I recently was a guest speaker at Culver-Stockton Collage. This is a small school in a small town in mid-America. I spoke on ESL teaching in Asia with emphasis on Thailand. I spoke for an hour on topics like accommodations, living conditions, pay, day to day living, traveling through out Asia, so it was generally about living and working in the Asian market. What it takes to get there, what degrees and documents you need, shots, how much money to take and where to get information of all I talked about.
I told them how to prepare for the adventure of teaching in a foreign country. I spoke of the TEFL certificate they would need along with their degree in just about any field they had already chosen. How they could get certified in the US, Mexico, or Asia. How much that would cost. What kind of home work they should be doing now. I suggested how to get their passports ready and what kind of visas they would need and how to ask for the right kind of visa here in the US before going over the big pond. Let them know it's about 17 hours in the air and a 24 hour involvement just to get there. And how much money they would need once they touched their toes down on Asian soil?
I told them about my 8 year history of teaching in Taiwan and Thailand. I told them how I went to Taipei first for 8 months but didn't like the food or the untrusting weather. How I ended up in Thailand' which was my original destination. I told them how I loved teaching in Thailand and the language school I taught at there. How it has 6 week classes with a week off after that time so one could get out and see Southeast Asia easy and cheaply. I told them of the transportation and the best prices of each. Where to go and what to see around Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam. I talked about the other language schools, universities, International Schools, and privet tutoring where they could find teaching jobs. What papers to look in once in Thailand. Where to stay on the cheap until they scored that great teaching job...the well respected employment of being an "Ajarn" in the Land of Smiles, Thailand.
I thought I painted a pretty picture. The one teacher who invited me to speak seem to really enjoy it. The number of students who came were about 75. A pair of twin girls who sat off to themselves, one teacher and a couple of housewives. One of the housewives said to me after the presentation that she would love to go but didn't think her husband would let her. One student asked what the price of a ticket cost to Thailand so i thought I reached at least one...one. But she said her boy friend had been through there in the armed services and loved it for some reason and she was thinking of giving him a plane ticket over there for his birthday. Oh well I sure enjoyed speaking about the great 8 years I lived and worked in the place that has become my second home and am looking forward to going back in 2 years to work and be with all my friends again in the exotic tropics...ah, Thailand. I miss you.