When I left on my six-month journey in January 2010, I had no plans to attend the GVI TEFL program in Krabi, Thailand. I was wondering around Australia, feeling rather uninspired when I discovered that GVI had an office in Melbourne. I made an appointment with the intention of finding a new direction. We discussed what programs were starting imminently. As luck would have it, there as a TEFL program scheduled to begin in two weeks in Thailand, and as I was already planning on heading that way, I moved my itinerary up and bought a ticket to Bangkok. Thus I arrived at the GVI TEFL program in a rather serendipitous fashion.
In hindsight, I consider my three weeks spent at the TEFL program to have been a very fortunate occurrence, as it turned out to be the most rewarding experience of my whole trip. As I was under a time constraint, I only completed the shortest training session at 50 hours of teacher training and English teaching. Upon completion of, I received a TEFL Certification.
If your intention is to learn how to teach English to students that can’t speak any English, this program is fantastic. There were two instructors, both of which were experienced, knowledgeable and helpful. We had 2-3 hours of teacher training in the mornings, followed by lunch. In the afternoon we would do lesson planning and then teach in the early evenings. This is a hands-on program and you are in front of a class almost immediately. There a lot of support provided and the instructors are great at giving constructive feedback and providing you with great ideas and tips.
In addition to the awesome teaching program, the experience at the GVI base is great. You live dorms with the other volunteers. You have showers and electricity. There is a program manager and a base manager on-sight to help things run smoothly. You are divided up into chore groups with alternate on a daily basis, which are very efficient if everyone does their job. Additionally there is always a great weekend excursion organized by GVI or you and your fellow volunteers can go and explore the surrounding areas, which are fantastic.