SAFETY GUIDELINES & TRAVELLING TIPS
Our candidates’ safety is extremely important to us – from the first moment when you leave your country of residence, to the final moment of saying goodbye after a happy and successful placement. These are few points that you should keep in mind to have safe, healthy and enjoyable experience :
BEFORE ACCEPTING AN OFFER
- Get to know your new employer/host family well enough by chatting on the phone or on Skype to make sure you meet the family’s expectations and requirements.
- Do not forget to sign a contract with the family.
- How good are your foreign language skills? Bear in mind that you will need to be able to understand well the children of your new employer/host family. You might want to attend a language course before your departure and should also start looking for a suitable language course in your future host country, if needed.
- Check whether you meet all the requirements of the host country of your choice.
WHILE PLANNING A TRIP
- Now that you have signed a contract, go through all the administrative steps you need to take before starting your new assignment. You might need a visa or a working permit to be allowed to stay and work in the host country, make sure it is stated clearly in the contract who is responsible for your visa arrangement, you or your employer/host family.
- If you're planning to travel outside the Europe, you may need to be vaccinated against some of the serious diseases found in the other parts of the world. You should get advice at least six weeks before you're due to travel, as some jabs need to be given well in advance. Your doctor will be able to give you general advice about travel vaccinations and travel health.
- Make sure that you have all the insurances needed for your stay abroad. Usually, the host family is to take them out for you. Discuss (and put down in the contract) this aspect with your new employer/host family beforehand, so as to be on the safe side!
- If you need to bring along your medication, ask your new employer/host family whether you will have the possibility to buy the same in their country in case you won’t be able to bring enough for the duration of your stay.
- Take some time to get to know your new environment. How much do you know about your host country and its culture? Be curious, research and discuss the cultural differences with your host family.
- It's time to book your flight! We would recommend you to buy a so-called open ticket. It might be a bit more expensive but it's worthwhile – it allows you to choose your return date and could therefore be useful should you have to return home in case of a family emergency or if you do not get along with your new employer/host family.
WHILE PREPARING FOR YOUR ADVENTURE
Finally it's time to pack! Keep in mind our tips and don't forget these essentials to bring along to stay safe and sound:
- Your passport, ID, driving license, invitation letter (if needed), visa (if needed), photo (in case you’re obtaining so-called ‘visa upon arrival’) and other official documents you may need,
- Some money for your daily expenses and for unforeseen situations,
- Find a safe and secure way to manage your personal documents and money – during your travel and the whole time you are abroad. Never hand your passport over to another person. A copy of it will be sufficient for your employer/host family.
- Give important telephone numbers and email addresses (of your family or friends) to your employer/host family so that they will know who to contact if there is an emergency. Make sure your friend or relative has a copy of contact details, address, name of the employer/host family and phone number.
- The address and phone number of your embassy or consulate in the host country as well as the contact details of a couple of hotels, youth hostels and other accomodation options in the region of your host family should you need some help or a place to stay, should something go wrong,
- Your new employer’s/host family contact details, as well as agency’s - we'll be glad to help you should you need some advice during your stay.
- Your medications, (if needed)
- Always check what kind of plug adapter or transformer you will need for your trip. Whether it’s to charge your phone, laptop or plug in your hair dryer, you’ll need to know if they’re compatible with the voltage and plug type in the country or region you’re visiting,
- Why not bring along a small present for your host family? A speciality from your host country or a small present for the kids? Not only will it help to break the ice but the children will probably also warm to you straight away ;)
DURING YOUR ASSIGNMENT
- Take some time to get to know your new situation. A foreign country can be different in ways that you don't expect. Be alert and ask your employer/host family for their recommendations and tips about where you can safely spend time in your new city, how best to get around (public transport, walking, cycling, etc.), what you need to know about manners and customs so that you fit in well and are always safe.
- Buy a local sim card after your arrival and pay less for inland calls.
- Talk to your new employer/host family frequently. Share any worries or uncertainties or questions you have so that you can work together to find a good solution. Talking sooner rather than later can avoid lots of problems and also helps to avoid unnecessary risks. The Agency prefers to resolve any disputes via mediation, but if under any circumstances you feel threatened or unsafe, then you should leave straight away, as long as you are not leaving children home alone. Please contact us immediately.
- When going out with friends or by yourself, make sure you are always aware of your surroundings and never walk alone late at night or in an empty area. Just as you would use common sense when staying out in the evenings in your home country, use the same rules for going about your new town in the host country.
- Let your host family, co-workers or housemates know your plans for the evening, and always make a plan to get home at night before you go out. Save telephone numbers for cabs and emergency contacts in case you need to call them, and try to travel in groups of three or more.
- Driving laws vary by country, so make sure to study signs and local laws if you will be driving. Drinking and driving is always illegal and always dangerous. Never drive after drinking and do not ride in a car with someone who has been drinking. If you are going out with friends, pick a designated driver who will not drink on that night to ensure everyone is safe.
- Many parts of the world experience extreme weather. It is important to use common sense when experiencing extremely hot weather or severe storms. In hot weather, make sure you reapply sunscreen when outside and stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Severe storms can pop up very quickly in some parts of the world. If flash floods, lightning or strong winds in your area, follow the safety instructions available on public television and radio stations and don't drive or go outside during these times. Because you are new to the area and may be less familiar with the climate and geography of your new community (i.e. which areas flood quickly and how to get to higher ground). Always ask your employer or host family for advice.
- When visiting a new area or city, using common sense is important. Don't go anywhere with people you don't know, always travel in groups of friends when going out at night, and always let someone know where you are. Just like in every city around the world, visitors should be extra careful when exploring a new place. Let your employer or host family know where you will be, the number of your hotel and at least one number of a travel companion so they can check in on you while you are gone.
- Being in a new country and meeting new people is a fantastic opportunity, so we encourage you to make the most of your time while working abroad. You'll have a much better time when you're well prepared with knowledge of the laws of the country and community where you work and live, the local emergency numbers and common phrases in local language you might need in an emergency.