Cameron Brown - 2016 Program Participant
Gardens at one of the temples
What inspired you to go abroad?
In university, one of the subjects I majored in was international relations, so it has always been my dream to travel around and work abroad. I love meeting people from different cultures and exploring new cities, so being able to travel and get paid to do so is incredible.
Why did you choose to go abroad with TEFL Heaven?
The reason I chose to go through TEFL Heaven was because I did not want to do an online TEFL course, and their program places you around like minded people who all will be going through similar experiences as you. Also, TEFL Heaven guaranteed a job coming out of training, so there was no need for me to hunt for a job once I was certified.
What is the best part about Thailand?
I would have to say so far it is the people that have been the best part.
What made your experience abroad unique?
Having the group that I did during training has easily made my experience unique. I could not have asked for a better group of friends to experience all of this with. Being able to travel around Thailand with them is something that I would never have had the opportunity to do had I not trained with TEFL Heaven.
What's one thing you wish you would have done differently?
I would have definitely done more research about the costs of living in Thailand, such as the costs for visas and the different processes that you would have to go through for visa applications and for different visas; that has been the thing that has caused me the most headaches so far.
Describe a typical day in the life of your program.
For the program, a typical day would be something like the following. We would wake up, eat breakfast, start the day in class with a warm up of some sort, then continue on with whatever lessons they planned on teaching us for the day. Mixed into the lessons would be various games that you might use throughout your time as a teacher and different exercises that would be useful in managing your classroom or in helping the students to learn. After class was done for the day, we would get together as a group and explore our area.
A typical day in the life of my school is much the same, except now I am the teacher instead of the one learning to be a teacher.
What did you enjoy doing in your free time?
Exploring, mostly. Although it is remarkable to have a relaxing evening after a long week or hard day of teaching. Overall though, I would say my free time is mostly spent wandering around and trying new restaurants or bars in the area.
What was your accommodation like? What did you like best about it?
My accommodation was essentially in the price range that I was expecting it to be around and was quite nice. The room was a lot more spacious than I was expecting and there were a lot of restaurants in my area, so I always had things to do. The thing that I liked most about it was probably the location in relation to the school, because I could walk to school every day.
What is one thing every participant should know before participating in your program?
Definitely know that there is quite a bit of an upfront cost before you will ever see your first paycheck from the school. On top of the costs for the program, flight, hostel stays, visa requirements, etc., you will almost certainly need to do a visa run or at least apply for an extension while you are here in order to have time to process your visa for the school. Also, there are food costs, costs for going out, travel expenses, hotel/hostel costs in areas that you might travel to, excursion costs, the first two month's rent deposit for your accommodation once you get settled at your location plus the first month's rent all upfront, and a few other things. Just be prepared to spend quite a bit of money upfront before you ever start making money.
Would you recommend your program/provider to others? Why?
Yes, I would recommend TEFL Heaven now that they are going to be branching out on their own. I think that they will do a much better job supporting teachers now that they are not going to have partner agencies and the support staff that works with TEFL Heaven are phenomenal.