Teaching English Abroad (Episode 2)

In this episode, we talk about all things teaching English abroad! As a source of income while traveling, this was the best option for us. The first country we moved to and worked in was in Thailand. In this episode, we talked about:

  • Teaching English in Thailand
  • How we were scammed with Island TEFL, then found last-minute jobs on Craigslist out of desperation
  • What it was like teaching for the first time in Chonburi, Thailand, which was just an hour and a half drive from Bangkok
  • The requirements, pay, etc. of teaching English in a primary school in Thailand
  • Moving back to the US and discovering last minute that we hated it and needed to go back abroad again!
  • Finding jobs last minute in South Korea
  • Working as ESL teachers in a hagwon (or after-school language institution) 
  • Realizing 5 months in that we hated it and why we did
  • Doing what is commonly referred to as a "Midnight Run," which is fleeing Korea to escape from your job and responsibilities
  • Teaching English in Vietnam (just Marilyn)
  • Making the switch from teaching in the physical classroom to the online classroom with VIPKID
  • What VIPKID is, how to get a job with them, why it allows us to be "digital nomads," and why we love the transition

And so much more!

If you'd like to read a little bit more or see some photos, just scroll down! Thank you for reading/listening!

Wine: Le Cavalier - Rouge (France) 


 

In order for Matt and I to travel long-term, we needed to get jobs abroad. So, like so many other English-speakers, we turned to teaching English, specifically in Thailand. We went through a program called Island TEFL, which seemed legitimate and worth thousands of dollars, considering we'd receive tons of benefits from it.

 My class in Thailand with their Santa beards around Christmas!

My class in Thailand with their Santa beards around Christmas!

However, we ended up not receiving anything we were told we would receive. We were in Thailand without a job and running low on funds so, out of desperation, we headed to Craigslist. There, fortunately, we found a job in Chonburi, Thailand, which was a small city an hour and a half drive from Bangkok. After skyping with the head agent of the company, we chose to say, "Screw it," and headed to Chonburi.

 Me and two of my favorite Thai students

Me and two of my favorite Thai students

We ended up teaching at a private school in Chonburi for a little over four months. We taught only a couple of hours a day maximum and pretty much sat at our desks for the rest of the time. We met some pretty awesome people there and had a blast! The children, however, tended to be quite difficult to handle for us, considering they knew they could take advantage of foreign teachers. 

 Matt and three of his favorite Thai students

Matt and three of his favorite Thai students

 Matt and his class in Thailand!

Matt and his class in Thailand!

Matt actually turned out to dislike the job far more than we had thought. I disliked it as well by the end, but not nearly as much as Matt. Maybe because my children were in fourth grade and were a little more tame than his wild second graders! 

Some time after Thailand, Matt and I decided to continue on with teaching abroad after attempting (and failing) to work in America. So, we headed to South Korea, where the benefits were outstanding! They supplied us with a rent-free, extremely modern, and gargantuan apartment. We also had a free flight to Korea, which was really nice! The other workers there were incredibly friendly and fun as well, which was an excellent plus.

However, soon after beginning our seemingly dream jobs, we realized that we both really hated our jobs. We hardly had breaks during our day at all, we were expected to be 110% perfect, our job was boring, the students could be really rude and miserable in most cases, and our boss was the epitome of a bitch, for lack of a better term (definitely listen to the podcast to hear just how horrid she was!). 

We had signed a contract for a year, but chose to cut it short because we were completely miserable. We figured, why should we make ourselves miserable if we don't have to? After five months, we sold some of our stuff and hopped on a flight to Vietnam!

I taught for about a month in Vietnam, simply jumping from school to school, teaching different kids almost every day. The materials were all over the place and most times, I wasn't even told what I was supposed to teach the kids! I was occasionally given wrong addresses and little time to get from school to school. It was a mess. The kids were sweet, though, which was splendid.

 Me and one of my (painfully cute) Vietnamese students

Me and one of my (painfully cute) Vietnamese students

We started to work online as English teachers to Chinese children. During the first month, I taught in schools and online for a few hours a day and Matt only taught online. We fell in love with our jobs! They had such outrageous benefits and really catered to our lifestyle (listen to the podcast for all the benefits!). 

We are now in Osaka, Japan and are still teaching online and have been for about seven months now and we still love it!

Wine: Le Cavalier - Rouge (France)