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GeoVisions Blog

Participant Stories

Teach in Thailand: Embracing the Unknown

Posted by Amanda Waring | Jul 12, 2016 12:53:30 PM

 

When I decided to come to teach in Thailand through GeoVisions, it took me 6 months to fill out the application. I always came up with an excuse as to why I couldn’t apply. This was not a small decision to make, and I needed to be sure I was ready to take on the challenge.

When I finally sent in the application and was accepted, I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. It was like I had finally done something I was supposed to do a long time ago. Just the mere thought of leaving home and traveling to this country was so exciting to me, and I wouldn’t even be leaving for a couple more months.

When I landed, I knew right away that this was where I was meant to be.

Between the jet-lag, meeting my orientation group, and being placed in my town, I can honestly say this experience is greater than I thought possible. When you enter a program like this, a flip switches inside of you. I am not just traveling in a new country; I am living in that country. I’m interacting with the people, learning a new language, and learning about a beautiful new culture.

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One of the greatest rewards for me has been becoming a teacher to so many young and bright students. I am a teacher at home, so to learn and teach in a different setting has been both rewarding and challenging. Teaching English can be difficult, but we are learning together. We learn what works and what doesn’t. They learn English and gather praise from me in the classroom, and in the hallway they teach me Thai and give me praise. We are working together constantly, always ready with a smile and a positive attitude.

You begin to create a new sense of family when you are here.

I expected to meet people during my orientation, but I didn’t expect to make friends that would last a lifetime; friends that are ready to embrace weekend adventures and explore something new at every chance we get. Your town and school will have a wonderful group people ready to help you experience all your town has to offer.

If you’re thinking about applying to a program like this, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Your job is important. Even though you are in a beautiful country and every day is an adventure, your job needs to be taken seriously. Your school will have rules that need to be followed and you need to respect the Thai culture and the way they treat their schooling.

Be ready to travel alone. While you will make great friends while you’re here, it’s important to embrace doing things on your own. I am big on doing things with other people, but even traveling from point A to point B by yourself gives you a sense independence and allows you to embrace new things.

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Learn some Thai! Not everyone is going to speak English, and you can’t rely on the hope that you will find someone who does. Even learning some basic Thai will make your experience that much more enjoyable.

Embrace the unknown. Everything is different and new, but that’s part of the experience of living in Thailand. They walk, talk, and eat differently than I do at home, but I’m learning to embrace it. Learn to embrace Thailand for what it is. There is so much beauty it is willing to offer if you’re willing to give it a chance.

I’m thankful I allowed myself to embrace the unknown. If I hadn’t been able to take the leap to apply for this program, I never would have met the friends I have made. I never would have embraced a new culture, and I would never know the love that I now have for Thailand.

Thank you, Thailand, for showing me the adventurous risk-taking person I always knew I could be.

Written by Amanda Waring

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