Adam’s story – Teaching in Thailand
Throughout university and whilst studying for his PGCE Adam had always wanted to go travelling and see the wonders of the world. When he began teaching full-time as a teacher in England and as he hit his late twenties he thought that his dream was over.
With the help of The International Teaching Partnership Adam was able to fulfil his dream of working abroad and travelling; getting a sense of the different cultures and immersing himself in a different school environment.
Adam tells us his story here.
Adam, why did you want to teach abroad?
I’ve always wanted to travel but missed the opportunity to do it as a student. Before I knew it I had graduated from university, finished my PGCE and started working in a school.
I watched my university friends travel, visiting temples in Thailand, soaking in the sun in Australia and doing summers at American camps. I experienced massive FOMO (fear of missing out) of course, particularly when I saw some of my friends who had not yet pursued a career, instead choosing to travel throughout their early and mid-twenties.
You could say I was like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, always wanting to get away and never succeeding in doing so!
Where do you work now and what’s it like?
I work at an international secondary school in Thailand and I absolutely love it. It’s very different to working in a UK school. The curriculum is obviously different and that can take a little getting used to as can the International Baccalaureate Diploma and how it is structured.
What I’ve found is that the students are much more polite and respectful compared to in the UK. I think a large part of that is that many of them have travelled and experienced different cultures and are therefore aware and respectful of different customs and ways of doing things.
I’ve been here for a year so far. I’m happy at the school and the school is happy with me so I can see myself staying for a lot longer into the future.
What do you do when you’re not teaching?
My life outside of work is completely different to what it is back in the UK. One of my biggest concerns about moving away from home was being lonely. But, there’s a large expat community in Thailand and I’ve made some really good friends.
The weather is of course, so much better. That really goes a long way in providing a superb quality of life. I’ve done so many things that I wouldn’t normally do such as, kayaking, riding on the back of an elephant and even surfing – only on the small waves though!
Because of where Thailand is, during term-time holidays I’ve visited a few other countries – the flights are cheap too. So far I’ve been to Sri Lanka and visited Vietnam which is a magical country. I’ve made plans to fly over to Hong Kong in Easter and maybe I’ll do a tour of mainland China in the summer. Life is completely different here and I’m so glad I made the decision to teach abroad.
How did The ITP help you fulfil your dream of working abroad?
The International Teaching Partnership helped me in a number of ways. It was The ITP which first made me realise that it was possible to work abroad as a teacher as I searched the internet.
When I had an initial conversation with the consultants it became immediately apparent that they would be able to help me much more in finding a job than if I was to do it by myself. The agency has a far-reaching net of connections with schools around the world. As a result, they were able to promote me and my experience to many schools in the regions where I was hoping to work.
I found the process really easy too, but most of all, the support that was provided was first-class. There are a lot of concerns when moving abroad, especially for a novice traveller such as myself. I had to think about the tax implications, visa requirements, vaccinations and even how or where I would go to make friends. The ITP provided me with all the information I needed as well the support in settling down any anxiety I was feeling.
What would you say to people looking to do the same?
Just go for it. If it’s your ambition to work and travel and experience different parts of the world, do it. If you are worried about whether you’re too old, you’re not. If you’re concerned it will hamper your career, it won’t, it’ll only enhance it. If you’re worried that you may not find a job, you will never know if you don’t try. Stop being the one to experience FOMO and contact The ITP today.