Sawasdee kah! Or should I say, “hello” from Thailand, the “land of smiles”. I’ve been living here for awhile now and each day is a totally eye-opening experience. I’m located in Kabinburi which is a rough, 3 hour cramped mini-van ride to Bangkok and about two hours west of the Cambodian border. It’s a small town where everyone knows you, especially if you’re one of the very few foreigners in the whole town. I teach Primary school grades 1 through 6 at Chankrachangsueska school about a 5 minute walk from my apartment.
(This post is part of an ongoing series of guest blogs sent by individuals who have experienced life abroad as a TESOL/TEFL educator. We would love to share your story. Interested? Email us at email@example.com!)
Every day I wake up still in disbelief that I’m in a place half a world away from everything I’ve ever been accustomed to. Even more so, every day I wake up so thankful for the opportunity I’ve been given to teach here and experience things many people never get a chance to.
Thailand is absolutely filled with friendly people who wholeheartedly welcome me into their culture. I’ve seen amazing and beautiful temples, sat in on ceremonies honoring monks and watched traditional Thai dances and performances. Most importantly, I’ve had the chance to experience a culture worlds apart from my own. These experiences have allowed me to grow in leaps and bounds from the girl I was when I boarded the plane for the 30-hour plane journey to get here.
What makes my time spent here in Thailand worthwhile is seeing the smiling faces of the children I teach every single morning. There isn’t a single day where I walk into my school and don’t have at least 20 students coming up to hug me or excitedly yell “Teacher! Teacher!” when they spot me. Another treasure for me is seeing how far they’ve progressed in their English since my first day here. Telling me about what fun thing they did on the weekend or asking me to play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” with them is the most gratifying feeling. I know that my job here has made a difference in their young lives each and every time I see how excited my kids are to learn English.
Their small smiling faces, as well as the beautiful culture around me reminds me each day of how thankful I am for my decision to get on board with Oxford Seminars. Using my TESOL certification to start myself on this journey teaching in Thailand has been the experience of a lifetime.
Picking up your settled life and striking out to take on a new challenge like teaching English abroad might feel intimidating, but it’s also a life changing experience full of adventure and growth! Oxford Seminars is here to help you make the most of your teaching adventures. For more information on becoming TESOL certified, request our free information packet.
Jennifer McElroy is a Texas native with a B.A. in journalism from North Texas University. She is currently teaching English in Thailand.
My name is Erica and I am about to complete my TESOL in Thailand. I came across your blog adn wanted to reach out as I just was told my teaching placement is in Kabin Buri. I tried to look into the area a bit and am hoping to find some encouraging information about the town as it isn’t quite where I was hoping to be and google isn’t very reassuring that it will be the nicest place to stay. I’m trying to stay open minded!
If you are able to share anything about your experience there that would be wonderful! I’m a bit nervous about it to be honest.