Friends for Asia Foundation (FFA) has twice facilitated my placement as a volunteer English language teacher in Thailand. In 2017, I worked for 8 weeks at a Secondary school for Buddhist novice monks, and in 2018, for 10 weeks at a Primary school in a remote village of Chiang Mai province.
FFA made my placement seamlessly smooth from the beginning to the end. The infrastructure for reception and pre-placement stay in Chiang Mai, and eventual transfer to the school site was excellent. I was initially guided into critical understanding of matters related to Thai culture and language, health and safety, and food and transportation. Throughout my stay, an experienced, kind and extremely caring coordinator kept in touch. I thank my coordinator, Naphat Kasikitworakul (“Tae”), for a weekly breakfast supply of Muesli, yogurt, juices and fruits, and for a regular watch after my comfort and needs at the school site. The Director of FFA, Todd Cikraji, and the FFA staff went out and beyond to resolve any Thai Visa issues and to provide health and travel advice.
Once at the school, I was totally free to develop and use my teaching methods in coordination with the resident Thai English language teacher. I found 6 – 8 weeks an optimum period for a measurably meaningful instruction in English language.
It was an excellent opportunity to understand and partake in life enriching experiences.