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Advice for an Australian NQT, Part 1

Here is a debut ProtoBlog by Darren, an Australian NQT who made the move to teach in the UK through Protocol Education.

What do I wear?... and other advice for male NQTs Moving From Australia to Cambridge

Part 1: Before You Go

Ahhh, yes if you’re anything like me a few months ago, you’ll be wondering what does NQT stand for?

Answer: Newly Qualified Teacher.

Trying to get your head around all the acronyms teachers use in a new country is a challenge in itself. But first there’s the more important question of “What the @$#% do I wear?.... Am I going to freeze in this country or look like a flasher if I buy a trench coat?”, and when negotiating street signs: “Why is there a circle around all the things you shouldn’t do when driving rather than a cross through it?... am I in opposite land?”

Short answer to the above questions: Yes.

Everything’s quite different when you make the move from Aus. But first things first, here’s some tips to make the move easier:

• Check your airline’s policy on hand luggage (print it out & bring it with you too as proof)! Often there’s exclusions which aren’t counted in your limit. For instance, I could take a bag of reading material (5kg), a laptop (plus a few extra things in the laptop bag), coat, and briefcase/man-bag on top of my 5kg bag limit. Those extra 10-12kg are definitely a plus when you’re moving country (especially when you want to bring teaching books/resources with you).

• Get a travel Money card! Commonwealth bank and Travelex have a card where you can put a number of currencies on the card that will then minimise conversion fees when you’re here and in Europe and you can use it at almost any ATM. Also, you can always easily transfer more money from your Australian account to the Commbank Travelcard via internet banking with only a few days for things to process if things are looking desperate (or get your parents to!). Protocol Education will help you set up your UK bank account.

• Don’t buy heaps of winter clothes before you move!,… If you’re coming in December like I did and only have limited ‘Australian Winter’ clothes, you’ll be fine to start with. Have a warm waterproof jacket, a beanie, a few pairs of thermal underwear (top and bottom), waterproof shoes, and maybe some gloves and an umbrella. Once you’re inside a school and teaching it’s about 20 degrees, so bring a man-bag to stuff all your warm clothes into once you get there. Sometimes a thermal top can even be too hot once you’re inside! A decent shirt (no tie), trousers, and a light jumper is quite acceptable in all the schools I’ve taught in. You can buy winter clothes significantly cheaper here (and its more appropriate too as they’ll deal better with the wind, etc). Shops like TK Maxx (Clearance store for decent brands), Primark (Equivalent to Kmart), and Tesco (Equivalent to Big W) will be your friend if you’re after cheap but decent warm clothes.

• Don’t bother with gumtree to find a rental property! Its pretty much loaded with scammers now! In Cambridge in particular, your best bet is to find a sharehouse using or use to find a private rental as dealing with real estate agents here may be a little tricky when you first make the move.

~by Darren, an Australian teacher now teaching in the UK through Protocol Education.

If you are looking for a UK teaching job please click here to register with Protocol Education.

Protocol on Facebook  Protocol Education's Website

Tags: Teach in the UK, Teach in London, Teach In Cambridge, Teach in England, Secondary Teachers, Primary Teachers, NQTs

Category: Australian Teachers

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