2020 has been the year to redefine 'normal' for everyone. I was meant to be starting grad school this fall, but due to COVID, elected to defer. Deferring, however, did not mean I wanted to continue working at the same boring job I'd been at, so I set out to find something different, and that's when I stumbled across TFT. Teaching abroad sounded exactly like something I'd love to do and is a fantastic way to round out an otherwise rather awful year. TFT spoke to me more than other programs because it was so small and seemed more personal, and it's hard to beat the cost of the TEFL course you get going through this program!
I managed to sneak in and get one of the last available spots in the program. Jaemi was incredibly responsive as I applied to TFT (reached out within days of having submitted my application), worked with me through the application process, and then worked with me through the visa process that has changed due to COVID. Any questions I had that Jaemi didn't know the immediate answer to, he helped me navigate or found the answer another way. The biggest struggle for me personally was trying to schedule a COVID test that would get me results 72 hours prior to travel (as is now required to fly to Thailand). I'm not from an area with an international airport, so I was worried that the extra travel needed to get to that airport would cut my 72 hour travel window too close, and Jaemi suggested heading to the city I'd fly internationally from a few days early to get tested there. This greatly reduced my stress during the process, and now I'm a week into mandatory quarantine in Thailand!
There's also a group chat for TFT teachers all going to Thailand, and this allowed me to meet and chat with fellow teachers prior to arrival and during the quarantine process. This was also great as you have others you can chat with going through the same things as you, so you can share ideas for how to get through each application checkpoint, what to pack, etc. TFT and Jaemi have continued to check in while here, and I look forward to finally getting out to teach. Could not recommend TFT enough!