Patsy Hofman – Thailand
Like many people, I found it very difficult to know what to do once I had finished university. I had two degrees under my belt and I thought I’d like to try teaching but I wasn’t willing to commit to a PGCE or similar course without being certain about which direction I wanted my career to go in. I knew people who had done the TEFL program and all spoke very highly of it, so, after finding the online masters course on ‘groupon’ for only £40 I thought I might as well give it a go. The course was helpful in educating me on the differences between teaching English as a first language and teaching it as a foreign language. Once I had completed the course, I was promptly contacted by Carlos, an agent employed by TEFL to help me find my first TEFL job. With so many options regarding countries, length of contract and different roles within teaching, having somebody who was familiar with the process was entirely invaluable. My correspondence with Carlos continued from a few days after finishing my course until the night before I left for my first job in Thailand, and actually, has continued even now I am settled in my new job. Carlos emailed me several times a week with job opportunities and advice and once I found a company I was interested in working with he liaised with them to make sure that I was properly informed. He promptly answered all of my questions (of which there was A LOT) via phone or email and put me at ease when I was anxious about taking such a big step. The night before I flew to Thailand Carlos called me to make sure I had the necessary travel arrangements in place and that I knew everything I needed to know for when I got to Thailand. My job here is amazing! I am a teacher in a secondary school in a small town around two hours from Bangkok. I have made amazing friends already and am fully embracing the Thai culture. Each morning when I am driving to school in the sunshine on my new motorbike I think how easily I could still be sat at my boring office job and am so glad of my decision to come here and of the help of TEFL and specifically Carlos in getting me here. Only one month in and already Carlos and I are beginning to plan my next placement. I would recommend this experience to anybody who wants to teach, travel or who just wants to gain some amazing life experience!