How much money will I need to save up before I head out in November? This pressing question is best addressed as early as possible, if I can help it.
First, just to organize my brain a bit, a little list, of what I think I will need my start-up money for.
- Remainder of my Language House tuition €1300 – €300 deposit – €100 discount = €900 Euros = $980 USD
- Accommodation fee during my TEFL course €275 for a shared room in shared apt, €450 for private room in shared apt = $300 or $490
- Cash for food and transport and miscellany during the course: ???
- Deposit for an apartment: ???
- First month’s rent: ???
- Cash for food and transport and miscellany for at least one month after the course: ???
- Beginning the visa process: ??? (or should/can I wait until the first paycheck? How vital is getting started immediately?)
- Travel/health insurance: ??? (another thing I need to look into – what’s necessary, normal, and required)
- Teaching expenses: ??? (Is this a thing? My mom is teacher here in Texas, and spends money all the time on her class…yet another thing to look into!)
The biggest uncertainty seems to be: when will I first get paid? This depends on a lot of things I can’t possibly know yet. I don’t know if I will find a job that starts as soon as I complete my TEFL course, or if there will be an interim period of anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of job hunting after. And then once I have a job secured, I’ve read that most teaching jobs pay once a month, with no advance. Which means it could be up to a month after beginning work before I start getting paid. Which makes me nervous, and want to have enough on hand to live for two months – just in case it takes a few weeks to find a job, and then I have to wait for the pay period to roll around.
But even without knowing that, I can still at least find some general information on the topics above. Average rents, cost of living, etc. Emori on the phone told me about $3000 (USD) would be a good amount to live comfortably and get settled, including the remainder of the course fee. However, on his blog, the director of the school Chris listed $3000 as a good amount not including the remainder of the course fee. A slight difference of $1000 is something I need to get to the bottom of, I think.
Looks like I’ve got plenty of research to do this weekend!