What are the start-up costs when teaching English abroad?

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Depending on where you decide to teach English abroad, these costs will vary with the cost of living, where you teach, travel expenses and whether you receive benefits.

What you will need money for in the first 6 weeks:

  • Week’s 1 and 2 for housing whilst interviewing i.e. hostel, hotel etc.
  • Apartment deposit (typically 1 month’s rent)
  • First month’s rent
  • Groceries for 6 weeks
  • Transportation
  • Mobile phone
  • Going out
  • Sightseeing

For more information on teaching abroad, view our Country Profiles

Your budget for going abroad

Accommodation When You Arrive Even if you have a job, you might need to look for accommodation once you arrive. So, your budget for going abroad will need to include a hostel or a hotel until you find somewhere. Have a look on the Internet at how much holiday accommodation costs where you’re going. Budget for around a 10-day stay. That will give you enough time to have a good look around.

Permanent Accommodation When you’ve found somewhere you will probably have to pay a month’s deposit. Therefore, you’ll need the cost of the rent for your budget for going abroad, plus, another month on top.

Getting to Work If you don’t live within walking distance, you will have to budget for transport costs to get you to work and back home. You might use a bus or tram. In some countries getting about on a bike is easy to do. Find out how much a second-hand bike will be. It will not only save you the costs of public transport, but it will get you fit too.

Shopping You’ll need to bring money with you for provisions from the time you arrive until you get paid. 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 the cost of living is fairly cheap. Do some research on the Internet before you leave home to find out the cost of basic foodstuffs, so that you’ll have an idea before you arrive.

Communication Find about sim cards 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 costs for installation.

Emergency Fund Remember to include some money in case of an emergency. It should be enough to pay for a flight home, but it would be better if it was at least one month’s salary. Make a list so you don’t forget anything. Remember:

  • Temporary and permanent accommodation
  • Getting to work
  • Shopping
  • Communication
  • Emergency fund

Once you’ve decided how much you need to take you can start to organise the rest of your trip.

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