Alumni Spotlight: Jonas Hudnall


Jonas is an online TEFL teacher from Nashville, TN living in Corvallis, OR. He graduated in Wildlife Biology in 2017 where while working at one of his many jobs, he learned about the world of TEFL. He decided to go all-in and get his TEFL in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2019 and has been teaching online ever since.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I wanted something that was short-term and that had lots of assistance along the way; it being during Songkran was a bonus! I looked around at a lot of TEFL courses and this one stuck out to me with the amount of extras and benefits you got for the amount of money you were spending.

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

They assisted me with a lot actually. One major thing was obviously some onboarding and visa information as well as numerous email threads and phone calls where needed; vaccine information, country/city information, etc. They connected me with the on-site director, who also gave me information on things I may need or recommendations for accommodation in the area.

I did not take their specific recommendation, so I had to look for my own accommodation. I also obviously had to coordinate getting the visa they told me I should get as well as doing a currency exchange.

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

Looking back on it I wish I had joined a group chat beforehand so that I could've had understood the various modes of transportation better; even some phrases. If I had done this earlier it would have saved me A LOT of walking and sweating, but that also is a highlight of my trip as well. So I'd advise you to get into some group chats and connect with the alumni network if you can, and JUST GO!

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

The average day consists of you showing up to the learning center building and having a light conversation than starting the day's lesson. You'll have handouts and various other lessons and break-out sessions to try and aid and hone your skills. The week is usually set up that way and then towards the end of it, every day is out getting practical in-person experience.

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 believe my biggest fear was just jumping into it as well as being alone after I arrived. I never really got over the first fear, so I just had to tell myself to do it and get it done. There's only so much "prep" you can do to where you could potentially psych yourself out, and it becomes overwhelming, or all you do is prep. The fear of being alone went away after I began classes, but it was nice for a little to experience this new place on my own without having anyone else with me. I wasn't afraid something bad would happen, just knowing that the festivities would've been better with a friend.