As I had never lived abroad, or even travelled for longer than 3 weeks, the idea of moving not just to another country, but another continent was incredibly overwhelming yet intriguing at the same time. I researched various companies in locations all over the world and finally settled on this GeoVisions programme. Jodi was very helpful and thorough in answering all of my questions and I never felt hesitant to inquire about anything (no matter how trivial!)
Upon arrival in Bangkok, I was greeted with a name card and a warm welcome and transported immediately to my hotel where many of my fellow TESOL course participants were staying. This served as a great way to meet other like-minded people from all over the world, and chatting about our upcoming course and adventure melted away any remaining apprehension. XploreAsia's Managing Director, Mike, along with our TESOL instructors, placement team, and several other members of staff even travelled to Bangkok from Hua Hin to meet us and escort us back to the town that would be our home for the next month.
Week no. 1 was orientation week and was hands down one of the best weeks of my life! There was a fantastic mix of excursions from serene temples to pineapple farms to having cuddles with an elephant, coupled with interesting courses in Thai language, history and culture. All of the XploreAsia staff were unexpectedly personable and down to earth. The TESOL course itself was a very intense, rewarding 3 weeks. Both Sandra and Jaco are incredibly inspiring instructors, their passion for teaching and the change that they know it can make in SE Asia is very infectious! From having absolutely no experience in teaching prior to this course, instead of feeling terrified to leave for my teaching placement, I felt excited and confident to get to know my new colleagues, students and surroundings.
Any problems or questions I had were answered straight away and the staff were very easy to get in contact with. This level of support has continued long after I have settled into my placement and XploreAsia are still the people I know that I can turn to with any inquires from Visa runs to contracts; Tyler and Paang have never failed to promptly respond to my emails or phone calls!
Finally, one of the best things that I have left Hua Hin with is a huge network of fellow teachers and friends placed all across Thailand. Any worries, or bad days in the classroom and they are all just a message away to share their own experiences and reassure me (and it also means that I have lots of people and places to visit on the weekends!) Regardless of where you are placed, you leave Hua Hin and XploreAsia with a very big extended family!