Case study

Steph Caine — TEFL Teacher in Thailand

Premier TEFL

Steph is currently teaching English in South Korea before that she was a TEFL teacher in Thailand

Tell us about your path to TEFL teaching in Thailand

I started researching TEFL courses in 2018 and through the help of Premier TEFL, I decided on teaching in Thailand. The most exciting part was the build up to moving out here. Once I had received confirmation of my placement, I began to start planning my adventure. Quitting my boring 9am to 5pm job really changed my life for the better; not even a month after finishing my job in the UK, I was on a flight to Thailand.

What was the move from the UK to Thailand like?

People think I’m crazy when I say that before I moved here, I had never been to Thailand. Most people in their early twenties have travelled and seen some parts of Southeast Asia; however, I went straight into a full-time job as soon as I left university. I’ve never been this far away from home even for a holiday and now I’ve lived here for five months.

I was so scared about leaving behind my friends and family. My parents dropped me off and I’ve never felt panic like it - standing at the security gates, I contemplated running back and telling them to take me home. Thankfully, I didn’t do that. I experienced major culture shock when I landed in Bangkok - not to mention the humidity was insane. Now I feel quite well acclimatised, and the culture here is so relaxed and understanding that I regret being so nervous in the first place.

What is a typical day like?

Classes start at 8:30, so mornings are spent planning what we will teach for the day and basking in the air-conditioned teachers’ room. I teach 21 hours of classes a week. The week is split up evenly, and there’s never a time that I feel panicked about what I am going to be teaching. I have lunch in school at one of the 20 tasty, different stalls in our school cafeteria. There’s something there for everyone.

Classes finish at 4pm and I stay in school until 4:30pm when we clock out and head home on the motorbike. Then it’s time for dinner, relaxing, and hanging out with friends. The evenings are nice, as there are so many great street food options - we’re often spoilt for choice on what to have for dinner. We’ll go and grab drinks after to wash it all down. Friday nights are when we hit the karaoke bar and blast out some Celine Dion and Backstreet Boys at the top of our lungs.