Social media marketer Amber longed for a change. Left jobless because of the pandemic and unsure of her future, Amber decided that “now” was the perfect time for a change. Following the footsteps of many friends and TEFL teachers before her, Amber enrolled on a teaching internship in Thailand and hasn’t looked back since. Keep reading to hear more about Amber’s story and why teaching in Thailand might be for you.
Tell us about yourself! We’d love to know about your background, what drew you to teaching in Thailand, and more.
My background is in marketing, however, when COVID entered our lives, I struggled to continue working as a freelance Social Media Marketer. I set a plan for myself, which was to live abroad before I turn 30. Since there was no telling how long the pandemic would last & I was already without a job, I decided to take this opportunity to fulfill my plan! I have friends that were ESL teachers in the past and two of which, taught in Thailand. I knew being an ESL teacher would be the perfect opportunity to grow, travel & earn a living.
Did you always know you’d end up teaching in Thailand?
No, I had no idea! It was something that I would vaguely think about, little by little becoming my reality. (Which I’m so happy about!)
What were three things about your experience in Thailand that you did not anticipate? (This helps future teachers preparing for a trip there to feel more ready!)
Always have cash on hand & be prepared for ATM transaction fees (I’ve recently signed up for Wise App, it’s worth looking into to cut these fees). There are plenty of affordable (usually way cheaper than in the USA) stationary stores here, so do not worry about lugging a bunch of supplies with you. There’s a mall nearby, Central Festival, and it has many Western stores (Zara, Mango, H&M) to easily buy teaching clothes or shoes at.
What is one thing about the life of teaching in Thailand in general that you never expected/ Weren’t prepared for? Our readers love to get the inside scoop!
I love the cultural differences, especially being from the United States. Teachers are very respected here, by the students and community, alike! The school year is completely different than what I’m used to; there’s a two-week break after term 1 (May-October) and then around a three-week break after term two, which usually ends in March.
Can you share with us a favorite story or two from your time teaching English in Thailand?
While I have only been teaching (virtually) for one week now, I have really enjoyed it when the parents send me videos of the students watching and interacting with my lesson. It makes me feel great, and it is a wonderful reminder that I’m having an impact on their lives.
What’s your favorite phrase/word of the English Language
That’s hard! I really like the word and meaning of ‘mindset’.
What advice do you have for someone on the fence about whether to teach abroad or not?
If you value travel, life experiences, and growth, you should put all the fear of “what if’s” aside & do it! It feels incredible to be immersed in a new culture & be a student, yourself! You will have the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and the experiences you may wind up having are priceless.
Finally, what does the future hold for Amber?
That’s always a good question! For the foreseeable future, I’ll be living in Chiang Mai & teaching KG.2. I look forward to traveling every chance I get, especially to the neighboring countries when the borders open back up & it’s safe. Besides that, I’m really looking forward to settling in here and making Chiang Mai my home for a while.
If you’re looking for a change, just like Amber, download the guide to Thailand and start your next adventure.
I have been traveling and teaching ESL abroad ever since I graduated university. This life choice has taken me around the world and allowed me to experience cultures and meet people that I did not know existed.