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Teaching abroad - how did you find accommodation?

 
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:35 pm    Post subject: Teaching abroad - how did you find accommodation? Reply with quote

Hello all,

For those of you who decided to teach abroad, how did you go about finding accommodation? Did the school that hired you help you find one or provided one? I imagine that looking for work and a place to live can be daunting so, is it better to "secure" a place before going? I know that some people say that you can stay in Hostels while you're doing both, but I'm not sure this is such a good idea - inexpensive, yes, but the lack of privacy or constant noise can be a pain.

For those that did go to teach abroad, which one came first: work or housing? How easy is it to rent or share an apartment where you are? Did you need a guarantor? Did you have to sign a lease for more than one year? Are there short term possibilities in that country? I'm thinking mostly Western Europe and Latin America because from what I've been reading, Asia and Middle East often (????) provide housing, am I right?

I know I asked a lot of questions, but just one more (please bear with me Smile ) What percentage of your salary/wage as a teacher goes towards accommodation?

Thanks for your comments
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johntpartee



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 3204

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the place doesn't provide housing, I go online and look for hotels. In many countries, decent hotels are very inexpensive. In Mexico City, I lived in a hotel for my entire stay. Overall, it was better than getting an apartment. No lease hassles, no household items to buy, etc.
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes the school will help you get an apartment.
Other times people stay at hostels.
I think hostels are great.
But, I have always worked with locals to locate an apartment and they have helped me get something in a good area where I didn't feel I was getting ripped off.
Once you find something you like just be willing to slap down the money fast - if its a nice place theres no time to waste.
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 2974
Location: Mesopotamia

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Once you find somthing you like just be willing to slap down the money fast - if its a nice place theres no time to waste.

Which means having sufficient money in your budget to cover initial living expenses such as accommodation, transportation, food, etc., especially if you have to look for jobs while physically in the target country/region.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 194
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the country and the contract really. In France (Paris) I was given accommodation free for one week which was suficient time to find a place. In India, Kuwait and Oman accommodation was provided and in the case of the latter a choice between cash and accommodation. If you're a direct hire in the ME then somtimes you have to take the cash and find your own place.
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 393
Location: US

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 5:52 am    Post subject: Re: Teaching abroad - how did you find accommodation? Reply with quote

For those that did go to teach abroad, which one came first: work or housing?

The answers to your questions are going to vary wildly by country, but I'll answer about Japan, as you mentioned "Asia". In Japan, if you are looking for both work and housing in-country, you should look for work first, as you don't know where in the country you'll end up. Some employers 'provide' housing -- meaning that housing is arranged by the company, but you have to pay rent yourself. Sometimes the employer gouges the employee, but sometimes it's cheap (usually the case with the JET program). Sometimes you are allowed to find a place on your own, but sometimes you're required to live in company housing, and sometimes required to live with your coworkers. I haven't heard of housing being provided for free in Japan.

Did you need a guarantor?

For company-provided housing or guesthouses ('gaijin houses'), no. But for any other housing, usually yes. I had one employer who was willing to be a guarantor for me, and the other time, a Japanese friend did it.

Did you have to sign a lease for more than one year?

I had to sign a 2-year lease, but as long as I gave them enough notice, there was no penalty for leaving before that.

Are there short term possibilities in that country?

In Japan, not many. Westgate Corporation does short term, and I think they provide housing.

from what I've been reading, Asia and Middle East often (????) provide housing, am I right?

"Asia" is a big place with a lot of variation. As I said, in Japan, some places 'provide' housing that you pay for, while others provide nothing.

What percentage of your salary/wage as a teacher goes towards accommodation?

In Japan, I generally paid about 1/4 to 1/3 of my salary for rent.
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suncastle



Joined: 11 Oct 2013
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is all very useful info. Thank you.

One of the reasons why I decided to ask the community is that, in some countries, finding accommodation can be very tricky: you need a bank account in order to start "functioning" (you don't want to be walking around with your money or leave it behind at the hostel), but then you need an address; therefore you want to rent a place; however, if you don't have a job (or steady income coming in) renters may turn you down, and the vicious circle goes on and on. This is why I asked which one came first: job or housing.

It also seems that a school will help you with housing if they hire you from abroad. If you're in the country looking for work, they won't even bother, they'll just assume you have a place to stay. This is, at least, the impression that I get from other posts.

Please keep sharing your comments/experience. They are more than welcome to this thread.
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inotu-unotme



Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where I'm at companies do not automatically help you find housing.
As you look around and talk to people you will find theres several types of housing.
Some housing requires, deposits, letters of recommendation and bank account records.
Other types of housing does not require any such thing.
It always helps a great deal to get help from those who live in the area who may know people and their requirements.
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