There are a lot of things that attract people to teaching English as a second language (ESL) abroad. Recently, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about these reasons, and about why I have always assumed it was something I could never do. I want to travel. I’d love to get away from my life for a while. I always thought I would go right into my career, but at the moment I am completely uninterested in settling into a job right away. Is being tied down at 22, creating long-term responsibilities for myself, really what I want? Is teaching English abroad for me? Before I settle into my life, I want to be able to travel, see the world, understand more than just my corner of the planet. So, why shouldn’t I? Continue reading
I hate the saying “the grass is always greener on the other side” because it’s annoyingly accurate. Living in Thailand, there were days that I missed a million things about the comfort and stability of life at home in the U.S.. Conversely, while living in America, I have constant ants-in-my-pants to see new places and try new things. I’ve been back in the States from teaching English in Thailand for a few months and I have a lot of feelings about my return. Continue reading
As you walk through the doors of the Thai school that you will call home, you’ll be brimming with conflicting emotions. Of course, you will be excited beyond belief. You’re about to begin a new career, maybe in an entirely different field than you’ve worked in before, in a foreign country full of adorable children. However, you will probably be nervous as well. It’s totally normal not to know exactly what to expect when teaching English in Thailand. Continue reading
I could barely point to the country on a map before I accepted a position to teach English in Thailand. As an American, we spend very little time learning about Asia in school, and even less time discussing the cultural, political or historical differences between us and the smaller, Southeast Asian Nations. So when I started looking into teaching English abroad, I didn’t even consider Thailand. But when I learned that Thailand offers short-term teaching contracts (as little as 3 months!) and is a tropical paradise to boot, I signed up and bought a ticket. Continue reading
As we all know, it can be stressful when your plans for the future change. Other times, this spontaneous shift provides you with an endless supply of exciting adventures that help you see the world in new ways. When people decide they want to teach in Thailand, they usually sign a 6-month or 12-month contract, and many expect to return home at the end of their initial commitment. However, Thailand’s easy-going atmosphere, affordable cost of living, and tendency to attract kick-ass expats and foreigners convinces quite a few ESL teachers to change their minds and stay. Continue reading
If you’ve dreamed about traveling the world without draining your savings account, teaching English abroad is the ideal job for you. While completing a TEFL course can indeed lead you to an entirely new and rewarding career, it also will allow you to see more of this big, beautiful world. As an ESL teacher in Thailand, you’ll earn enough money to cover your living expenses and even some weekend adventures. However, if you have big plans to travel for longer stretches of time during school breaks and between semesters, you may have to think your budget through and put more effort into saving. Continue reading
Once your adventurous spirit draws your attention to Asia, there are many countries you could teach in. Whether you’re attracted to the beaches of Thailand or the rich history of China, your new home is waiting for you across the world. As you look into a TEFL certification course and plan your departure from home, check out the top five countries for teaching English in Asia. Continue reading
Teachers in Thailand, and the rest of the world, are often motivated by the desire to make a positive change for children. There are so many ways to enrich the lives of students, but obviously the main objective is to advance their education.
Most Thai public schools have mandatory English classes, even if the school doesn’t have foreign (native-speaking or fluent) English teachers. These courses are taught by Thai teachers who typically can’t speak English conversationally. Because they aren’t entirely familiar with the language, their lessons focus on vocabulary and grammar directly from the book. Continue reading
If you had to list five words that you associate with Thailand, I bet “elephants” would make the cut. When I told people I was moving to the Land of Smiles to teach English abroad, one of their first reactions always had to do with riding elephants.
I figured I would probably ride one because that’s what people do when they come to Thailand and like…imagine the Instagram! I didn’t know anything about the various jobs elephants have in Asian countries and how poorly they’re often treated. Continue reading
Confession time: One of the reasons I chose to teach English in Thailand is because I wanted to see as many beautiful waterfalls as possible. If your Instagram “following” list includes travel accounts or friends who have taught in Thailand, you know that there’s no shortage of breathtaking natural sights — including waterfalls — in every region of the country.
As soon as I was settled in my new town in Thailand, I began searching for waterfall-filled destinations that were close enough to visit on weekends. It didn’t take long to discover Kanchanaburi, a rural town close to the Myanmar border. Kanchanaburi is home to the Erawan Waterfalls in Erawan National Park, where you’ll find seven different waterfalls to explore. Continue reading