Bella Lindsell returned back to the UK after completing her TEFL certification and teaching English at a school in Thailand. We find out about why she decided to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, how it could have been better and what’s next in store for her!
Bella, 25, Bristol
What course and date did you do TEFL Heaven?
Koh Chang, April 2014
What influenced you to take a TEFL course abroad?
I love to travel and learn about other cultures and customs and teaching English is a perfect way to pass on a new skill, make friends from all around the world and pay your way through your travels – why not do the course while you’re already out there, instead of wasting time before you can set off?
What interested you in TEFL Heaven in particular?
The training in a paradise location was a huge bonus, but mainly the guaranteed placement upon completion of the course. You can get started straight away using the skills you have JUST learned.
What was one thing that could have been better in your time in Thailand?
Staying in the paradise location to work at my placement!! A bit of a farfetched idea, but if I was to go back and change anything, realistically it would be to be within easy reach of beautiful beaches and waterfalls where I could spend my time after school.
Did you experience any culture shock? If so, how?
Yes, before I picked up the basics in speaking Thai, having to guess what the food is likely to be like at the market in my town (which animal, which part of the animal, how spicy etc.) – I had some very interesting meals before I learned how to ask, and what the responses meant in English!
Now that you are home, how has TEFL Heaven and your experience in Thailand influenced your life?
I am able to weigh into conversations about the subtleties of Thai culture, and understand a whole other view on the world, religion, morals, politics, social customs etc. which I was previously unaware of. I have 8 months of work on my CV which I am extremely proud of and keen to share. I have made countless lifelong friendships, feel a sense of achievement I will forever be seeking to top up, and learned a whole lot about who I am, who I was, and who I want to be.
What’s next for you?
I am starting on the road to becoming a counsellor with my first course starting in September. Teaching abroad is now always an option for me, and I will be using the qualification and skills I gained through TEFL Heaven again in the future without a doubt.