Alumni Spotlight: Carter Slawson

Carter is a Middle School Civics Teacher in Boca Raton, Florida. He has traveled to 11 different countries and spent 2.5 years teaching English in Thailand. Carter earned his Florida teaching certificate while living and working in Thailand.

Why did you choose this program?

Mountain views at sunset in Thailand

When I finally decided I wanted to live and teach in Thailand, I started to search for TEFL programs. My main concern while looking for programs was that I would sign up to a fake program. I didn't want to fly half way around the world and show up to an empty building!

I came across some questionable programs until I finally found SEE TEFL. They answered all of my questions and had great reviews by previous alumni. They were extremely helpful and put me at ease about their program. It was also by far the best program I could find in Thailand.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

SEE TEFL was very helpful in assisting me. They gave me all the instructions on how to obtain my visa to travel to Thailand. They knew which embassy would be the quickest and give me the less hassle in the USA. I highly recommend that future students follow SEE TEFL's instructions and obtain your visa while in your home country.

The program also offered helpful tips on surrounding hotels that are safe and affordable. The only thing I had to do on my own was to book a flight and make my own travel arrangements!

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

One piece of advice that I would give to future students is to have an open mind! The program does everything it can to ease your transition, but you are living in a completely foreign culture. The reason you are traveling is because you're adventurous and looking to experience something new!

Try not to get frustrated when things don't get done exactly how you would do it. Thai's have a different mentality when it comes to getting things done. Remember that it's their country and you are a guest in it!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

An average week at SEE TEFL was challenging, informative, and fun! You have to re-learn all of the grammar rules, blah, learn great teacher tips, and give lessons in front of a real classroom. I used to be terrified to speak in front of people, but SEE TEFL helped get rid of this fear. The observed lessons are the scariest part, but those fears are completely unfounded.

SEE TEFL gives you all the tools to make you successful and gives great advice on how to be a better teacher.

The nights after the classes were the best part. When you take this course, you will find like minded individuals. I made great friends from all over the world and we had some great times.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

I was a solo traveler so my greatest fear was not being able to handle traveling by myself. I had a lot of self doubt before I got on that plane. I thought, "What if I get lost or hurt? What if I can't make any friends? What if I can't handle living overseas?". I had a whole lot of "what if's" and it almost stopped me from going.

Solo traveling is one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences you can find. I discovered that I did have the confidence to meet all of these challenges! My views changed over time as I overcame one challenge after another. Most of your fears are unfounded, and if they do come true, you will have the strength to overcome them.

What inspired you to travel abroad?

What scares me the most is if I never had the courage to travel overseas. It truly scares me to think how my life would have turned out if I never went to Thailand. Everyone who is yearning to travel abroad has some form of dissatisfaction in their life. It could be a lack of adventure or the direction their life is going.

Before I took this journey, I was a college graduate who was waiting tables for a living. I couldn't find a job in my field and I was completely dissatisfied with my life.

My travel experiences have given me confidence and helped me discover my love for teaching. I now have a job as a public school teacher, which I love, and the knowledge that I can successfully travel anywhere in the world by myself. I wouldn't be the person I am now if I never went through with it, and that thought scares me. It should scare you too. Don't hesitate! Go through with it!