Ever thought about teaching English in Thailand? Read what life is like for one of our interns living in Chaiyaphum, Thailand and what led her to choose this adventure of a lifetime!
Tell us about yourself! We would love to know more about you and how you decided to teach English abroad!
Hello! My name is Laura. I’m 22 years old and currently teaching English in Chaiyaphum, Thailand. I had just completed my bachelor’s in English and Linguistics when I decided that I wanted to teach English abroad. I began to research which countries were best to teach English in and I watched countless YouTube videos from other TEFL teachers. My main motivation was the idea that I could visit Asia while earning money and gaining experience.
How have you found teaching English in Thailand? Do you feel that the TEFL course prepared you to teach English abroad?
Teaching English in Thailand has been an even better experience than I expected. The students are always very excited to play ESL games and to speak English with me. They have so much energy yet they also show complete respect to teachers at all times. It is impossible not to be in a good mood when you’re greeted with a “good morning Teacher” at every turn. Although I was quite nervous beginning my first class, I realized ten minutes into the class that I had nothing to be worried about. The TEFL course especially helped me with classroom management and my lesson plans. I always had material to rely on in class. It has made the entire experience really relaxing.
Since moving to Thailand, what has been your favorite aspect? Have you done much traveling since moving there? If so, where have you been?
My favourite aspect so far is the friendly and welcoming culture which the Thai people are so well-known for. People are happy to help and some even go out of their way to make you feel welcomed. The first week in Bangkok I had people help me cross the street on three different occasions. Many times when I have been walking to school parents of my students will stop and ask me if I want a lift in their car or on their motorbike. Since starting teaching I have been lucky to have some school holidays which allow me to travel to other places. I have been to Pattaya, back to Bangkok and to Chiang Mai. I spent my New Year in Chiang Mai with other English teachers and it was an amazing experience. We fed and bathed elephants and witnessed a lantern festival and an impressive firework show.
Tell us about orientation in Thailand. Do you feel it helped you to get acquainted with the culture and to get connected with other teachers?
The orientation was such a fun and assuring experience. It made me feel less nervous about coming to a completely new country where I didn’t speak the language or know very much about the culture. The orientation covered a lot of teaching and school information. However, they also had time to discuss the cultural differences and some language that might be useful in the classroom or in a restaurant. Although it was a lot of information, it was delivered in a way that was fun and easy to digest. The activities also encouraged us to speak with other teachers at the orientation. By the second night, I had already found myself in a karaoke bar singing along with fellow English teachers who I would come to call friends.
Any advice for those considering teaching abroad in Thailand?
I think that the best advice I could give would be to enjoy the experience as much as possible. Don’t worry about meeting new people, interacting in a new culture or any small detail you can think of. It all comes together so easily that you won’t even realize it. The Thai lifestyle is quite relaxed and laidback and is something that I have slowly begun to acquire. I think that as long as you are prepared and happy to teach you really have nothing to worry about.