Charlotte’s experience teaching English in Thailand is enough to make us want to pack our bags and book a flight! If you’re dreaming about TEFLing in the Land of Smiles (or anywhere else!), check her story out here…
When I embarked on my TEFL journey to Thailand, I was so incredibly excited but also admittedly apprehensive (as every single TEFL teacher I met agreed with) and I had no idea how overwhelmingly crazy the whole experience would be.
A week in Bangkok before moving onto my new home, Chachoengsao (just an hour from Bangkok), was just the beginning of the madness, surprises and a total love for the country that I’m calling home for the next six months. After my first six weeks here, it’s incredible to believe that I’ve moved to a new country, made new friends (who are definitely friends for life!), developed an understanding for a whole new culture, learnt some of the language, and even had the task of grasping a whole new currency!
After a hectic week of training, learning and adjusting to my new home, I was suddenly stood in front of my first English class, filled with 42 little faces waiting to hear all about who I am and where abouts in the world I’m from. Their excitability at a new face was quite a task to control and manage in the classroom environment, but their love, interest and happiness at you being their English teacher is by far the most heart-warming part of the whole experience. 42 happy faces wanting a hug and a high five every morning, how could you not love that?
In so many respects, our worlds are literally, but also metaphorically, a million miles apart. A lesson on weather vocabulary sparked this sudden realisation for me, when the children were so mesmorised by pictures of snow and cold weather from England. Something that seems so mundane and normal to me was so alien to these children. There was one particular cloudier day (still 27+ degrees) and as I stood hot and sweating, teaching at the front of the class, I noticed the children were wearing jumpers (and one in a coat!?). This whole experience really does throw something new at you each and every day.
The teaching is wonderful, tough at times and completely tiring, but the children are worth every single moment of it. Not only this, but weekends spent in Thailand are a complete contrast to weekends in England. Along with new friends, we’ve explored Bangkok, spent weekends away on islands, partied in Pattaya (you really must go!), been to water parks, hiked, eaten beautiful street food and enjoyed every single moment of it.
If you’re ever questioning whether or not this is for you, please go for it! As overwhelming and crazy as these past six weeks have been, they have truly been the best, most enjoyable and fun six weeks of my life. I promise, you wont regret it!