What is your citizenship?
What city and state are you from?
Lambertville, New Jersey, USA
How old are you?
What is your education level and background?
Have you traveled abroad in the past?
Some international travel with friends, family, business, etc.
If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been?
England, Scotland, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, and Canada!
What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?
My love for traveling and teaching - so why not do them both at the same time?! It's always been a dream to teach abroad.
What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?
I think some of my biggest concerns were that I was going to live in a new country where I knew absolutely no one. I knew that I'd eventually meet people abroad living here, but it's that initial fear of the unknown.
What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?
As much as my mom was apprehensive about me moving abroad and leaving, she knew that this was what I've always wanted to do. My friends and other family members were so excited and supportive of me for making this big change in my life.
TEFL CLASS INFORMATION
Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?
I already have my BA in Education, but I chose to get TEFL certified because I thought it'd be a great way to learn about how to teach students where English was not their first language. ITA was highly recommended by a friend who taught in Spain and she loved the program.
Which TEFL certification course did you take?
The Online TEFL Certification - I was teaching full-time while taking it as well.
How did you like the course?
I enjoyed the course! I thought for me, as a teacher already, it was a great review about some things that I had already learned in college about classroom management and how to create a safe environment for students. The instructor was quick to respond to questions and concerns that I had about the course. All materials that were provided, were very helpful.
How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?
I learned a lot more about the English language that is now helping me in my current teaching position in Thailand.
How long have you been in Thailand and how long do you plan to stay?
I have been living in Pattaya since August 2018 and I've just signed a 2-year contract so I should be here until August 2021 (at the very least!!).
Why did you decide to teach English in this location?
I chose this location because of the school.
What school, company, or program are you working for?
Mooltripakdee International School.
During which months does your school typically hire?
Usually April-June, but they're always welcoming applicants.
Did you secure this position in advance of arriving?
How did you interview for this position?
What kind of Visa did you enter on?
Please explain the visa process that you went through.
Luckily, my school helped with the visa process. We had to provide certain documentation to the woman at our school who is in charge of visas, and she helped guide us toward the next steps.
What are the qualifications that your school requires for teachers?
Bachelor's degree, TEFL Certification, and a Native English Speaker.
What is the best way to apply?
Email - I used ajarn.com to help find my job - they are a great resource for finding jobs in Thailand.
Tell us about your English teaching job!
I teach Preschool and have 15 students in my classroom with 2 Thai assistants. My school hours are from 8:30-3:30 (students 9- 2:30). I do offer extra school tutoring which allows me to make extra money each day. I am able to save money each month, but also enjoy my time and travel while out here. Usually each month we have a week off for vacation. Our summer holiday is 5 weeks from July-August, Christmas (2 weeks), and Songkran which is the Thai New Year (2 weeks).
Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, travel opportunities, etc...
In order to get around town here, I rent a motor bike. That seems to be the most common form of transportation out here. Although there are several people who drive cars, riding a bike is more cost efficient and quicker. The food is amazing out here! I'm not a fan of spicy food, so I've had some difficulty with that, but most places will have non-spicy options. The expat community is great out here - there are several Westerners who work at my school and that I've met through other people. I am able to travel as often as I'd like. It's easy to hop to an island for a weekend, or take a quick bus to Bangkok (2 hours away!)
How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like?
My principal actually recommended my condo to me - a lot of other teachers live in the same condo. I rent a one bedroom, one bathroom condo and have no roommates.
What are your monthly expenses?
Rent - $234
Electric - $24-$30
Water - $1
Food - $30 (overestimating)
Transportation - $25 (overestimating - my rent for my bike is paid off)
Phone - $9 (unlimited data)
Travel - This can really vary depending on the month and if I choose to go somewhere
How would you describe your standard of living?
I think I live quite comfortably out here. I am able to save more money out here than I ever could in the states.
In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?
I think to live in Pattaya, you can earn about 35,000 baht ($1,093) a month and live comfortably.
ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS
What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? Would you recommend teaching in your country?
Just do it! The one thing I keep telling people is that if you go and you don't like it, you can always buy a plane ticket home. But if you don't go, you'll always wonder what it would have been like.