Your Budget for Going Abroad – A Short Guide about Money
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Congratulations! You are now a qualified TEFL teacher. Now, with your certificate from The TEFL Academy, you can start your adventure abroad. But wait! Before you start packing your bags, you’ve got some planning to do! When it comes down to it there is a lot of planning involved in upping sticks and moving across the world, and, understandably, money is possibly the biggest of all your concerns.
Fear not; we’ve done this many times before and we know how to make the most of every penny we have. So in this blog post, we’ll break down exactly what finances you need when you move abroad, and how you can make the most of your money.
So, there are a few situations you might be in right now. You might already have a job offer so you are staying at home while you sort out the paperwork and wait for your work contract to begin. Or, you’re going to fly by the seat of your pants and you’re planning to look for a job when you reach your destination. Either way, you need to make sure your finances are in order and you have enough money to do what you need to do. Let’s look at a typical budget for a soon-to-be TEFL teacher so you can be sure you know what expenses you will need to cover on your adventure.
Let’s start with the obvious one. You’ll need money for your flights. If you can, book your ticket well in advance as this is usually the cheaper option. If you’re looking to save money, taking an indirect flight or flying at an inconvenient day or time will help cut costs as well. A handy trick is to clear your cache between searches. This will make sure you are shown the results for the cheapest flights.
Some employers may cover the cost of your flight but you might need to buy your ticket and you’ll be reimbursed at a later stage. Some employers will only reimburse you a percentage of your flight or only at the end of your contract. Make sure you know the exact situation you are dealing with.
Yes, sadly even though you would avoid paperwork if you could, it could still cost you money. A visa will cost you money. If you need certified copies of your degrees, that could cost you money. If you need a police clearance, that will cost you money. Wherever you live and wherever you are going will impact what paperwork you need. Find out what exactly is required for your specific situation and budget accordingly.
Have you got a good suitcase? A decent bag for hand luggage? A laptop bag? Good. If not, you’ll need to buy these before you leave. You may also want to stock up on any essentials before you leave so you don’t have to hustle as soon as you land. Think about: toiletries, medical supplies, adapters, stationery and appropriate work clothes.
Read More: A Complete Checklist for Working Abroad
Even if you have a job, you might need to look for accommodation once you arrive. Your budget for going abroad will need to include a hostel or a hotel until you find somewhere to live on a more permanent basis. Have a look on the internet at how much holiday accommodation costs where you’re going and budget for around a 10-day stay. That will give you enough time to have a good look around to find suitable long-term accommodation.
Then, when you’ve found somewhere to live you will probably have to pay a month’s deposit. In other words, you’ll need the capital to cover a month’s rent plus a month’s deposit. Don’t forget to budget for your bills too, if those are not included in your rent. If you are travelling with someone, these costs will be a bit more bearable as you can split costs. It might also be possible to share accommodation with another teacher in your school, even if you don’t know them.
Of course, if accommodation is included in your employment contract then there is no need to worry about accommodation costs. Sometimes your school might not cover accommodation in the long term but they might put you up in a hotel until you find somewhere. Other times your school will give you a housing allowance but this will only come into effect with your first paycheque so you will still need the money upfront. Make sure you know exactly what the situation is before you leave home.
If you don’t live within walking distance of your school, you will have to budget for transport costs to get you to work and back home every day. This might be in a taxi, bus, tram or motorbike taxi. Usually, the cheapest way to get to work is to do exactly what the locals do, so find out how the other teachers get to school and do the same. It also makes sense to share taxis if you live with or close to other staff members. Alternatively, find out about any monthly public transport discounts you can get in your area.
You’ll need to bring money with you for groceries from the time you arrive until you get paid. Remember that you only get paid at the end of your first month so that could mean four weeks with no pay or up to six weeks without pay if you still need to look for a job. The main costs will be groceries and cleaning supplies. Eating local food will be cheaper than looking for the food you’re used to at home. If you are going to Thailand for instance, you’ll find that eating out at local restaurants is very cheap – if you live by yourself, possibly even more cost-effective than buying groceries from the supermarket.
Do some research before you leave home to find out the cost of basic foodstuffs so that you’ll have an idea of general costs before you arrive. Bring from home what you can – for example, toiletries, work clothes, medical supplies. They won’t last forever but they will save you money initially.
Communication is important in that your potential or current employer needs to be able to contact you, but also for keeping in touch with your friends and family back home. Find out the best form of mobile phone package before you go. You might be able to get one that will cover international calls at a cheap rate. If you want the internet in your apartment your budget for living abroad will need to include enough money to pay for the first month, plus any possible costs for installation. However, you might want to include internet connectivity on your list of non-negotiables when looking for a place to live.
If you are a bit tight with finances, then this should not be included in your budget. Sure, socialising and getting out and about is an essential part of any adventure abroad, but if you are short of cash it won’t hurt you to lay low for a couple of months. But if you can afford it, make sure you set aside a certain amount of money to spend on weekends and during your time off. It will be impossible for you to know what exactly you will want to do before you get there, so be sensible and set an amount that is available to you each weekend. If you don’t use your entire allowance one weekend then you can have more to spend on the next one.
Read more: How to Find Your Community as a TEFL Teacher
Remember to include some extra cash in case of an emergency. It should be enough to pay for a hospital or doctor’s visit, or even a flight home, but it would be better if it was a least one month’s salary. This way you can be comfortable knowing that no matter what happens you have a considerable amount of cash to help you when you need it.
Don’t forget to figure out the best way for you to deal with your finances abroad. Do some research and find out if you can open a local bank account or if your bank has a particular card you can use abroad with minimal charges. And don’t forget to tell your bank of your whereabouts so your accounts don’t get blocked!
Once you’ve calculated how much money you need to take, the next step is to get packing! Good luck and let us know if you have any more questions!
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.
You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD retains personal information in line with our corporate retention requirements. Your data will be stored within the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (The EEA consists of all EU member states, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). However, in some circumstances, part or all of your data may be stored or transferred outside of the European Economic Area (“the EEA”). You are deemed to accept and agree to this by using our site and submitting information to us. If we do store or transfer data outside the EEA, we will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your data is treated as safely and securely as it would be within the EEA and under the GDPR. Such steps may include, but not be limited to, the use of legally binding contractual terms between us and any third parties we engage with, and the use of the EU-approved Model Contractual Arrangements. If we intend at any time to transfer any of your data outside the EEA, we will always obtain your consent beforehand.
Right to access personal information
- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.