Top survival tips for keeping safe abroad

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Here are our top survival tips for keeping safe whilst teaching English abroad.

Before You Go:

  1. Do your research, find out where the nearest embassy is and make a note of this.
  2. Know your destination so you are aware of any unsafe areas and crime hotspots. Check for official travel advice from the Foreign Office about the place you are visiting.
  3. Inform your bank where and when you are going, ask them to provide you with an emergency helpline number that can be contacted whilst you’re abroad.
  4. It’s best to leave all non-essential valuables at home, but keep a record of any that you do bring. The easiest way to do this is by taking a photo of each item.
  5. Enquire with the place you are staying about secure arrangements for storing belongings, e.g. is there a safe where valuables can be looked after when you’re out and about?
  6. Take photocopies of both your passport and driving license. Ensure these are stored separately as they carry sensitive personal information.
  7. Get a pre-paid card and top it up with funds before you go, this is guarded by a pin code and a much safer option than carrying large amounts of cash.
  8. Ensure you’re covered in the event of loss or theft, arrange appropriate travel insurance beforehand.
  9. Learn some basic phrases in the language of the country you are visiting, so that you know how to ask for help if you need it. Write down your hotel address in both languages.

Safety Advice for When You’re Abroad:

  1. Keep cash to a minimum; only take what you need and secure it in a money belt that’s attached to your waist and kept hidden under clothing. This is safer than carrying a bag, which could easily be snatched or pick-pocketed.
  2. Have an emergency fund that is stored separately to tide you over just in case.
  3. Only exchange money in reputable places such as banks or bureau de changes.
  4. Check your balance on the go using apps, although take care when using Wi-Fi out and about. It may be best to do this in your hotel.
  5. Don’t let your card out of sight and always remember to shield your pin. Never write it down.
  6. If using a cash-point, take care and check for signs of tampering. Watch out for any people that appear to be paying close attention, go elsewhere if you feel it is unsafe.

Is it safe for a single woman to teach English abroad? Yes. If it is safe going on holiday in a country and your foreign office is not advising against it, then it is. The primary job markets for English teachers are located in peaceful countries with strong infrastructures and economies.

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