Besides the construction paper and glue sticks in your suitcase, you should also be packing stuff to wear on vacations and in the classroom!
You’ve got warm winter boots if you are heading to Eastern Europe and our Thailand volunteers wouldn’t dream of forgetting sandals and swimming suits, right? But what about the clothes you wear for teaching English? After all, that’s what you’ll be doing 3-4 hours a day.
Still have questions about your semester? No problem — come talk to a representative who’s been there, done that and can help you get your questions answered.
But don’t worry, this question is pretty easy to answer (but also sorta depends on where you are going) —
For ALL Our ILP Volunteers —
Basically, our rule is "business casual" for what to wear in the classroom. You don’t have to look like you are going to a professional business meeting or anything, but you should look nice. Even though you're volunteering, everyone else (students, parents of students, other teachers at the school) sees you as the teacher and someone to look up to so keep that in mind. Shirts should have sleeves and skirts need to go to around your knee. Wear pants without any holes and nice tee shirts (no logos or holes) are also fine.
Another tip is make sure you feel comfortable to move around, because kids move around! If you are constantly needing to pull your shirt up or down or your jeans are too tight, trust me, that's one extra thing you don't want to be worrying about.
Certain schools have different requirements that you’ll hear all about during ILP training for your country. Some schools don’t allow shoes without a back to them or any jeans at all…In China, wearing strappy sandals and flip flops look just like the shoes your students wear to shower in so it’s best not to teach in them. Stuff like that. But don’t worry! You can ask about the specifics when you go to training.
And For Teachers In Lithuania and Thailand —
You are required to wear a skirt or dress whenever you are teaching…and most of our Dominican Republic and Haiti volunteers do the same, just because it’s so hot. Oh, and Thailand volunteers going in 2017 may need to wear black when teaching because of the recent death of the Thai King. It'll depend on what school in Thailand you are teaching at. Again, don't worry - you'll learn about this at training (this is just a head's up for all you planners out there).
So plan on packing a few outfits to teach in, and room in your suitcase to bring home whatever outfits you may find while on vacationing...or maybe in your local Lithuanian thrift shop. Who knows!
Need more packing and travel tips in your life? Or what about ways to save more money on your semester abroad? Click that link right there to get an ebook alllllllll about it —