Finding accomadation as TEFL Teacher
Once you get your first ESL teaching post abroad, you may suddenly get a bit worried about where you are going to live: this is something you should not really be worried about.
Some overseas ESL teaching posts include the provision of some form of temporary accommodation until the ESL teacher can find somewhere to live: but during this period, you should make an effort to find suitable accommodation. Other educational institutions actually provide accommodation or at least a contribution towards the complete or partial cost of renting somewhere to live. You may even be offered accommodation by a member of staff at a considerably lower cost than on the open market: if the head of the educational institution assures you that it is permissible to rent such a property, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Further still, some educational institutions have a member of staff whose additional duty is to help new ESL teachers find accommodation. Another good place to look for accommodation to rent is in the local English language newspapers of the country in which you are teaching.
These newspapers often carry advertisements for rental accommodation: some ads are placed by the owners themselves, others are placed by estate agents. Once you have found a property that you think may be appropriate for you, you can contact the owner or agent directly: you can be pretty sure they speak English. When you go to inspect the property, you would be well advised to take a local with you (preferably from your place of employment or a recommended local lawyer who speaks English): the presence of a national who obviously speaks the language of the country you are in will reduce the chance of you being deceived by an unscrupulous landlord or agent.
When you go to view the property, ask for any improvements to be carried out BEFORE you move in. In some countries, you can negotiate the rent: don’t overdo it if you really want the property. If the property is in good condition and near to your place of employment, sign the contract.
Finally, before you actually sign the contract, here are a few things that you should definitely check for: (1) proof that the property being rented actually belongs to the landlord; alternatively, proof that the agent actually represents the landlord; (2) the property is legally connected to all the utilities and the telephone company; (3) there are no sitting tenants; (4) that you have exclusive right to all parts of the property, and a right of egress and ingress to the property.
If you take these simple precautions, you should have no problems when it comes to finding accommodation.