Irish abroad: Travelling as a couple and teaching in Thailand!
Tell us about yourself! We would love to know more about you and how you decided to teach English abroad!
My name is Evan and I am a 25-year-old from Galway. I went to university for software development and never pictured myself moving abroad and certainly never pictured myself teaching English. After finishing university I started working in the retail industry and could never manage to break into my field of study, which was quite disheartening. After spending roughly 4 years in the same retail job, I decided that I needed to make a change, and thankfully so did my partner. Honestly, it was her idea to do the TEFL course and see where we could go, which I am so grateful for because it has helped me gain my confidence back. She was also the one who wanted to come to Thailand, and I couldn’t be more grateful, because it is so insanely beautiful here.
How have you found teaching English in Thailand? Do you feel that the TEFL course prepared you to teach English abroad?
At first, it was very daunting. The thought of having to teach kids and it be their very first bit of English was very scary. But after the first week or two, you begin to settle and enjoy the role, rather than fear it. The thing about teaching English here in Thailand is that you just try and do your best for the students and make each lesson as enjoyable as possible for them. Not every student will be good or pick everything up, but as long as they can enjoy themselves then that’s all that matters. The students will remember the teachers who they loved having lessons with and will remember something from the lessons, no matter how small it is. Yes, I really do think the TEFL course prepared me for teaching abroad, although it is a very broad course, you can use all of it in some form, no matter what age group you are teaching.
Since moving to Thailand, what has been your favourite aspect? Have you done much travelling since moving there? If so, where have you been?
For me personally, I feel like my favourite aspect has been the friends I have made over here. I’ve made a lot of close friends who I know will be with me for life and shared some amazing experiences with already. Another aspect that I have enjoyed is getting to see some amazing and jaw-dropping places. Transport can be a bit harder to figure out when you aren’t in Bangkok, but people are so helpful that it is never really that much of a problem, other than the language barrier of course. So far my partner and I have been to Pattaya, Chiang Mai and to a few smaller provinces to visit friends, as well as Bangkok several times, as it is only 2 hours away from where we live and is the main transport hub to anywhere else we want to go.
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?
Orientation was very good, although it was only about 3 days long, so it was a bit of a crash course, even then it definitely helped get us acquainted with the culture and introduced us to our fellow teachers. Many with whom we have become very good friends and had lots of great experiences during our time here. It was also great to meet these people and realise that there were so many of us in the same boat and doing this kind of thing for the first time.
Any advice for those considering teaching abroad in Thailand?
I think that anyone who is even considering teaching abroad here in Thailand should just do it. I know that it is a very daunting thing to do, I mean I was terrified to do it, but it is honestly the best thing I have ever done. Life is about living and I think that doing this is the perfect way to go somewhere new and exotic and just have an experience that you will remember forever. If you never do it then you’ll never really know how good it can be and how amazing the world is.