Suzie King,
from the Netherlands,
teaching in Doha, Qatar.

Suzie is currently teaching at the British School of Egypt

Suzie is currently teaching at the British School of Egypt

If you were giving advice to another teacher moving overseas to work, what would you say are the five ‘must have’ things to take with you when you move abroad to help you settle into your new home and/or school?

1. Bring some simple household items e.g. some cutlery, some sharp little knives, a cutting board, one or two cups, a water kettle and some simple food/snacks, coffee/tea. You are never sure where you end up and at what time of day. It is great when you arrive in an empty house and can at least make yourself a cup of tea.

2. If you have to bring items like towels and sheets bring them washed and ready to use.

3. One or more international plug socket adapter(s).

4. A guidebook for the place you are going to.

5. Some small personal items to make your new house your home e.g. photo’s of family and friends, fridge magnets, etc.

What would be your top three pieces of advice to other new teachers in order to help them settle quickly into their new international school environment?

1. Be open to new / different styles of management things will be different to what you were used to at home. Be open to the culture; do not try to change things, as they won’t. You chose to live in a different country where the culture is different and things are done differently, learn from it.

2. Be aware that the attitude of your new pupils / students and their parents might be totally different from what you are used to.

3. Bring some of your favourite teaching resources. You never know what you will find in a school. This way you have some things you are familiar with and able to start how you would like to.

What have you done in the past year to help you settle into your new culture, or what activities would you suggest to a new teacher starting at your school to help them settle in to their new country?

Find a person who is willing to help you show around, maybe a local person or maybe some one who has been in the place longer than you. Or just go out on your own, visit places and try to learn about the culture. If possible learn the local language, you will meet people out side school and by understanding the language a little it will be easier for you to get around.

Thinking back to your first two days in your new location, what advice would you give to other new teachers about settling in during the first couple of days? For example, how did you find out about shopping, travel, communication, places to socialise, and what things did you find most important to have immediately at hand, etc?

This depends a little bit on the school and the set up they for expat teachers. Some times the school helps; some times it might be your landlord or the housing agency that helps you out.

What do you consider to be the five most important things for a new teacher to do on arrival at their new international school?

1.  Get to know the structure of the school.

2. Get to know your colleagues.

3. Get to know the students and their parents

4. Know how to get to and from school.

5. Know what is expected from you when and where

Do you think you have changed in the way you think about and view the world as a result of this past year? Have you become more internationally minded and if so, in what ways would you say you have become more internationally minded both in school and socially?

I think I have definitely become more international minded. Every culture does things its own way. It has been very interesting to me to get to know so many people from so many different cultures. I think it is great to see similar things done in a slightly different way and work just as well, personally and professionally.

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