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A frequently-asked question by those about to embark on a residential TEFL or TESOL course abroad is what they should put in their suitcases. Here is a checklist of things (in no particular order) that may come in handy at some stage of your TEFL adventure.
1) A laptop, Netbook, tablet or small-size portable computer – Even though your TEFL school is likely to be equipped with personal computers accessible to trainees, such access will not be unlimited. An intensive residential TEFL course involves a good deal of written work (e.g. lesson plans, essays, worksheets and extra materials for your lessons…) and there may be times when computers are not available. Being able to continue work in your room after class or over the weekend will make you more independent, which in turn can only have a positive effect on your studies.
2) Plug adapters – These will come in handy when travelling to a country which uses different electrical sockets to the ones in use in your own country. The internet is full of useful information on the type of adapter you need for each country. Check also if you will need an electrical or voltage converter for your appliances.
3) Pictures and objects that remind you of home – They will help you overcome those moments when you feel homesick. Besides, you can find a more practical application for them and use them to personalize your lessons; students are generally very interested in learning about their teachers’ personal lives, their home countries and their cultures. Personal objects will help engage your students and add a more humanistic dimension to your teaching, which again, can have a very positive impact on your performance as a training teacher.