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Bangkok, Thailand English Teaching Q&A with Jamie Bishop
Written by: Jamie Bishop
Last Updated: February 18, 2021
Tell Us About Yourself
What is your citizenship?
What city and state are you from?
Lindenhurst, New York
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?
What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad?
I graduated college with a degree that I had no idea what to do with. I love traveling and wanted to continue to travel, but didn't have the money. I decided to look into teaching abroad since a friend was doing it and thought it was the best idea for me.
What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?
I've never taught before and I'm shy, but I got out of that feeling within a couple days.
What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?
Supportive but nervous. After a couple weeks of being here, they realized it was a very safe place to be.
TEFL CLASS INFORMATION
Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy?
I saw ITA online and called them up. The person I spoke with helped me a lot and convinced me to do it! Best phone call I've ever made.
Which TEFL certification course did you take?
Online TEFL Course
How did you like the course?
It was great! I thought I wouldn't have the time to do it, but since everything was due on Mondays, I was able to do the work on my own time. This was very important for such a busy person like myself. My instructor was very helpful and always answered my emails in a timely fashion. I thought the practicum [live practice teaching] would be difficult, but I ended up having a blast and wanted to spend more time doing it.
How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position?
The practicum really helped me get ready for what was to come. It got me prepared for teaching kids in Thailand. The videos in my class helped as well to see how things happen in other schools.
Which city and country did you decide to teach English in and why?
I decided to teach English in Thailand in the city of Bangkok because I've always wanted to come to Thailand, and I heard it was fairly easy to get a job. It's also cheap to live there.
How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay?
I've been in this country for 3 months and I plan to stay for another month or two.
What school, company, or program are you working for?
Ramkhamhaeng Advent International School
During which months does your school typically hire?
March and July
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.
They helped supply a working visa.
What are the qualifications that your school requires for teachers?
- Bachelor's degree
- TEFL certification
What is the best way to apply?
Tell us about your English teaching job!
I work Monday-Friday from 7:45am-3:00pm. I make around $2,000 for working from March-May in two installments. I was able to save half of my paycheck. I work for an international school. I have 18 students in my class from ages 3 to 4. I have a teacher's assistant who helps me and a nanny. We get no vacation time but had a week off for the Songkran holiday.
How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like? Do you have roommates?
I found somewhere to live on Airbnb. Its a really nice condo about 5 minutes from school. I room with my friend who also works at the same school.
COUNTRY INFORMATION - FUN!
Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, travel opportunities, etc...
Thailand is amazing. Everyone is so nice and it's not a huge cultural shock living in Bangkok. Its very easy to travel and inexpensive. The nightlife is awesome and pretty cheap. There is so much to do in Bangkok, and we always go on weekend trips to beaches and different parts of Thailand. The food is amazing and very cheap, but could be expensive depending on where you go. Expat community is booming, lots of Australians and Europeans.
COUNTRY INFORMATION - MONEY
What are your monthly expenses?
Its $300 USD a month for rent, with paid utilities. I spend about $35-$45 USD a week on food. (My school supplies lunch and I always eat a small breakfast) I spend about $30-$60 USD a week on transportation and social activities (but only about $20 USD if we don't go away for the weekend) I don't spend any money on phone/communication, I only use wifi.
How would you describe your standard of living?
In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?
$800 a month, and you can save.
ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE ENGLISH TEACHERS
What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? Would you recommend teaching in your country?
Do it! It's life-changing. Thailand is absolutely the best, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Originally from Lindenhurst, New York, 25-year-old Jamie Bishop graduated college with a degree that she had no idea what to do with. She loves traveling and wanted to continue to travel, but didn't have the money. So, she decided to look into teaching abroad since a friend was doing it and decided it was an ideal way to travel the world and get paid.
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