Whether you are new to teaching or you have years of experience, finding somewhere comfortable and safe to live is often a top priority. The chances are that you will not be the first foreign teacher to live and work in the area so there are likely to be a few common options to choose from. Below we look at the basics regarding accommodation when teaching English abroad.
When is accommodation included in a TESOL contract?
In a lot of cases, finding suitable accommodation is not a problem as it can often be included as part of the teacher?s benefit package. If you have a teaching job in China, South Korea, or the Middle East, there is every chance that you will receive free or subsidized accommodation. Government-run recruitment schemes such as Japan's Jet Program also typically include some form of accommodation in the contract.
What if accommodation is not included in my TESOL contract?
While many teachers will have accommodation organized and paid for by their employer, the majority of teachers will be expected to take care of their own housing arrangements. If you are in this situation, the best place to start is often still your employer as they are highly likely to have employed many people before you. Often they can recommend trusted landlords or housing agencies that previous teachers have used in the local area. It is also very common for new teachers to take over the accommodation of their predecessor at the school. If you arrive in a country without a job already in place, it is usually best to stay in a hostel, guest house or hotel until you know exactly where you will be working. Once you start work you should find that your new colleagues are a good source of local knowledge regarding accommodation.
What else can I do to find accommodation?
If you start a new job and are still no closer to finding a suitable place to live, you can resort to more proactive measures. Local newspapers, yellow pages and notice boards are all common places to find private or shared accommodation advertised. If you are in a big city, then there is a good chance you will find a website dedicated to the local expat community where advice on all manner of subjects can be found. By using all the tools at your disposal, you should find that locating the right accommodation is not that big an issue.