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FAQs for Living and Working Overseas:

Written by a former Peace Corps Volunteer living overseas since 1989

The Expat Guy: FAQs for Working and Living Overseas

Accepting that overseas job offer!

What to ask

How to decide if that overseas job is right for you

Getting that first serious job offer is a very exciting thing!  But, after you dance around a few moments - stop and catch your breath - and start to think about things you must know before making a final decision.  This section is designed to help you know if you should take that job - or not.

Some important questions to ask:

Don't be shy - these are important things to know before moving yourself halfway across the world.  But, don't ask all these questions in one shot! You'll scare your potential employer! Spread them out a bit!

What is expected of me on a daily basis?

What productivity level standard am I expected to meet?

How long are my working hours - are they variable?  Who decides?

What are my working days - are they variable?  Who decides?

Will I have any additional responsibilities?  Will I be paid for those duties or are they part of my regular wage package?

Does the job provide housing?  Is it furnished?  What does "furnished" mean?  How are the bills paid?  How far is it from the workplace?  Is it easy to get to work from there?  Do I have to pay a deposit for my housing?  How big is it?  Will I have to share it?

Who is my boss?  To whom do I report?  Who evaluates me?

What criteria is used to decide if I am successful?

How much sick and vacation time do I get?  Who decides when I can use it?  Can I use it all at one time?  Does vacation time accrue monthly or can I only use it at the end of my contract?

Is there a bonus or gratuity payment at the end of my contract (this is quite common)?  How much is it?  How is it determined?  Who decides?

What teaching resources does the employer provide?  Training and procedure manuals?  Photocopy machine? (who regulates its use?), OHP?  Internet? Computer?  Printer?  Paper?  Office supplies?

Is there air conditioning and/or heating in the workplace? (This could be important!)

How do we decide if I am successful?

Will I have a personal work space at the office?

Are there other foreigners at the office?  Can I talk to them before I make my decision?
(RED flag if not!)

That's just a start - but I am sure you've got the idea by now!



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