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"No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy. A motto of the
British Special Air Force is: 'Those who risk, win.' "
~Elizabethtown




Thursday, January 3, 2008

New Year... New Beginning...

...New Blog!

I am creating this blog to help me organize my thoughts, feelings, and information re: teaching abroad... This is something I really want to do... but something that will be UBER scary... and probably fairly difficult to get together....

That said-- many have said, "Oh what a great experience! You should totally do it before you have something that ties you down and prevents you from doing it!" Many seem to have confidence in me. However, this past holiday, my aunts (who ARE supportive) both agreed that I would never follow through.

A challenge, perhaps?

So, at this point I am in research-mode... Ihave been looking @ this website for info and help. They have a forum area which has been interesting-- reading everyone's posts, questions, answers, and advice... Several teachers who have made this move have blogs also-- so I have been reading through those.

Big questions right now:

~How much will this move cost initially? Not renting a place there-- but getting my stuff there, myself there, VISAs, paperwork, etc...

~How different is teaching in the UK? Most of the posts and blogs I have read are secondary teachers-- I am a primary teacher... So I just wonder....

~What area would I want to live in? Not London-- too hustle-bustle... and expensive... I have been to the UK several times and like many areas. (Warwick, the Lake District, York) My friend Nan and I have been discussing going over and scouting areas this summer... we'll see!

~When should I apply? I know most hiring is done in the spring... but would I be READY to do this in the fall?

OK, I will (I'M SURE) list MANY more questions and concerns soon... For now, anyone out there with advice? Suggestions? Encouragement? :)

6 comments:

J Mc said...

Excellent work on the blog and aspiring to teach in the UK. It's wonderful - really. Stressful at times, but teaching back in states was stressful too! Today was our first day back and I was so happy to see my kids (all 355 of them...)

If you need any advice or have any questions - let me know!

Jmc

The Big Adventure said...

Just do it!

I have two sayings: "If not now, when?" and "Do it scared." SOmetimes people say they can't do something, because they're scared. Is that a reason? Nope. You just do it scared.

Not too awfully expensive -- I have all sorts of posts on expenses -- read back through.

Best,

PG

S. Dub said...

I like both those sayings... as well as the quote on J MC's blog...

And the fact that people have said, "You would be GREAT at that... but you will never do it..." Just makes me want to do it more!

Thanks to both of you for the advice and awesome blogs... they are inspiring!

The Big Adventure said...

You asked about expenses (for the move) -- as you've likely read on my blog, I just bought a plane ticket, and paid for one extra piece of luggage, then sold/donated/gave away everything else (the money from all that helped finance my move). Got a one-way ticket for $800 . . . Bluewave puts you up in a B&B for the first couple of nights (AND has a chauffeur pick you up at the airport, AND gives you a mobile phone) . . . From there, you can extend your stay at the B&B (they try to find you a place near school, and one with cheap monthly rates if you decide to stay on and take your time looking for a flat). So, costs are minimal, really. An unlimited bus ticket is 36 pounds a month for me, so cheap transport.

I found a flat before arriving (lucky me!) and went straight to that, and furnished it entirely for just a couple hundred quid (new sofa and bed, otherwise, antiques from the charity shops (dining room set, etc). I've got pics of my flat on my blog, and it really is nice, furnishings as well -- doesn't look so cheap as it actually was!). A few dishes, an iron, alarm clock, blow dryer, the basics . . .

I didn't ship crates or boxes, either -- just the three pieces of luggage. Details of what I brought in he blog, too. Basically my best shoes and clothes, and things I'd have had to replace the next day (down comforter, a couple of good towels, that sort of thing).

Tell me what else I can help with, in terms of information?

The Big Adventure said...

I saw your posts on Bluewave's site, again asking about how much it costs to movehere, but I still don't know what you want to know? You'e said you are not referring to the cost of airfare? Or a flat? Or getting settled? So I'm not sure what you want. If it's shipping things, that's easy enough to find out on your own, from the States -- call or go online, with a local shipping company, and get rates/quotes. You could ask someone on BW, but they might have sent a different amount/weight from the opposite side of the US. Make sense? And we are all over here, so have no idea what it will cost you to ship things. What else do you want to know??

That said, most of us don't take anything but an extra suitcase -- it's just ridiculously expensive. If you have some special things, store them in case you either don't stay here, or want to ship them later.

Most people don't drive initially, since public transport is so cheap. And you can only drive on your US licence for a year, and after that have to get a UK licence, which is another story. I have a friend who drove the first year, as allowed, and purchased a car, but there's it's sat for the past 6 years as she still hasn't gotten through the classes and exams. Not worth it, if you ask most of us. Can enjoy the trains or Ryanair and Easyjet's one-penny flights (plus taxes!), and enjoy not spending money on a car.

Easiest way is just to do some online research about the various things you want to know about.

Good luck!

S. Dub said...

I just meant how much aside from a plane ticket... You blog has been extremely helpful...

I have a condo here and a LOT of stuff-- but I have a roommate that will stay on and rent the place-- which will cover mortgage payments, etc.. I would only take what I needed with me.

I have even looked @ furnished flats online... just getting a price idea... This way if I love it and decide to stay, I can come back-- get rid of everything here, sell the condo, etc... OR, if I hate it, I have somewhere to come home to :)

I would, however, sell my car before I came... no use in it sitting here and me paying for it...