Alumni Spotlight: Charles Seaton


Charles is living in Thailand and just started teaching English at a school near Surat Thani. Before he taught for one year in Korea.

Why did you choose this program?

A couple of friends recommended the program to me. Based on reviews I saw online and feedback from friends they seemed to have a positive experience. It was backed by credible agencies that certified the value of this educational course. I wanted to make sure I was paying for something that was worthwhile.

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

They answered any questions I had throughout the process. I had to organize the practicum section of the degree requirement. That was probably the biggest hassle because not all schools are helpful in assisting new teachers get the hours they need to complete the requirement. I often had to schedule tutoring sessions with various individuals in order to get the hours I needed for the requirement.

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

Find a practicum location soon so you can spread out the required hours over a course of 3 months rather than a month or two. Make sure to check out youtube videos of the country you want to teach in the following year to adjust your expectations accordingly. It also helps to understand the culture of the country you will be living in for 6 months to a year. Depending on others can be stressful.

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

I had to write at least one to two papers per week. There was a reading assignment along with a short quiz. We were also graded on how much we contributed to discussions online. The average amount of time I spent on this program per week was probably 30-20 hours that included writing, testing, and reading.

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

My biggest fear was the lack of experience I had in actual classroom teaching. After a couple of months you start to find your own rhythm. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. As long as you learn, laugh, and move on you should be good to go. I really enjoy my students down here in Thailand. They are wonderful to teach.

What can you suggest to improve the program?

I would have completed my TEFL certificate at ITA headquarters in Chicago or any of their satellite campuses around the world to get that real classroom experience. Nothing can replace or replicate that. The practicum requirement for the online option was not enough to prepare me for teaching abroad.