Sophie is a TEFL teacher and traveler in Thailand. She recently exchanged her life in the UK for a new adventure where she is able to explore new sights and immerse herself in Thai culture Here Sophie talks about all things TEFL, her daily routine and the best parts of her experience so far!
Tell me a little bit about your daily routine…
My routine starts by getting up at 6:30 and getting ready by 7:30 which is the time I ride to school. Then I spend the day teaching, reading over lesson plans and chatting with the other teachers. 11:30 is a lovely Thai meal at the school and at 3:30 we drive home! On an evening I have a couple of hours at home then I head to a free Zumba class or the gym and have some more Thai food afterwards. I usually get home about 9pm and by that point it’s one episode of Better Call Saul on Netflix then bedtime!
What made you want to teach English in Thailand?
I wanted to teach English in Thailand because I wanted to travel and break away from my usual routine in England. This seemed like the best opportunity to do both of those things! I wasn’t ready to settle down in a full time job and really wanted to do something different with a skill I already had – speaking English! It also opens doors for so many other opportunities such as making life long friends and adding something extraordinary to your CV for when you (eventually) return home.
How do you feel you benefited from face to face TEFL training?
Personally, if I had paid for an online TEFL course, I probably wouldn’t have completed it! I loved the face to face training because you get real teaching experience before going into a school. It also allows you to ask plenty of questions and become comfortable in what you’re doing. I learned a lot that I didn’t realise you needed to teach properly.
How does your lifestyle compare now to your previous lifestyle back home?
I feel like because you’re in a different country you make more of an effort to do things on an evening and a weekend – I have seen more over the past month of being in Thailand than I have seen in England over my 25 years! I feel like I’m able to do more money wise which benefits the travelling! Teaching is VERY different to what I’m used to doing but it is also so much more rewarding and that’s a very fulfilling feeling. However, in a lot of ways – Thailand feels like home!
What do you think is the best part of this experience so far?
My favourite part of this experience has been the training on Koh Samui – it is a beautiful island and the weather was fantastic! My pale English skin finally caught some colour! I snorkelled and kayaked and did so many things I would never do back home. I also love the friends I made whilst training, trainers and trainees combined – I couldn’t imagine my experience without them.
How do you generally spend your free time?
I try as many different restaurants as possible on an evening! Thai food is growing on me a lot these days and I love seeing what other places have to offer. There’s a free gym and Zumba class in our town and the locals love it when me and the other teachers turn up! We’ve had many photo shoots with them, it’s almost like being famous! Weekends so far have been visiting other parts of Thailand (Bangkok and Chanthaburi so far), visiting friends I made during training. I also like to go shopping and go to the cinema to feel a little more Western when I need it!
Sum up your TEFL experience in just 5 words
Best adventure of my life