bring full-sized toiletries, they will be able to last at least the first few months, if not the entire time.
For your electronics, you need to remember to bring a universal converter and perhaps a power strip. For your phone, you need to unlock it before leaving your home country. By this, we mean contacting your service provider to ensure that they “unlock” the phone so you can put in a new SIM card from any service provider. Please note that this may take a few days so do this at least a week before you depart. If you do not do this, you will most likely have to pay someone abroad to unlock it.
Bank Card + Money
Along the line of unlocking your phone, be sure to contact your bank to notify them that you will be traveling. If you forget to do this, your card may be blocked while abroad. If this happens, you will not have access to your home bank account. In addition, you should bring about 100 euros cash to convert upon arriving in the event that your card does not work.
However, if possible, we recommend taking money directly from an ATM in the country when you arrive rather than converting cash with a money exchange provider. The reason being that ATMs are required to give you the exchange rate of the day. However, money exchange providers can use the exchange rate of their choosing. Therefore, you will only pay a small fee when using an ATM (usually 2-3 euros). Whereas with a money exchange provider, you will pay a percentage of the amount that you converted (which is more than likely much more than 2-3 euros).
Comforts From Home
Apart from bringing the necessities, you may want to bring a few favorites from home to help to cope with homesickness. Whether that is your favorite chocolate, peanut butter, or a trashy magazine, whatever will bring you comfort, be sure to pack!
These are just a few packing tips. For our comprehensive packing list, download it here!
What are your packing essentials? We would love to hear what you simply could not leave home without!