Alumni Spotlight: Kyal Johannisen

Kyal Johannisen is a High School English Teacher that is currently teaching in Thailand. His range of teaching includes speaking, reading, and listening.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it was always a dream for me to come to Thailand. I have always been fascinated by the Thai culture and people. Doing this program has allowed me to come to this beautiful country and I am truly grateful. Teaching has always been a passion of mine, so getting the opportunity to teach abroad was something out of a dream.

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

The program organized nearly everything. From assisting me with the paperwork, training, transport to get to the location, mentorship, accommodation, a sim card, and just about everything you need to be set up for your new adventure. The things you are responsible for includes your plane ticket and overall finances to get set up in Thailand.

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

To have a open mind, be kind, and have patience. As a Westerner things tend to move very fast and at a rapid pace. Things in Thailand however gets done in a less rushed way. The other thing I will say, is to be ready for a culture shock. But do not worry, the people of Thailand are so kind and friendly that they will always be open to teaching you things about their culture.

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

The day begins with one waking up in a sweat, and no it is not a fever. Thailand is just that hot! So make sure your place has a air conditioner. The rest of the day tends to move relatively quick. It is often filled with activities and classes. Language is always a barrier, so always try to speak as slowly as possible, especially when you are trying to explain something. The lunches will most likely become a highlight of the day as there are so many options at such cheap prices. The nights are also as exciting as you will often find yourself meeting locals who are curious to know more about you and your culture. The Thai people are always so proud of their culture, so always try to learn a thing or two.

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 that I wouldn't get along with the kids and teachers of the school, leaving me completely isolated. But I can happily say that this was not at all the issue. The people of Thailand are so kind and welcoming. The teachers were helpful and the kids are so respectful. My views have changed in so many ways already, all being very positive.

Write and answer your own question.

There is so much to tell, but I will say this. Thailand is such a unique and beautiful country that to not at least attempt this program would be a missed opportunity. From the kind people, amazing food, and beautiful views, Thailand is a truly worthy experience.