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Life On A Thai Internship: Rachel’s Story

Meet Rachel, she’s currently on the Teach in Thailand Internship! Read on to see how she has been settling in to her new life in Southern Thailand. Nope, we’re not jealous at all. Learn about her experience of life on a Thai internship.

Where are you originally from? Wales, UK.

Where are you now? South Thailand, Southeast Asia.

Why did you decide to look at teaching English? In my last few months at university I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought about teaching a lot in the past but could never decide if it was what I wanted my career to be. Doing a TEFL course and teaching abroad seemed like a good opportunity to experience teaching and a new culture at the same time and it has made me realise what type of job I would like to work in at home.

What attracted you to the Teach in Thailand internship in particular? I was looking for something new and interesting to do and I have always wanted to travel to Southeast Asia so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. It was also the fact that I would have the chance to meet other interns during the orientation week who would all be in the same position as me, and I’m glad I did it.

What age students are you teaching? I teach students in a high school aged 12-19.

How are you finding the experience of teaching? Teaching is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work – especially in Thailand as the days are so long and it is so hot over here. Sometimes it is hard trying to motivate the students, but that’s why I’m here.

What’s the best thing you’ve discovered about living in Thailand? The people in Thailand are so friendly, especially the more rural it gets. Everybody is willing to help you and they all want to talk to you. Where I live is extremely rural with no shops or restaurants and when the locals see us around they are all waving and shouting ‘hello’, you start to feel like a celebrity! The food is also amazing out here, not so much the school meals but if you find a local Thai restaurant you’re winning.

How would you rate the experience out of 10 so far? 8.5

Why? I’ve had an amazing experience here so far. I have met some amazing people and I have already had the chance to travel around a lot of Thailand due to being placed down South. The only negative thing I can talk about is my accommodation and the location as we are very rural so it wasn’t what I was expecting. If I had been placed in a town I think my experience would have been even more amazing. However, I am definitely getting used to it and have adjusted to everything here.

If you had one piece of advice to give to someone thinking of embarking on a TEFL adventure, what would it be? Go for it! Don’t let anything or anybody hold you back, you never know what new opportunities it could open up for you.

Random question time! Window, aisle or middle seat on a plane?  Window seat definitely, going to sleep in one country and waking up in another and being able to see it… awesome!

Are you the same person as a year ago? I would say definitely not! So much has changed this past year, it has been so hectic for me… what with graduating from university, working different jobs over the summer, moving to Thailand to teach, along with a lot more! Teaching in Thailand has definitely been a huge challenge from me, I didn’t think I would really miss anything from home but it’s actually been pretty tough. Especially over the Christmas season but I stuck at it and feel like I have achieved something from this experience.

Do you have any tattoos or piercings? Yes I have both!

If you could take 3 things with you on a desert island, what would they be? Food, music and friends… the three ingredients you need for an amazing time on a paradise island!

Thanks Rachel!

Inspired to start your own TEFL adventure?  Book a space onto our Thailand internship, or alternatively, take a look at the other TEFL internships in China and Vietnam!


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  1. Lara Mcilwraith

    hi rachel, I am heading out to Thailand this month to do a tefl course and then hopefully acquire a placement teaching english. I was sent lots of information by mycompany and it appeared as though having tattoos is going to seriously damage my chances of securing a job, do you believe this to be the case? they are very visible and on my hands, though nothing offensive. I am just a little worried, I have heard how accepting thai people are but also how teachers are quite revereed ! I hope the world is changing and you can put my mind at rest about this? thanks in advance lara

  2. Elle Pollicott

    Hi Lara, unfortunately the reality is that having visible tattoos could damage your chances of finding a job, but this is dependant on whereabouts the job is in Thailand, and whether the school is used to having Western teachers before. You can request a call back from one of our advisers here, and they’ll be able to give you some more advice on this. Hope this helps, Elle

  3. Kerry Corrrigan

    Hi Rachel, I’ve just completed my TEFL course and wanting to know how to go about finding the best possible position for someone without a degree. As I do not, as yet, have the practical experience is it a viable option to do an internship first? And where?

    • Rebecca Potts

      Hi Kerry

      Thanks for getting in touch. There’s a couple of options available to you as you don’t have a degree. As you’re already TEFL qualified you can apply for jobs in Thailand through our jobs board but you will need to make sure that they don’t require a degree. The other option is to join our Paid China TEFL Internship as you don’t need a degree and it will give you the practical experience and support for your first TEFL job.

      I hope that helps.

      Thank you
      Your i-to-i team

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