Living abroad and teaching abroad is intense and both demanding on your body and psyche. Most people have never really Living abroad and teaching abroad is intense and both demanding on your body and psyche. Most people have never really had the experience before and they have no idea of how they will react towards it as the days becomes weeks and weeks become months abroad. Listen, staying in a hotel for a week while you visit various historical sights on a summer trip, being doted upon and having everything laid out for you is not the same as getting your own apartment, paying your own bills, dealing with a foreign culture, making new friends and being successful in a TEFL career.
When you first enter a new country you're most likely going to love it. Realize though that this is simply the honeymoon stage of your experience and it's totally normal. Unfortunately, this stage might inevitably fade.
TEFL is demanding. Living in a foreign country is demanding. The awe of it all will wear off eventually. I've seen a lot of TEFL teachers go back home only after a few months of being abroad because they simply couldn't cope with the experience as a whole.
Living Abroad Tips
|Escalators in Prague can be terrifying to some TEFL kids|
Stay Productive - Do something besides teaching, get up in the morning early, whatever your hobbies are back home bring them to your new home.
Keep Fit - Join a gym, jog, exercise daily.
Learn the Language - Yes it's hard but don't become the stereotype and don't make excuses. Youtube and the internet are great way to get started. Practice the language whenever you can. It will really help you in the long and short run.
Learn to be Flexible
Learn the Culture - Past and present. Do you know who the current president of the foreign country you are living in is?
Make Local Friends - If all of your friends are other Expats you are doing something wrong. Get out and meet the locals.
Get out the City
Do other Things besides Teaching
Watch your Diet
Watch the Alcohol
Become Active in the Community
Bring your Hobbies over here
Get on a Schedule
Don’t become a Cynic - No one forced you to teach abroad. Stop comparing your own country with the country you moved to. No one likes someone who is always negative.
Don’t become a Snobby Expat - Ohhh you've lived abroad for 1 year so now you're better than all the new people? Get real!
Watch out for Depression - It happens. Drinking alcohol everyday and not exercising is a great way to start this.
Watch out for Anxiety - It's going to happen. Relax, it's ok and normal to experience this.
Stay clear of the DarkSide
Make the Effort to Make new Friends
Know your Limits - Some people are not meant to live abroad. If you are miserable, then go back home. However don't quit so soon. You will need to adapt a bit and there will be hard times. Grow from this and become a stronger person. If the experience, day in, day out, is horrific, then it's time to pack your bag.
Budget for Long Term
Take Risks - I've seen people that came abroad looking like abused animals but left after a year completely different and confident people. The experience can change you for the better if you let it.
Know Holidays and Time Changes - It's up to you to be aware of these things.
Be True to your Personality - Don't try to pretend to be someone you are not. The real 'you' will catch up with you eventually. Change takes time and is possible, but don't put on a charade to impress others. The experience of living abroad will change you regardless. Make it a positive one and use your time abroad wisely