OK, so we hope you now have a general idea of the procedure you'll go through when finding a "teaching English abroad" job. Now comes the most important part: actually doing your job and enjoying your life abroad. The most important thing to remember is to have the utmost respect for the native culture, customs, and beliefs. Need we say more on this point?

Where you'll go

You may have a say in where you end up inside any given country, but sometimes it's the luck of the draw (if you join the Peace Corps, you'll have no choice!). You might end up in a small fishing village, or you might be in a big metropolis. Since you probably won't know for sure until right before you leave or right after you arrive, you should mentally prepare yourself for any circumstance. If that's a problem, rethink your path-flexibility is key, so this lifestyle might not be right for you.

Where you'll live

Your actual living space will probably be provided by the school you work for, although you might have to pay a relatively cheap rent (relative to your neighborhood, not your current standards-which means a dwelling in Japan or Taiwan could still give you dry heaves). Accommodations tend to be bare-bones, but if you luck out, they can be surprisingly luxurious (especially in wealthy nations). Regardless, you're not seeking comfort; you've come as a cultural imperialist! Just learn how to say in the local language, "Blame McDonalds, don't blame me," and you'll be set.

In a relatively short amount of time, you're likely to learn the native language of your adopted country (if you don't know it already). You're also likely to run into one problem or another. Remember, this is not a vacation; this is a job, and you may be spending your time teaching kids who don't want to learn. (The kids will probably talk behind your back right to your face until you master their language!) Our point is, if you know exactly where you want to go, you should immediately start taking lessons to learn that language - even if you're leaving in a month, something is better than nothing. We also strongly suggest that you read our article "SYW be a teacher?" which should at least get you in the teaching mindset and give you some advice for creating a lesson plan.

All these fears are small concerns, though, if you're already intrepid enough to pack up for another continent; a lucky twist of fate has given you perfect understanding of a demanded commodity (though you should brush up on your grammar, since your students may know more of the rules - or at least the names for them - than you do). You are in a rare position of blessed effortless power through knowledge, so go out there and use it for fuel.