Alumni Spotlight: Allison Scott

I am 23 years old from Delaware in the United States. I graduated from the University of Delaware in 2017 with a degree in Elementary and Special Education. After graduation, I moved to Reston, Virginia, where I taught 4th grade for a year. It's safe to say that teaching is my genuine passion and I love being able to continue it abroad!

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Why did you choose this program?

I chose Greenheart Travel after watching a friend from high school embark on the adventure.

After college, I spent the summer teaching in Shenzhen, China, and LOVED teaching abroad. I knew I wanted to make a life out of teaching in a foreign country, but I had no idea where to start. There were so many programs out there to choose from, but seeing a friend use Greenheart made the decision simple.

Upon first researching Greenheart, and speaking with the program coordinator, I immediately knew I was making the right decision. Greenheart provides you with a more personal experience, unlike some of the other big "teach-abroad" companies. I ultimately chose the program because of there personable entities it brought to me. I felt like my voice was being heard and all my questions were answered.

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

From the beginning, Greenheart travel made it known that they were going to help you through each step of the way. Greenheart explained everything that needed to be done in order to have a successful departure with regards to moving to Thailand. I did not feel as if I needed to do anything "on my own", as Greenheart was there to help and answer any questions necessary. Once you’re in Thailand, a company called Xplore Asia then does everything for it. Everything from booking your hotels, picking you up at the airport, getting you a Thai bank account and Thai phone SIM card is taken care of. They take care of all the little things that you would never think about but are super important!

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

My biggest piece of advice to anyone deciding to teach abroad with Greenheart is to not come with many expectations. Thailand is a BEAUTIFUL country with AMAZING things to offer everywhere. I highly recommend not doing a ton of googling, and leaving things up to fate. Here, in Thailand, the most lived by the slogan is "mai pen rai", which translates to "no worries". Just come as you are and Thailand will fit you in. There are so many wonderful things to explore for every type of person.

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

When doing the TESOL course, your weeks will be pretty consistent. You will have your TESOL class Monday - Friday from about 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. During your day, you'll have an hour break for lunch to wander around the town and grab some local street food. Once you are done class for the day, some days you might have a little homework to do. The rest of the night is yours.

On the weekends, we would do amazing excursions, like visiting a temple cave, seeing wild elephants, or hiking a waterfall. On week nights, we would spend time hanging by the beach, the pool, and exploring the local night markets!

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 initially of coming abroad was the fear of "not fitting in". I was leaving my perfect little college friend bubble, and was extremely nervous about meeting new people and finding a new way to fit in. It was insanely easy to get over this fear.

From the minute you land in Thailand, you are greeted with 1000 warm smiles. The Thai locals want you talk to you, and taking the TESOL course makes it extremely easy to meet 100 new people and form life-long friendships. Before coming to Thailand, I was such a worrier, I was always worried about "will I know people here", "will people like me"... but Thailand has completely changed that side of me. It has made me into a person that lives by "mai pen rai", no worries.

What are the options for living like in Thailand?

It's going to depend where you end up living, as to the extent of housing options available. I live in a medium-sized town in southern Thailand and there are any types of living situations you could want. They have things from up-scale condo's with a pool/ gym to Thai homes that foreigners can rent. You can decide to live with other people, or on your own. There is something for every preference which is amazing!