Hear from Our Teacher in Thailand – Evan Kiley
Before Coming to Thailand
Why did you want to teach in Thailand?
I wanted the opportunity to travel, but more so I wanted to have a unique purpose and thought teaching English to Thai youth would give me a greater purpose than anything I’ve ever done. I have experience with children so if you like to impact young lives then it is an awesome career! I thought it would be great way to improve public speaking and to grow professionally and culturally.
How was your experience finding a job through On the Mark Education?
It was very easy. I received a call the day I sent my application materials to On the Mark and had a job lined up at the time I wanted one, which was a few months later. I would highly recommend using On the Mark to get the ball rolling and jump-start your ESL career.
Teaching Life in Thailand
What was your first impression of Thailand upon arrival?
My first impression was awe of how a country like Thailand could be mountainous while seeming so tropical at the same time (in Chiang Mai). I was mainly struck by the scenery and loved it. The first person we encountered was a taxi driver who got us to our hotel right at the doorsteps. We saw him in the city later on and we recognized each other leading to a friendly, smiley ‘hello’. I was also impressed with the amount of respect for others Thai people had – the classic ‘wai’ is the Thai handshake and says a lot about the kind of people they are.
What was the biggest culture shock about Thailand and/or in your current city?
The biggest culture shock has been getting used to the lack of variety in food. You really have to get used rice/noodles with curry, chicken, and sausage. Thailand uses so much plastic which is eye-opening and is not very cleanly but it’s something I’ve gotten used to. Some of the people aren’t keen on foreigners but those who are certainly make up for it with their respect and friendliness.
What’s your favorite memory of life in Thailand?
Teaching my first class. I remember being extremely nervous, but it flew by and gave me a newfound confidence. Thailand has the most opportunities to experience nature at every level too: mountains, forests, lakes, countryside, beaches, metropolitan areas and more! Beyond that, I would also recommend going to a 4D movie – you won’t be disappointed.
What do you like most about working for your school?
I like how relaxed the atmosphere is and the amount of freedom the school gives us to work with our students. Seeing the students start to understand and enjoy your class is rewarding too. I think the relaxed approach is the best part, and coming straight out of college to this position it made the transition smooth.
What three things do you wish you would have known or brought with you before you arrived?
– I still need to know how to transfer my baht to my American bank account before going home
– I would recommend a light sweater and one pair of jeans but that’s it for winter/fall wear
– Don’t be afraid to hassle prices if you think something is overpriced! Especially if the prices aren’t listed
Did you have the opportunity to save any money? What percentage of your salary were you able to save?
I’ve been able to save about a third of my salary per month which is about 300 USD. Most of what I’ve saved so far will be spent on travelling during the break but next semester I will save about the same and bring back with me.