Feedback from Thailand
Below you can read what former EXIS volunteers in Thailand says about their stays there.
I have to say that I had wonderful experiences!
The thing I enjoyed most was to be with the family I stayed with while in Thailand. They took me to weddings, to funerals and other Buddhist ceremonies! It was very interesting to get so close to the culture of the Thai people. Everybody in the family took care of me and was interested in what I am doing or thinking. I felt very comfortable all the time.
We had also a lot of good food together. My voluntary work stay, teaching at the Klong Ban Prao School was very challenging to me. I never taught to kids who couldn’t understand me. But I had a lot of funny situations where we just laughed together! It just takes a while to get used to it. The students were very nice to me and used to come up to me to shake hands or to simply say “Hello, How are you”! The teachers were all very nice and they helped me where they could.
During the first two weeks “culture and language” program, I enjoyed to go out for dinner and lunch to learn about people and culture. I had the chance to ask questions. We went to Bangkok, Ayuthaya and the Floating markets. The staffs here in Thailand are very friendly and nice. Mr. Kai, one of the staff, took me to the future park (shopping mall) even though it was his “day-off”.
I have nearly finished my first week here and I have loved it. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming and they are so thankful for the help we are giving to the children. It is difficult for the children as they know the English words, but they are unable to pronounce the words. The children are keen to learn and always want to talk to you. The people are kind and proud of their country; they want to show you everything. It is an excellent opportunity to experience authentic Thai life. I am looking forward to seeing how the children get on with their spoken English over the next few weeks and also seeing more of Thailand. Thank you very much for your support during orientation, it gave me a good start to my time stay here in Thailand.
On my first day at school, I was immediately surrounded by thirty elementary school students with big round eyes who were afraid to get any closer than ten feet. Throughout the day I’d catch them peeking around doorways and sneaking up behind me to watch my every move. By the end of the first week, however, they were pulling on my arms begging me to sing with them or teach them a new game. Everywhere I’d turn I’d hear a chorus of “Good Morning Sarah.”
Teaching English at a Thai school is certainly a memorable and rewarding experience. I felt like a movie star while knowing I was helping the children of that small community improve their English communication, a skill which has become a necessity for young people in Thailand. I also had the opportunity to teach people about my own culture while being immersed in Thai culture through the homestay experience. Staying with a Thai family allowed me to learn more about Thai culture than I ever could have if I had traveled around from guest house to guest house for two weeks. Without a doubt teaching English at my school and staying with my Thai host family will be experiences I carry with me for the rest of my life.