Annie Reviews her time in Thailand
I don’t really know what to say or where to start, Volunteering in Thailand has left me speechless! When I first arrived I was so nervous about being in another country and teaching English without a lot of knowledge of what I really needed to do. There were many times in that first day when I thought to myself I just want to go home! But I am so happy that I stayed!
The coordinator makes you feel automatically welcome and when we arrived at the school the director had invited us to his home the night before and we had an awesome time on his farm, eating dinner, quad biking and meeting his family. We were made to feel completely at home and were very excited to go to his school the next day, although constantly feeling nervous and apprehensive. However, there was no need, all of the teachers and students were so welcoming and so excited to see new volunteers, that we did not get a chance to feel scared. They went out of their way to make us feel a part of their school community. I have nothing but good things to say about the school we were at. It truly was a beautiful area and beautiful school. The children were a pleasure to teach, so eager to learn, a credit to themselves and the school.
With regards to teaching, you just have to be yourself and go in there with lots of ideas but no plans! You have to figure out for yourself how much they know and where you want to take them. They will hang on your every word so never be worried about not keeping their attention! I advise a lot of english games mixed with a lot of learning. Listen to your coordinators, they are so right. Stick with teaching them sentences and get them talking as much as possible because that’s what they struggle most with. By the end of our time, one of our classes were joining sentences with ‘and’! It was the most satisfying thing to see! A real sense of achievement that you may have really made a difference to their lives and future.
The people of the town are so lovely and welcomed us equally as much as the school had. They really do make you feel like a celebrity, so so special! The people at and around the school really did make my experience. I thought that the teaching side of it would be my least favourite part of it, but I can honestly say it made my entire trip. The children really did change my perspective on things, they were all adorable!
If you get the chance to attend an English camp at the school when you are in Thailand, it is a must. You get the chance to meet other volunteers, of which I made some really good friends and had an awesome time. You also get the chance to sing the YMCA over and over again which is brilliant. Although I can’t honestly say that the children learn loads of english this way but it gives them an environment to open up and try speaking english with others providing a platform for them to hopefully develop their english in the future. It’s a pleasure to see the smiles on their faces throughout the day!
The hardest and only negative thing I have to say is when you have to say goodbye to them children. I poured my eyes out! It was the hardest thing of the whole trip. You really do grow to love the children and their whole culture. I have only been home 5 days and miss Thailand soo much! Hopefully, one day if I can get the money together I will come back, and come back through this programme. They will do all they can to ensure that your experience is everything it should be, I am so jealous of anyone reading this because you have all this to come! I wish you the best of luck Thank you to everyone!!