Rose-Anne opened Samui TEFL in 2011 after moving to Thailand. She has grown the company to now include a new training centre in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and with that, a name change to incorporate both locations: Destination TEFL.
What is your favorite travel memory?
In 2014, I walked the Camino de Santiago - 750km across northern Spain. I met the most amazing people from all over the world and from different walks of life. I'm still friends with them today.
The experience taught me that it's the people that make a journey worthwhile and the things you remember most about a trip. It also taught me to push myself both physically and mentally, and that we need far less in life than we think, as for a month you carry everything you need on your back.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I've learned to be a lot more patient! This is not something that comes naturally to me, but I've learned that dealing with people from all over the world, not everyone will do things as you'd like them done, and time in Asia is not the same as time in the West - and you just have to accept this and adapt.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
Two students met on a course and are subsequently married! Aside from this TEFL love story, we have seen friendships form and blossom - the type of friends that are there for life. Spending an intense month together creates bonds and friendships that are deep. These are often the most unlikely of friendships, and students meet people that they normally would never in their day-to-day lives, so they broaden their friendship and networking base beyond their comfort zone.
Years later we still hear of graduates meeting up and sharing memories at reunion events.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Well, that is a difficult one! I'd say try one of our 'See two countries' programs, whereby you do the course in either Koh Samui, and then move on to teach in Cambodia or Vietnam, or do the course in Siem Reap, and move on to teach in Thailand or Vietnam. This will give you more places to tick off your bucket list, and you'll get a taste of different locations.
The course does cover Asian culture in general, so we equip you to teach students in all locations.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
Our students are not just numbers. We take pride in the fact that we remember each and every student who has passed through our training centre. Most of them have chosen to stay in touch, and we do encourage this, not only with us but also their classmates so that they keep a strong network in the industry.
Our trainers are passionate about teaching and the English language. Our motto - Creating Passionate Teachers - was born because they really do expect their trainees to be passionate about their new careers too. You cannot teach something you are not passionate about, and you need to want your students to learn and succeed too.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
All the directors are hands-on and involved in the company. We have a great team at the training centres who are highly qualified to train our TEFL students. All of us have lived in Asia and have been teachers ourselves at some point.
When someone applies to do the course, we understand that for them, it's a big decision and that it may be their first time abroad or living away from home. As we have all been there ourselves before, we don't take this lightly and offer support along the way, right from the decision-making process to support after the course.
We believe in providing a quality course and not just churning out teachers. We often get feedback from schools on how great the new TEFL teachers are and the techniques which they implement in class.
We also don't believe in stagnating. We are constantly developing the course and the programs on offer.