A little over a year ago I decided to head to Chiang Mai, Thailand to get a TEFL certificate in order to spend some time traveling and teaching English to support the wandering life style. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into, but as it has been for the past 2 and a half years, my decisions tend to be made with a maximum of 3-6 months in advance (sometimes because of me, and sometimes because things just happen slower than one would want).
During my year of traveling, prior to making the decision to get the certificate, I met quite a few people teaching English abroad and the idea slowly started to grow in my head. So after my traveling time was over, and not wanting it to be over, I decided that getting a TEFL certificate would allow me to keep going.
I did a bit of research of where I would want to take the course. Googling TEFL certificate brings up a tons of results, there are plenty of place where you can obtain the certificate, including online. I knew that I wanted to work in Asia, and also that an in class certificate (120 hour) would potentially be better received by future employers than an online certificate. With this in mind I narrowed it down to Chiang Mai, a place where I had been before and would most likely enjoy spending more time. So Chiang Mai it was, and after comparing different places I opted for SEE TEFL (SEE TEFL Teacher Training).
Getting the certificate in-class as opposed to online also allows you to meet people with different backgrounds, exchange ideas and leads and it’s a good networking place for future jobs once you are done.
Since a bit before heading to Chiang Mai, I started thinking about working in China. So even before starting the course, I sent out my resume to try out interviews and gathered information of what I should expect from an ESL teaching position in China.
While doing the course I got an offer to teach in Guilin, Guangxi, China which is the one I ended up taking. This job was my way of testing the territory, it had its good and bad moments, but it mostly help me initiate myself into what it was like living in a country so different from what I’m used to. A country where I can’t speak the language, but then again, it’s also the place where I work and live and have a normal routine like I’ve had in pretty much every country I’ve lived in before.