So we made the decision back in April 2014 to move abroad. We had always said we wanted to live away from England for a bit and in particular, we wanted to live somewhere we could practise our Spanish. We had loved our backpacking trip around South America in 2012 and were keen to return to that part of the world.
We began doing our research, mainly looking on the internet, but also getting out books from the library and contacting friends who lived or who had been to South America.
From searching around the internet, we quickly realised that teaching English would be the easiest way to allow us to live out in South America, and to do this we would be best off getting some kind of English teaching qualification. We considered various routes to obtaining this, including the TEFL and CELTA courses, and we thought about whether it would be best to do it at home or abroad. For us, we went for the CELTA and decided to do it in Ecuador. I’ve written all about this in the CELTA in Ecuador section of my site, so please take a look if you want find out more.
We also needed to consider how easy it was to get a job, where we could live, cost of living, cost of moving, visas etc. Looking around the internet and reading about other peoples’ experiences was the best way to do it.
Below is a list of websites and blogs that we found particularly useful when doing our research:
- http://www.tripadvisor.com/ – There are loads of conversations going on in the forums about people living abroad. It’s not simply a site for tourists.
- reddit.com – in the search engine, type in what you want to find out and you’ll find people asking the same questions in the forums. We were very surprised about how helpful and useful this site was.
- When planning your move abroad, you may consider using international movers to transport some belongings. In many South American countries it is very difficult to have certain things sent in the post. You can end up paying a lot of money to receive certain items, such as clothes or electricals, because of high import taxes. We’ve had friends in Ecuador and Peru who have not been able to collect a present sent from home because it contained a tshirt. The price to pick up the delivery was substantially higher than the value of the items.
So, to avoid any disappointment and extra charges you may want to look into hiring an international moving company. Here is a handy tool to give you an idea of prices:
Teaching English abroad:
- http://teachingenglishinaforeignland.blogspot.com.ar/ – The author also wrote a book about his experience of travelling and teaching. It’s an interesting read and gives you an idea of how teaching can differ from one country to another.
- http://worldoftefl.com/latin-america/ – Information about salaries and working in Latin American countries.
- http://www.tefl-tips.com/2009/02/faq-for-latin-america.html – Great advice about working in different countries.