I chose the Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Thailand with TravelBud because it had everything I wanted and more! The most appealing thing to me was the in-country support and cultural orientation. I liked knowing that I had someone who would check in on me and who I could go to with questions. I also liked that my TESOL practical experience would be done in the same country I would be teaching in!
Brooke has been teaching English in a small town in northern Thailand and discovering Thai culture for the last year. She enjoys reading at coffee shops, Thai food, riding her motorbike, and planning her weekend adventures.
What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?
TravelBud assisted me with pretty much everything except for booking my flight to Bangkok. From the minute I stepped out of the departure gate they were there waiting. They walked me through the pre-departure visa and resume process and had everything lined up for my stay during my TESOL course. They assisted in finding my placement, which I LOVE. I'm so grateful for the ease of their entire process.
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?
The biggest suggestion I can give is to go into this with an open mind and heart! I was introduced to the motto, "Thailand doesn't give you what you want, it gives you what you need!" This couldn't be more true for me.
You will be pushed out of your comfort zone, but that's the only place growth happens!
What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?
With so many different types of schools and placements, there's no such thing as "average." As far as the TESOL goes, you'll spend weekdays in the classroom and have homework and lesson plans to write. In the evenings, you can explore markets or spend time with your coursemates. On the weekends, many excursions are offered to nearby cultural sites and national parks. You can also expect to make some awesome new friends in your TESOL course!
Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?
I was the most afraid of being away from my family. I'm very close to my parents and sister, and I went from living with my dad to living alone on the other side of the world! Luckily, my parents were supportive. I've grown so much more independent since I have started this journey, and we have found ways to keep in touch regularly.
What was your biggest challenge with living abroad, and how did it help you grow?
I was a very busy person back home, always making time for friends, family, school, work, and the million clubs I was in. I didn't have much free time, and because of that, I didn't know how to spend it when I did. I have a lot of free time here, and it freaked me out at first. I got back in touch with myself, re-discovered my love for reading, and learned how to be alone with my thoughts in a way never before possible. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to learn this, and can't wait to see the other lessons I've learned here root themselves deeper into the rest of my life.