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Taking the Plunge

 
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VSky9



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 2
Location: US

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:44 pm    Post subject: Taking the Plunge Reply with quote

Hi, all.

So after making the initially nerve-wracking choice of leaving grad school (I LOATHE academia...but it still paid the bills), I've decided to try my hand at teaching English abroad. At the moment, I'm thinking of getting a TrinityCert with Oxford TEFL in Prague. But I may go with Language House or something. I'm looking mostly at Asia as far as teaching, since it sounds like Europe doesn't offer much money or security.

Does anyone know how reasonable it is to do this with a dog in tow? I don't have one yet, but I've been dying to get a puppy for ages, and since I'm making all these life changes, well...I want a dog in the picture in the near future. Plus, I thought it would be good for protection, as a single woman. I don't want to have to get rid of it, though, because the next job's only option is pet-free housing.

Any thoughts?
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10946
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of this research you can do on your own in terms dog-friendly countries in Asia that interest you. Since we don't know your work and other lifestyle criteria, that would narrow down your desirable locations for TEFL work. Start with a Net search on dog friendly countries Asia.
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Chris Westergaard



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 215
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!
I would wait on getting the dog to be honest. It sounds great to have a dog abroad, but it can be a lot of extra hassle. Aside from having to get all of the shots and a pet passport, you also have to consider your initial schedule. If you are planning on taking The Language House TEFL, you will be busy the majority of the day. This means that your pet will be home alone for about 12 hours a day for a period of a month. That's a pretty long time. Also, many apartments might not be pet friendly. This can add extra stress trying to find your own place during the course. My advice is to wait. Make the move abroad, take The Language House or another course, move to Asia, and THEN decide if you want a dog or not.
Just a quick FYI. The dog is your responsibility at this point. That means if it gets injured or is sick, you are responsible for covering all of the bills. I've seen dozens of graduates get pets, only to give them away because they couldn't support them or didn't want to have them around anymore (too much work). That's cruel to do to a pet that depends upon you. I'm sure you are aware of this and that is in no mean intended to say that you would act like this. It's only based on what I've seen many people do in the past.
Moving abroad is fun enough. Get your bearings first and then you can decide if you want the extra responsibility of having a pet.
Best of luck!
Hopefully we'll see you in Prague.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11433
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've travelled with my schnauzer for almost 13 years now. I agree with Chris' advice; get settled somewhere first, then think again about the dog.

The logistics around travelling with a dog are do-able so long as you do your homework in terms of legal requirements (I've never taken mine to Asia so can't comment specifically). It's the daily patterns that matter - it's ok to leave a dog home alone for a few hours every day, but how many? What's the neighborhood like from a dog's perspective and will s/he be welcome and safe there? Will you really have time to hang with the dog a lot?

As you know, puppies take even more time, and patience is often required from a landlord in addition to your own!

As for protection, I don't honestly think that this is a very valid reason to get a dog. Firstly, it usually implies a bigger dog, which is more difficult for travel. Secondly, it's rare that a dog actually protects a human from something genuinely dangerous. It's much more often that we are protecting our animals from other dogs, from dodgy food items lying around in the park, from bikes and cars and kids....

Get settled somewhere you like and then look around at it from a dog's perspective! If it looks good then, go for it.
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VSky9



Joined: 27 Feb 2017
Posts: 2
Location: US

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, all, for the replies! This makes a lot of sense. Really good to know about the legal issues -- I'd never even heard of a pet passport. I'll wait until I'm settled somewhere with my first job. That month of training will (hopefully) be the most grueling in terms of time and work, so waiting would definitely be best for everyone.

The fear of having to get rid of it has been a big deterrent. I do realize some people feel they have no choice, but I'd hate to have to do that. I've been through something similar with a cat I'd had since early childhood. That's just too rough on both parties. Especially with a puppy. And, yes, I'd probably go for a smaller or medium-sized dog since I'll be traveling a lot at first.

But I still think a dog could be a good alarm system. Smile Most people would probably be less likely to try anything with a foreign woman with a dog than a foreign woman on her own. I've never lived abroad, much less in a country where I don't speak the language, so part of it might just be a psychological thing -- it would make me feel more confident.

Plus, I've been dying for a puppy for ages. Very Happy

I've got my interview with Oxford TEFL today, so I'm one step closer, anyway!
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nomad soul



Joined: 31 Jan 2010
Posts: 10946
Location: The real world

PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

VSky9 wrote:
Most people would probably be less likely to try anything with a foreign woman with a dog than a foreign woman on her own. I've never lived abroad, much less in a country where I don't speak the language, so part of it might just be a psychological thing -- it would make me feel more confident.

Plus, I've been dying for a puppy for ages. Very Happy

Since your sights are on Asia, you're more likely to need "protection" from funky food cooties, lousy drivers, crazy traffic jams, rambunctious kids, clueless bosses, cultural ambiguity, and overzealous parents than from creepy stranger danger. Smile In other words, where you end up living and working will probably be much safer than many big US cities if you apply some basic common sense. Besides, if you choose to live in or near a major hub, there will be plenty of other expats as colleagues and neighbors. TEFLing is about going abroad with an open mind and not one based on stereotypes and fears

Research those Asian countries you're most interested in to see which ones yank your chain the most and are dog friendly.

BTW, you've mainly posted about getting a puppy, yet you never clearly state why you want to teach EFL. Be realistic about your intentions so that you're not disappointed when you actually start working overseas.
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11433
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But I still think a dog could be a good alarm system. Most people would probably be less likely to try anything with a foreign woman with a dog than a foreign woman on her own. I've never lived abroad, much less in a country where I don't speak the language, so part of it might just be a psychological thing -- it would make me feel more confident.


Look, I've lived and taught in four different countries with my dog over the past 13 years and I have a lot of sympathy for the urge to have one. But seriously, you WILL spend massively more time and energy protecting the dog than s/he will protect you.

The most common way that foreigners are taken advantage of is financially, through over-and-sur charges and excessive fees charged by landlords and service providers. Your dog is unlikely to be much help with this; in fact, landlords and taxi drivers and etc. are highly likely to charge you more because of the dog.

Also, think of how/when someone might 'try something' with you; most likely you imagine travelling after dark to/from a social event. Hmmm. Will your dog have been invited, or will s/he be sitting at home patiently waiting for you to return?

Seriously, get settled somewhere and then assess your lifestyle and time constraints before you get too excited about acquiring a puppy! YOU need to feel confident and comfortable where you are and with your circumstances on your own - otherwise you can't offer a vulnerable puppy a safe and stable life.
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