International TEFL Academy Alumni Meetup in Bangkok, Thailand!

By: Kirsten Iverson

The smell of fried food and fish wafted through the air. Glasses clanked together and beer spilled over the edge onto the dirt floor. Dogs sniffed around looking for scraps, and 90’s covers sang by a Thai woman in impressive English radiated off the overhead canopy and food stalls. It was a hot and humid Saturday evening at the On Nut Night Market; a spot filled with locals and expats alike, all drinking, eating, listening to music and watching football.

 

I Teach at a Japanese School in Thailand...

By: Kirsten Iverson

Ryou stared into my blue eyes with his big brown eyes and petted my blonde hair curiously. He touched my earrings, counting softly in Japanese. Ichi ni san. Cocking his head while doing this, he spoke seriously in his language. I smiled as the words entered my ears sounding like “blah blah blah.”

For the last five months I have been teaching English to squeaky, polite, nose-picking adorable Japanese Kindergartners at an International School in Thailand. My days are a mesh of konnichiwa, sa wa dee ka, unchi and “Good morning Teacher Kirsten.”

Teaching English Abroad: A Second Chance After Not Studying Education in College

By: Kirsten Iverson

The Before

It all began about two years ago. Everyday on my way to work, I passed the International TEFL Academy office in Chicago and everyday I stared at it, hoping, wondering, wishing for a sign to quit my job and teach English abroad. I finally sent an email to a TEFL Advisor, started thinking about where I wanted to go and how I could save enough money, but never pulled the trigger.

Months and months later, I met Stefano. We are the same person, with the same sense of adventure and love for life. We had an amazing time in Chicago, exploring the city and trying everything, all new to him since he is from Italy. His visa was expiring in the U.S. and the clock started ticking. Were we going to stay together? What was going to happen when August rolled around? Was our relationship serious? It was. We decided we couldn't be apart. Where could we go? What would we do?

"Teach Them English" - My Experience in Thailand

By: Bob Sohigian

We would like you to teach the kids English.” I looked back at this Thai man they called Kasem – I just knew him as my new boss – his face glaring back with a gentle, gawky gaze. I was looking for something else from him – maybe something along the lines of an outburst of laughter indicating this was some sort of practical joke. I thought to myself, “This is the only advice you have before throwing me into a classroom with 40 Thai kids that I know nothing about?”

Up until that point, we had been told that paperwork was the only thing on our agenda. In a matter of what seemed like milliseconds, I had gone from unconsciously scribbling my information onto an abundance of forms to coming moments away from being the center of attention in a room full of raucous, Thai adolescents. Who knew what they were going to do to me in there? The smile that consumed my face slowly morphed into a solemn stare. My eyes darted back and forth from Kasem to the classroom beyond him where these rowdy strangers awaited. With a final deep breath, I turned away from Kasem and my fellow foreign teachers, pushed open the creaky brown door, and took my final valiant steps into the classroom of kids. As I entered the room – sweat cascading out of every orifice – I felt the weight of every eye on me as I opened my mouth to utter my first words…

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone - Teaching English in Thailand

By: Collen Kriel

 

Having worked in jobs that ranged from a restaurant manager to an account manager in a large corporation, I had worked my way up to a pretty comfortable lifestyle. However it wasn’t enough, I wanted a change, and the thought of completing another Excel spreadsheet made me feel physically ill.

The World Is My Oyster… Teaching English in Chiang Mai, Thailand

By: Collen Kriel 

The main reason that my girlfriend and I decided to leave our corporate jobs and move across the world to Thailand was that we wanted to travel more. We have a real passion for travel and have an ever-growing Bucket list. However travelling from South Africa involves long and expensive flights to most destinations. We were tired of having to save for a year to afford an awesome overseas holiday.

We had always wanted to explore Asia more after a holiday to Thailand 2.5 years ago, so making the decision to move to an Asian country and complete our TEFL course through International TEFL Academy was an easy one.

Life Couldn’t Be Better. Or Could It? Deciding To Teach English Abroad

By: Cynthia Kuzela

Life was good.

My boyfriend and I both had great jobs that paid well. We were settled in our lifestyle, were renting a great place and the two dogs completed the picture.

  • We were able to travel overseas once a year and do some short locals trips.

  • Life was good.

  • Life was easy and safe.

You Are My Destiny, ESL Teacher of the World - Teaching in Thailand

By: Jirawadt Siri-Aree

When I was in a college, I had never thought to be a teacher at all. My dream was to be a great engineer. It was my only dream since I was in grade 5, right after my wish to be Miss Universe.(Really!) But as time went by, things had changed. I have seen the world (Well, I still want to see more.). I have learned about people.