The EFL Playhouse: A Resource for ESL/EFL Teachers of Young Learners

What to Pack

Among the greatest challenges facing the international teacher is the relocation process itself. For most, "relocation" means compressing life into two checked bags and a carry-on -- a daunting task under any circumstance, but particularly challenging when you're faced with prospects of setting up a classroom as well as a new home.

Most of the information that follows is geared toward teachers bound for South Korea. Some general tips will apply to everyone, but I can't comment on the availability of various items in Singapore or Slovakia because I've never lived in those countries.



Contrary to what some people seem to think and what some older sites suggest, toothbrushes, sugar-free toothpaste, dental floss, Tylenol and deodorant have all made their way into Korea. I live in a town of 40,000, and I can still buy dental floss and deodorant at the local supermarket. That said, you can't always find the brands you find back home.

Teaching Materials

Since I've discussed materials at length on another page, I won't waste bandwidth repeating everything here. A few specific items you may wish to pack, however, include ...


From peanut butter to Kraft dinner, many western foods are available for a price these days. Most cities of any size have "gray market" vendors that re-sell goods purchased on U.S. military bases. It should be noted that it IS a violation of military policy for military I.D. card holders to re-sell goods purchased on base to ANYONE, be they friends or gray market vendors, but it IS NOT illegal for private citizens to purchase said goods from a gray market vendor. That said, I've found that much of what is available on the gray market is also available on the legal economy and actually cheaper if you know where to shop. Costco, department stores, and large discount stores all offer a decent selection of imported products, including canned vegetables, Campbell's soup, cheeses, sauces, and an assortment of cleaning products. So what do you actually need to pack?

Important Documents

Basic though it may sound, it's one of those things that can get forgotten in the hustle and bustle of packing. Make sure to have on your person ...

It's also a good idea to stash a photocopy of your passport, plane ticket and insurance information in another place, as well as to leave copies of this information with a trusted family member or friend.
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Lillian Vernon Online