For experienced and first-time teachers alike, making sure you have a safe and comfortable place to live during your time teaching English abroad is often a priority. In most cases you will be living in an area where other teachers already work so there should be some proven options to consider.
Will my accommodation be organized by my employer?
For some teachers finding accommodation is not a big issue as it is included as part of their initial package. If your chosen destination is in China, South Korea, or a Middle Eastern country, there is a good chance that your housing costs will be covered entirely or at least in part. Elsewhere, if you join a government recruitment scheme such as the Jet Program in Japan, you can also expect some amount of help with finding and paying for accommodation.
What if housing is not part of my TEFL contract?
Although it is not uncommon to have accommodation covered to some extent in a contract, a large number of teachers are expected to find and pay for their own housing. If this applies to you, the first place to look for help is still your employer as they will almost certainly have employed teachers before you and should have a good insight into the local options. In many cases teachers take over the accommodation that was previously occupied by their predecessor. If you don’t have a job when you arrive at your destination it is best to find a cheap hostel, guest house or hotel where you can stay until you know exactly where you will be working. As soon as you find the right job you should be able to utilize the local knowledge of your co-workers regarding the best areas to live.
Where else should I look to find accommodation?
If you secure a teaching job but are no nearer finding the right place to set up home, you can utilize other resources. Some of the most common ways to find private or shared accommodation is through local newspapers, yellow pages, and notice boards. If your location is a large city then there is every likelihood that there is a website dedicated to the expat community. Simply do a quick search and you might find a great resource for housing and many other subjects. Ultimately, if you do a bit of research and seek out local knowledge you should find just what you are looking for in a relatively quick time.