Will is currently part-way through his 2-month TEFL Internship in Thailand! From the looks of things he and his girlfriend are having an adventure they’ll never forget! And he’s somehow squeezed in a little time to write us a great blog post too. Ever wondered if a Thailand TEFL Internship is for you? Read on to find out more about what to expect…
Hello, my name is Will and I’m currently taking part in the Thailand TEFL Internship! Me and my girlfriend decided to join the internship as part of our wider round the world trip, and I can say without a doubt that teaching in a Thai primary school has been the most interesting and rewarding chapter of our journey so far.
We flew into Bangkok from Vietnam and were met at the airport by the first of many TEFL team members that are both incredibly friendly and helpful. Soon after this, we met the other TEFL volunteers. We were amazed by how sociable and enthusiastic our fellow teachers were. The experience attracts people from all over the world, from Britain to South Africa to the United States. The orientation weekend was a great opportunity to get to know each other.
The majority of the first weekend was based in Ayutthaya. Here we had the chance to take in some of the local sights alongside our introduction to the experience and to Thailand itself. The TEFL team also provided us all with really useful information on local customs and what to expect from the next six weeks. A couple of nights later we headed for Kanchanaburi, close to where all of our schools are based. We finished the orientation weekend by finding out which schools we’d be based at, with thirty interns placed across fifteen schools in the Kanchanaburi province. Although spread out, we are never too far away from other teachers, with the closest being a ten minute bus ride and the furthest being roughly half an hour away.
As soon as we were dropped off at our schools the kids greeted us as if we were local celebrities! They were so excited for us to be there and still are whenever they see us around the school. I’ve lost count of the number of high fives I’ve given in the past few weeks. The Thai teachers at the school welcomed us by taking us for both lunch and tea on our first day. They’ve been kind and friendly since we arrived, showing us around the school to settle us in and answering any questions we had. The most enjoyable aspect of the internship so far has definitely been getting involved at the school wherever we can, both inside and outside the classroom.
The teaching can be challenging but is always rewarding. Our workload is split between taking classes ourselves and helping the Thai teachers in their classes, either with pronunciation or specific activities. The Thai teachers are always on hand to assist with translations where they can. Interacting with the kids outside the classroom is equally rewarding. Whether it’s speaking to them around the school or joining in when they play football at lunchtime.
Our accommodation on site at the school is simple but comfortable. And we are lucky enough to have air conditioning which keeps the room temperature in check on hotter days! We are based in a small town just outside Kanchanaburi called Nong Khao, which is fairly popular with tourists. One day we helped welcome a group of Swedish visitors that came to the school as part of a cultural tour of the area. The town has all the amenities we need for our stay – shops, the local market, laundry services and even a couple of restaurants.
For the first couple of weekends, we went to Kanchanaburi itself where we met up with the other TEFL teachers to discuss teaching methodology and the intricate differences between Western and Thai schools… I’m joking, we went to the local bars! Beyond this, there is plenty to see in Kanchanaburi itself. There’s the Bridge on the River Kwai and the Death Railway. Further afield you can visit the Erawan Waterfalls or even take weekend trips to Bangkok or Southern Thailand!
Our first few weeks on the TEFL experience in Thailand have been incredible. Whether it’s experiencing a new lifestyle, meeting new people or the reward of teaching itself, we are loving every minute of it. We can’t wait to see what the next few weeks have in store and are already dreading the end of our time here in Thailand!