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Teaching English in Thailand: Connecting With The Culture

Posted by Alexandra LeGrant | Aug 26, 2019 10:26:02 AM

Delicious Thai cuisine. Playful puppies. Exotic elephants. These are just some of the things you will experience while teaching English in Thailand.

Sure, you’ll also be busy with lesson plans and students, but GeoVisions believes in having fun while learning about your new culture. We’ve worked with our friends at XploreAsia to put together some amazing field trips for you while teaching English in Thailand. We recently asked some of our participants to share memories about their favorite excursions.

Teaching Abroad in Thailand Participants embraced the Buddhist culture while teaching English in Thailand

Our week included a number of field trips. The first for our group was a trip to a Buddhist Tempe where, through an interpreter, we able to talk with and ask questions of a local monk.

Since 95% of the Thai people practice some form of Buddhism and much of the culture is based on its principles it was a significant experience. I found it pretty interesting as well.

In the U.S., Buddhism is often associated with New Thought religions and what I learned is it is nothing like my pre-Thailand expectations. It is certainly not woo-woo and actually has a lot of the same teachings as many western religions.

Be kind, seek spiritual understanding, and strive to be the best person possible.

G0020045Food is very different in Thailand… lots of rice, chicken, pork, beef, seafood and some veggies. The big problem is they don’t look like western meals, have very different spices and the names are meaningless. One of the field trips was to a Thai market where we were taught about some of the new-to-us dishes. That, combined with a handout, really helped us figure out what to order when we were on our own.

Our other field trips were more about having fun and seeing the countryside near Hua Hin- our base city.   We got to visit a pineapple plantation.  I have to say the pineapple in Thailand is nothing like the States. It is so sweet and tasty… even the core was edible.

We picked a bunch of fresh pineapples to take to our next stop, an elephant sanctuary.

Elephants in South East Asia have been a bit abused over time. Their ivory tusks are valuable and they are used as labor in many areas. This sanctuary takes in injured and abused souls. The place we visited is mostly a tourist spot where they collect funds to help support their rescue work. We got some sweet pictures with the animals, saw a demonstration of their keen intelligence, donated some much needed baht and fed the big guys our fruit.

Teaching English in Thailand Teachers got to visit Rescue Paws while teaching English in Thailand

Along the way we stopped off at Rescue Paws, an animal rescue group that works mostly with stray and abandoned dogs. We learned the King of Thailand loves dogs. Rescue Paws does some amazing work, and with limited funds have helped a few thousand dogs. Naturally the puppies got to everyone and we so wanted to take a few home with us.

My class also took a Muay Thai class. For those who don’t know, Muay Thai is Thailand’s locally grown form of martial arts. My back is not so good so I bowed out, but my classmates said it was a blast and an amazing workout. Some went on to take private classes during their stay in Hua Hin and a few continued in the area they ending up teaching.

Our last excursion was to an artist village where we got to enjoy artwork from the locals and take a class where we created our own work of art. It was a fun time with lots of classmate bonding, ooohs, awes and laughing. A nice laid back time.

At the end of the week we all gathered on the beach for a cookout. The water here is really warm and the time on the beach was the best.

Teaching English in ThailandWe all got some great food, cold beer and a sweet ritual ceremony where we got to let go of our fears and embrace our upcoming journey of teaching English in Thailand.

Written by Alexandra LeGrant

Alexandra is the Community Manager at GeoVisions Foundation. She handles all of the Social Media and Alumni relations. Alex loves to travel and meet with our participants.

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