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Are you moving to a new international school? You may be excited to start your new adventure, but don’t forget about the essentials. It can be overwhelming to arrive in a new city and not know where to buy things. You don’t want to end up paying more than you should have because you don’t know where to go to get the best prices.
Ideally, you would arrive at the airport, and someone from the school would pick you up and take you straight to your new fully-furnished home with groceries waiting for you. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. There will be things that you need to buy, and some are more important than others. If they are small things, it’s not a big deal to walk down the street to pick them up. It’s a great way to explore your new neighborhood.
However, if you need to buy many small items or a few big ones, it can be stressful. Depending on your living situation, you may need to make emergency purchases. You may need to go to a store like IKEA, which some schools may take you to in their van. Don’t forget that your new school may also require you to bring or buy some items for the classroom.
Living abroad is different from living in your home country. You need to be adaptable and open-minded. Don’t expect everything to be perfect when you arrive. Be prepared for a few surprises, such as surprise purchases, in your first few months.
Luckily, International School Community has a comment topic on our school profile pages related to figuring out which things you might need to buy once you arrive in your new host country, so you can stay the most informed as possible. It is called: “What are some things that you need to buy/pay for when you first arrive at the school that you didn’t know about beforehand?“
Our veteran international school teachers have submitted a total of 403 comments in this comment topic (May 2023). Here are a few that have been submitted:
“You WILL need a car, although some teachers rent one. If you get a nanny (not on the school’s nanny visa) you will need to pay for their visa which is usually about 850 OMR for two years but must be paid up front. You will also need to pay for their healthcare (about 150 OMR for a year)…” – American British Academy (Muscat, Oman) – 65 Total Comments
“You need to come with a lot of money! This was a shock for us. We needed money for a car rental and eventual purchase (hard to finance a car as a foreigner) and first and last months rent plus damage deposit for housing…” – St. Andrews I.S Green Valley (Pattaya, Thailand) – 31 Total Comments
“The school provides a limited amount of textbooks or resources. As a new teacher, this is often a challenge as you develop or buy the resources needed for your daily lessons. The school has expectations on what will be taught but the teacher is responsible for providing the materials used in class. The school pays for one Twinkle subscription that teachers can use in school. The school also provides a color copier, lamination tools, some manipulatives, Google /SeeSaw classroom, and a class supplies list (glue, storage containers, notebooks, etc) from the teacher list given the prior year…” – International School of Brno (Brno, Czech Republic) – 99 Total Comments
“The school offers the help of a real state agent. He can help you to find your places and manage internet and utilities, at a cost. Other than that, you will have to buy everything else. Furnished apartments can be a good way to go if you do not want to spend much just landing…” – Benjamin Franklin International School (Barcelona, Spain) – 125 Comments