I spent six amazing weeks teaching English to Thai teenagers in the Kanchanaburi province and it totally transformed my perspective on many things in life. Even at the age of 27 I found that I learned a lot about myself, made new friends and realised what my priorities on returning to the UK would be. I totally recommend this programme to anyone who wants to trial teaching English before committing to a 12 month contract - it's a fantastic opportunity to gain practical experience in a supportive environment. I also recommend to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the 'real' Thailand. For anyone who's priority is to travel Thailand, I wouldn't consider this programme unless you plan to travel afterwards. This is a teaching programme and you should be taking the time to deliver engaging and effective lessons. You do have weekends and public holidays off to explore, but you are expected to remain on campus during school time and you should be looking for ways to get involved with the community and make a difference to the students. My tip is that the more you put in, the more you'll get out of it!
I taught in a secondary school and absolutely loved teaching teenagers. You can have a lot of interesting chat and fun with them! One of my favourite memories was being ambushed by my class of 17 year olds in the evening. They pleaded for me and my co-teacher to go with them to the next town and sing songs at the market. We jumped on board and found ourselves singing pop songs to raise money for less fortunate children in Thailand. I was so inspired by the students and glad to be part of the social action.
In advance of the internship I received excellent support from the i-to-i TEFL team. I also felt very prepared after completing the online TEFL course and an additional classroom practical course. The in country partners were also fantastic. They delivered a comprehensive orientation including trips that introduced us to Thai culture and food. Throughout my stay they made sure that I was safe and happy.
Finally, the Kanchanaburi province is a great place to be. I was only 30 minutes from Kanchanaburi town where there was a great backpacker scene and plenty to see and do. I was also a very cheap, two hour mini bus ride from Bangkok. After the programme I joined the organised trip to Koh Samet island. It was a beautiful and a fantastic way to relax after teaching.