Teacher Exchange Preparations: the home edition

Posted by on November 2, 2013

Preparing your home for a teacher exchange probably doesn’t need to be as enormous an undertaking as we’re making it, but we are taking the opportunity to really cull through our belongings and clean out every drawer, cupboard, closet, and corner. We have likened it to preparing your house for sale: staging it for viewings. We’ve been living in a tip for a few weeks now, and will for a few weeks more, I’m sure. Tackle a little bit each day and balance that work with the regular obligations and responsibilities of life and you’ve got a pretty full agenda.

We have also started packing the suitcases: summer shorts and shirts, and other bits and bobs we think we’ll need/want. Lots oof exchangees have advised not to over pack, just take some clothes, everything else you can get if you need it. Placing the things we think we’ll need by the suitcases helps us visualize how much stuff we may actually take. Seeing it there day after day we sometimes ask ourselves… do we REALLY need to bring that with us?

My wife loves baking and talked about packing her measuring cups and spoons, Australia being more Metric-ified than Canada overall. Decided against it – seemed like a good opportunity to learn conversions and become more comfortable with the Metric equivalents of those Imperial measures that have been harder to shake.

2 Responses to Teacher Exchange Preparations: the home edition

  1. cteachr

    Ummm, how can I put this politely. Let’s see… from my experience as a former exchange teacher, you will find that much of the clothes you have brought won’t be used. The weather may not be anything like you expected for one thing. I ended up not having enough warm clothes and bought a few winter items at the local second-hand shop. The other thing is that by the time you have worn the same pair of pants almost each day at work for the year, you’ll never want to see them again. So really, truly, pack very little, buy what you need there and you will want to leave your used clothes behind on the way back so you can bring back some really fun souvenirs, including gifts people often give you.

    We went with 2 pieces of luggage each, plus carry on. During the year, my kids came for a few months and brought back a suitcase full of clothes, then my husband had to return twice on personal business and brought back another suitcase full and one of our many laptops (we brought 3 with us, one died on the way there and I had one loaned to me all year as part of the exchange). We still ended up with a large suitcase and 2 carry ons to return through Vietnam, where we purchase another suitcase for our gifts and souvenirs.

    The thing is, we travelled on the way there and back. Having to lug around all that luggage was very inconvenient! And you can’t just send your luggage forward. You can, however, ask visitors to bring things for you on the way over.

    I hope this advice is useful to you. If I go on exchange again, I am taking the very minimum and buying what I need when I get there. And then leaving most of my used clothes behind when I return.

    • milesmac

      Yes, our plan is to take only one suitcase and a carry-on each, but determining what goes in each suitcase is a challenge! Appreciate the comment about something for each season as the temptation is to think only about the heat. We are also making some stops on the way there and really don’t want to be carting around a ton of stuff.
      Half the clothes and twice the money… right? 🙂

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