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Mixed Feelings

 
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margittarget



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:49 am    Post subject: Mixed Feelings Reply with quote

I have my first esl job starting in about two months. Some days I just want it to come, I feel like I can't wait, I just want to be here, and I feel so excited about it, and other times I feel so apprehensive, anxious and terrified. I suppose this is normal for someone who's never traveled alone or anything. I feel so lost about it. I didn't even understand how an eticket worked because I'd never before bought a plane ticket, and I was pacing around wondering why my tickets had not come yet. I just want to feel like I have everything in order, and I think I do, but if anyone out there has any advice for someone like me, anything they regretted not bringing, or taking care of before they left, let me know. I'm sure once I get there, pretty soon it will come pretty easily, and it will feel just like any ho hum job I've had, but right now, as I look forward to it, it's the most excitingly crazy and terrifying thing in the world.

Margit
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9375
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are you going, Margit? What you need to prepare and take with you depends a lot on your destination.

Most important thing in all cases: just be sure you have enough financial cushion to ensure that you can handle a bit of bad luck should it arise - housing and other logistical problems can very easily arise in a foreign country, and lacking financial backup can turn a 'small' incident like needing to move to another accomodation into a big problem.
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denise



Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 3419
Location: finally home-ish

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can you get in touch with any current teachers at your school? They should be able to tell you what daily life is like, what you should bring with you, etc. And hopefully you'll see that life abroad is quite fun! (Yes, there are daily hassles, culture shock problems, etc. but we deal with them & get on with our lives...) I hope you find it more rewarding than any ol' ho-hum job back home, though.

Make sure you arrange to have bank statements, credit card statements, etc. set up online, and make sure you've got a trusted friend/family member who is willing and able to mail you anything that you might need--anything from important documents to care packages.

Oh, and make absolutely sure that you will have access to your home bank account (some banks might freeze overseas ATM transactions unless you specifically tell them that you're traveling) until you get your first paycheck in your new job, which can take a month or two once you start working.

Good luck!
d
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mozzar



Joined: 16 May 2009
Posts: 339
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think an important thing to remember is: it will be more like home that youīd want. Youīll still talk to English speakers every day, be bored travelling to work, curse the weather, burn your dinner and waste days surfing the internet or watching films. No matter how much things change at first, the same patterns repeat themselves the world over.

Hope thatīs somewhat comforting. Or maybe itīs just depressing.
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margittarget



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spiral78 wrote:
Where are you going, Margit? What you need to prepare and take with you depends a lot on your destination.

Most important thing in all cases: just be sure you have enough financial cushion to ensure that you can handle a bit of bad luck should it arise - housing and other logistical problems can very easily arise in a foreign country, and lacking financial backup can turn a 'small' incident like needing to move to another accomodation into a big problem.



I'm going to Beijing. The company that hired me are called expertise education. They seem quite legit.
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margittarget



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mozzar wrote:
I think an important thing to remember is: it will be more like home that youīd want. Youīll still talk to English speakers every day, be bored travelling to work, curse the weather, burn your dinner and waste days surfing the internet or watching films. No matter how much things change at first, the same patterns repeat themselves the world over.

Hope thatīs somewhat comforting. Or maybe itīs just depressing.


No, I'm glad you say that. I don't want to say that it's either comforting or depressing, but what I am taking from what you said is that it will be what I make of it. I know I've had jobs here that are exciting at first and if I choose to keep them exciting, then they could stay exciting. One thing I notice is that people look at your weirdly when you continue to find excitement in your day to day life for a long time, but it's better for the individual I think to do that.

It is comforting knowing there will be other English speakers to talk to.

PS
I am moving there August 14. There are two weeks of training, and then I'll work there for a year.
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margittarget



Joined: 31 Mar 2010
Posts: 7
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, if there is anything anyone regretted that they did bring. Something they brought and never needed, let me know that too.
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nickpellatt



Joined: 08 Dec 2006
Posts: 1522

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always pack one travel adaptor plug, and then a four way socket thing that I can plug in said adaptor. These are quite cheap to pick up in the UK, and it then means I can plug in my mobile phone charger, laptop and digital camera charger all at the same time...sounds like a really small thing, but its amazingly convenient.

Dont pack lots of toiletries...shampoo and shower gel etc, takes up a lot of valuable weight and can easily be bought locally at low prices. But do consider buying some cheap roll on deodorant as this can be expensive in China, and is amazingly cheap here in the UK.

You're going with Expertise aren't you? I just read that in another thread. My friend went with them just over a year ago and had an OK time with them...he was already in China though so he was used to things being done the chinese way.

Its also worth packing an open mind and a lot of patience....and learn a little Chinese before you go....helps a lot.

Finally...its OK to be nervous, its part of it. Equally, its OK to sit around in your first week and think 'what the hell am I doing, maybe I should just bail ...' thats also part of it and you can and will come through that. Ive done 3 China jobs and have just agreed contracts on my first EU one...and Im also pretty nervous...happens to all of us!

Good luck!
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nounours



Joined: 24 Mar 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck! I think China is one of the most friendly countries I have ever been to, but it would *really* help to learn even a little Chinese before you go, as some other posters have said. I didn't teach there, but I did travel there for several months alone, and all and all, it was pretty easy and safe to travel alone as a woman, and you should definitely take advantage of the country you are in, and see as many places as you can! Have fun!
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yaramaz



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 2345
Location: Not where I was before

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't live in Beijing but I have been in Shanghai for a year and a half and have spent time in Beijing so I'd say they are comparable destinations for a new teacher- both have a really good transport system (bilingual too, or at least in pinyin) and easy access to foreign foods/groceries if you feel a bit homesick (one of the best Indian restaurants outside of India or Brick Lane was in Beijing, somehow). You can get decent deodorant at Carrefour or Watsons so aside from one or 2 sticks to start with, you needn't stockpile.

To be honest, it'll probably end up being a lot easier than you expect. I've found that to be the case for me- all those fears you have when getting ready to go somewhere new tend to work out fine in the end (as long as you've done your research and made sure your finances were in order).
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