Teach Abroad in Myanmar!

If you’re looking to teach abroad, the dynamic Asian country Myanmar can offer something truly unique. XploreAsia has been sending teachers to Myanmar for the past couple of years and we recently caught up with one of our graduated TESOL course students Kai Hallberg to talk about his adventures in the country’s former capital Yangon.


The Kids Learning About Winter Clothes

Hi Kai. After finding out about XploreAsia, what made you decide that Myanmar was the right place for you to go teach?

I had my heart set on Myanmar for a number of reasons. Mainly, I knew it would be an interesting time in history to come, and I wanted to experience the rapid social/economic/cultural changes that are occurring here. I wanted to explore a new place where the culture and society would be far removed from what I am used to.

When I arrived in Yangon, I found that the city is stuck in the past in some ways but leaping into the future in others. This juxtaposition seems to apply to everything. Fashion, transportation, music, technology, infrastructure, you name it.

What have been the highlights of your experience teaching in Yangon?

The staff and teachers at my school really helped make it a great experience. They were kind, welcoming, and supportive from the very start.

Some of the best times for me were with my adult classes. I really enjoyed our conversations about how things are changing in Myanmar, and what young people care about/are concerned about here.

Another highlight for me was morning assembly time with the preschool. It’s too cute watching a bunch of 4 to 5-year-olds try to stay still for 5 minutes during “meditation time”.

Teaching in Myanmar

What does a typical day as a teacher in Myanmar look like?

I started work 9:00 am and I would usually grab breakfast at a nearby tea shop on the way. The day ended at 5pm, but my schedule changed based on the time of year. For the first several months, I spent the morning with the preschool, which usually consisted of a morning duty (e.g. gate duty or assembly duty), followed by an hour of lesson time. After lunch, I taught two adult classes: one at Aung Tha Pyay, and the other at NELC. During this period, I had some downtime between classes to plan lessons.

My schedule during summer school (March to May) was very different. These three months busier as my school was flooded with young-learners from government schools. I had 5 or six almost back-to-back classes every day and it was definitely my most challenging period as a teacher. During this time, lesson planning had to be done outside of work hours as I had many more classes to teach.

What do you do in your free time here in Myanmar?

Eat, play soccer, go drinking, watch movies; pretty much what I would do anywhere else. I also travel outside of the city as often as possible to see more of the country.

Teach abroad Myanmar

Experience a unique Christmas in Myanmar

What would you say to people who are looking to teach abroad and are considering Myanmar?

Do it. But if you come, you have to learn how to roll with the punches. One piece of advice given to me during my orientation week has particularly stayed with me: “things aren’t always as they seem.” There will be miscommunication, mistakes, and stressful times, for sure. However, if you learn to be flexible, understanding, and patient, I promise the experience of being here in Myanmar is well worth it.

Check out our website to find out more about teaching in Myanmar. If you’re looking to teach abroad, find out more about our internationally accredited TESOL course and the other locations you could be heading over to soon with XploreAsia.

Catch up with our current teachers by checking out our Facebook and Instagram pages!

XploreAsia’s 5 Year Anniversary!

XploreAsia’s 5 Year Anniversary!

Today at XploreAsia we celebrate our fifth anniversary and we’re so proud of how much we’ve achieved  in such a short time, in partnership with our wonderful teachers!

Our first course only had 8 students all from South Africa, but we are currently preparing for over 100 participants from all over the world coming to train with us in October. In the past 5 years we have trained 2,500 teachers from 10 different countries and have placed over 3,500 teachers into schools all across Asia. In fact, our teachers have taught more than 1,000,000 students from Thailand alone. Those children will have the ability to get jobs that require fluency in English, enabling them to work in tourism, international business and so many other sectors. Learning English is an incredible opportunity for young people in Thailand and our amazing teachers have opened those doors for over a million children.

Teacher at camp
Cute Student

We began with a staff of four delivering the course from a room above a coffee shop in Khao Takiab, but we now have two buildings, more than 20 members of staff and of course our four dogs to complete the family. We can also now offer our accredited in-classroom TESOL training in two locations; the sunny beach town of Hua Hin and the eclectic city Chiang Mai.

As well as developing our teaching programs, we have also founded our partner organisation Rescue Paws, a charity which helps stray animals in Hua Hin. Rescue Paws has evolved quickly from humble beginnings as a feeding project into a safe haven for strays that need rehabilitation and medical care from our on-site veterinarian. Rescue Paws has accomplished a great deal with the support of XploreAsia and our teachers including, tending to over 4,000 wounds, vaccinating 3.751 animals, performing 869 sterilizations and facilitating 174 adoptions. We are also continuing to work with Pala-U-Noi orphanage to help them develop the care they can provide for the orphaned children. We have been able to fund medical treatment for the children, including cancer treatment, as well as supporting the farm to help them gain self-sufficiency. We are currently working on plans to build a library with full internet access. At XploreAsia we’ve always been passionate about giving back to the community and this is something we will continue to strive for as we carry on growing as a company.

Pup at Rescue Paws
XA Orphanage trip

XploreAsia’s 5th birthday coincided with Lek’s birthday, our lovely administration manager, so we headed out to dinner to celebrate both. We ate pizza, pasta, salad and desserts all while hanging out together and having a blast.

Lek's Cake
Mike & Paang
Nat & Becca
Here at XploreAsia, we strongly believe that cross-cultural experiences are not only incredible and life changing for the individual but also increase cultural understanding and empathy around the world and we’re delighted that we’ve helped so many people to start their own unique adventures abroad.

Want to become part of our growing family? Check out how you can be part of our story by looking at our programs here!

Volunteer Abroad with Rescue Paws and XploreAsia

Volunteer Abroad with Rescue Paws and XploreAsia

Rescue Paws Pup

As well as training and placing teachers to work abroad, XploreAsia are also passionate about contributing to the local community. Stray dogs are unfortunately extremely common in Thailand which means there are thousands of animals at risk of starvation, abuse and in need of medical treatment. In 2013, XploreAsia and their Australian partners Global Work and Travel decided to do something about it.

From humble beginnings as purely a feeding project, the Rescue Paws foundation now has an on-site veterinarian, Dr Aye, to provide emergency medical care and vital sterilisations as well as a dedicated team of volunteers who help coordinate international adoptions and take care of the street dogs the organisation takes in. The foundation’s main goal is to heal, rehabilitate, sterilize and release strays back to their packs around Hua Hin.

XploreAsia Dog Wash Rescue Paws

Volunteer Abroad and Make a Difference

“The dogs are often born in dire conditions on the streets.” Says Rescue Paws’ Volunteer Coordinator Jayne Soltys. “Sterilization of these dogs is so important to be able to control the population, and so that the locals feel safe from potentially aggressive dogs. We also make a large effort to teach people how to properly care for their pets by talking to them about sterilization, vaccination, and parasite treatments. By working with XploreAsia, we hope that the teachers will help by making pet care a part of their curriculum”

“As corny as it sounds, every day we witness miracles. To watch a dog go from not being able to walk to running around on the beach, it’s absolutely incredible in a way that I cannot describe.” A prime example of this comes in the adorable form of Rescue Paws’ only permanent resident Sprite. Despite using a wheelchair, Sprite’s boundless energy and charisma wins the hearts of staff and volunteers alike. The foundation is also committed to educating the local community about animal care by reaching out to local schools and organisations.

Dog on the beach

Rescue Paws relies on a team of volunteers and are always looking for extra hands to help feed, care for and play with the dogs, so there’ll be plenty of opportunities to volunteer abroad with the organisation whilst you’re in Hua Hin earning your TESOL qualification. As Jayne says, “If you only have a couple of hours to spare, we can totally use all the help we can get when it comes to taking our dogs for walks along our beautiful beach.” You’ll also get the chance to visit during the orientation week to meet the team and get a taste of what it’s like to volunteer abroad with animals at the foundation.

XploreAsia teachers walking dogs at Rescue Paws

Other Ways to Help

Even if for some reason running along the beach with a bunch of dogs isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other things you can do to help the team out whilst studying for your TESOL qualification. All the profits from Wagging Tales, the café at XploreAsia HQ, go directly to Rescue Paws so whenever you stop by to pick up a refreshing watermelon slushy or an energising Thai iced tea between classes, you’re making a real difference to the lives of strays in Hua Hin. In fact, the money from your morning coffee provides one whole meal for a rescued pup. During your training, you’ll likely be eating a lot of freshly made lunches at the café and the fact that you’re making a huge difference to stray animals’ lives makes every bite taste even better.

Everything adds up. Five cups of coffee pays for one vaccination, ten of their delicious smoothies adds up to one bag of dog food and twenty lattes provides one sterilisation to help reduce the number of dogs being born on the streets. Whatever your schedule is, just by hanging out with your new friends at our cosy café makes a huge difference to animals in need.

XploreAsia Pudding at Wagging Tails

According to Jayne, even the seemingly smallest actions make a big difference. “You can like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter, and share our stories with your family and friends. Anything and everything helps!”

Want to Volunteer Abroad?

Head over to Rescue Paws’ website to find out more information about how you can volunteer abroad or to find out how you can make a difference to strays in Thailand whilst you’re studying for your TESOL qualification in Hua Hin.

Dogs of Rescue Paws

How Teaching Abroad Can Boost Your Career

How Teaching Abroad Can Boost Your Career

Working Laptop

Teaching abroad can open up a range of opportunities! You will gain a wealth of skills, experience and confidence that will be immensely valuable in any field you choose to pursue when you decide to hang up your red pen. We’ve spoken to former XploreAsia teachers who’ve gone on to accomplish great things both inside and outside of teaching to share our thoughts and their experiences with you. They’ll show you why teaching abroad is a great idea and how to use your skill set to pursue a career wether or not you continue teaching. 

Teaching Abroad - Teacher Didi

Being able to confidently express yourself as an invaluable skill. Presenting your ideas and explaining your work in formal meetings is essential in business. A boardroom is a breeze compared to a room full of disinterested children, so showing your confidence in speaking to people and communicating will definitely demonstrate the benefits of your teaching experience.

Adaptability is one of your strongest attributes as a teacher abroad. You’ve shown the ability to move to a foreign country, with no understanding of the language and adapt to living and working successfully is something very few candidates can say. Your future employer will know you have the ability to adapt to their way of working, as long as you tell them you can.

As an English teacher abroad, you’ve gone through your entire lesson plan in fifteen minutes and still managed to plow through, to keep your kids learning for the other forty five. You’ve started your lessons and realized that the kids looking blankly at you need you to mix things up, change your methodology mid-way through a lesson or devise a bridging lesson in the three seconds you’ve been standing in front of the class. You’re resourceful, quick thinking and able to solve problems quickly and effectively – make sure they know that.

Organisation skills, planning and working to deadlines are some things you’ll invariably need as a teacher, particularly in South East Asian schools. Schedules regularly get changed and you can be called to teach a class with very little warning. You’ve planned and prepared lessons, ahead of time and managed your own schedule to ensure everything is prepared before you step into the classroom. You will be able to function in high paced environments and use your time management skills to be effective in a busy office.

 Representing the organization you work for positively in a community is a large part of the teaching experience. Holding yourself as an ambassador for your school, contributing to the local community and being an active member of the community within your school is something any company would like to have replicated in their offices. Showing that you take your job very seriously and that you are willing and able to go above and beyond to represent your employer in the best possible light is a huge selling point you should make clear.

Melissa Teaching Abroad
Resume Booster

Presenting your new skillset to an employer in a way that is relevant to the job you’re applying for is very important. Hopefully some of these skills will make it onto your resume and get you the job of your dreams! Remember to keep things brief, don’t go overboard with the details – save something for the interview

The skills you gain from living, working and teaching abroad can open doors for you in any walk of life. Find out how you can begin a life changing adventure that will also boost your career here.  

We also have internship programs that can prepare you for life at work in a professional setting covering a range of positions, that will provide hugely beneficial experience you can point to when applying for jobs: 

How has teaching overseas helped you land a job? If you’d like to share please get in touch! 


Teach In Thailand: The Spider Chronicles

Teach In Thailand: The Spider Chronicles

Former XploreAsia participant, program coordinator and current teacher Simone Salerno describes her experience moving into her placement town, in Northern Thailand. Settling in to your new home and adapting to life in a new town can be a challenging experience but one full of opportunities to grow and become part of a community. 

I share my shower with about five spiders. I say “about five” because one of the spiders is a master at hide and seek. The spiders really used to freak me out. I’ll never forget my first shower experience in my teaching town. I was in the midst of shampooing my hair, when I turned around, opened my eyes, and saw a huge, spindly spider staring back at me. Let’s just say that shower ended quickly and I never finished washing my hair that day.

Over time the spiders and I reached an agreement. They ate the unfriendly bugs, and I left them alone. I never thought I’d share a shower with spiders, especially spiders as big as my palm, yet here I am. You may be sitting in your seat, shuddering to yourself and thinking, “NOPE! That will NEVER be me…” Well friend, allow me let you in on a little secret; living abroad has a beautiful way of changing the rules you live your life by.

Before moving to Thailand, I had set a strict list of rules for myself. After everyone had shared their extensive “Do’s and Don’ts” for traveling, along with their personal horror stories, I thought I knew what I could and could not do in Thailand.

Based on their stories and advice, I could not ride a motor scooter, walk around at night by myself, walk around during the day by myself, walk around at all by myself, eat ANYTHING that I couldn’t peel myself, eat anything I couldn’t see prepared, eat anything that didn’t come out of a pre-packaged container, go ANYWHERE that was a malaria zone, go into the ocean alone, go into the ocean at all…. And the list went on.

 I’m sure in reading that list, you can remember being told at least one of those “precautionary” bits of advice.  It’s hard for me to look back now and see how rigid I was about traveling to a new country; and how if I would have followed those rules at all times, I would never have truly experienced the country I have grown to love.

Living abroad has an incredible way of helping you understand preconceived notions are just unnecessary limits; created out of fear before having enough evidence to know if what you believe is true or even useful. You can’t live your life on preconceived notions. Prejudging a whole country based on advice from a few weary travelers was the biggest mistake I made before embarking on my adventure.

Teach in Thailand Pad Thai

It only took a short time after arriving in Thailand to realize how off my judgments were, and how quickly I would change my set of “strict” rules. Within a day of arriving in Hua Hin, I was already eating fresh cut fruit from a local fruit stand, swimming in the ocean, enjoying fresh Pad Thai on the side of the street, and walking around alone to explore new places. Putting an end to my preconceived notions is the best choice I have made in my travels.

Teach in Thailand

After living in Thailand for many months, I can say that I really enjoy 7/11 sushi (don’t knock it until you try it), sharing my home with a few lizard roommates is actually a plus, the best fresh fruit comes from a stand, a freezing cold shower is actually something to look forward to, strangers can easily become family, and every situation has a silver lining.

Don’t let precautionary tales of travel keep you away from living abroad. “If you listen to people, and if you allow people to project their fears onto you, you’ll never live” (Taraji P. Henson).  If I had listened to everyone who told me no, in some form or another, I never would have truly experienced the place I now call home.

Simone Salerno

Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

To begin your adventure in Thailand, follow this link:


Teach in Thailand

Life as an English Teacher in Myanmar

Life as an English Teacher in Myanmar

We caught up with Rachel and Amy, two of our teachers currently working in Myanmar. They share their experiences of living, working and teaching in Myanmar, sharing their advice and answering questions you might have about teaching opportunities in Myanmar.

How did you find out about the program and what made you decide that Myanmar was the right place for you to go teach?

I was initially attracted to Myanmar as a place to experience a culture that was relatively untouched by Western influences. After some research, I found a program that taught the TESOL course and paired teachers with schools in Myanmar.

In which city did you teach?

After completing the TESOL course in Yangon, I was placed at the Nelson International Education Center in Tachileik, Myanmar. Tachileik is a border town near the northern most point of Thailand in Shan State, Eastern Myanmar. For those who are interested in a completely immersive experience, Tachileik is the place for you. With a population of roughly 55,000, I was 1 of 10 foreigners. Almost no one speaks English in Tachileik besides those connected with the school and the only “comforts” of home are a semi-westernized coffee shop and a few restaurants with picture menus. This all makes for an intense, but fascinating learning experience.

How would you describe your typical day?

 As a teacher, a van would pick me and my fellow teachers up at around 8 am, and we would leave school around 5 pm. I was responsible for a group of students between the ages of 11-15 with almost no English experience. I taught them English and Math and did not follow a set curriculum. My single focus was to build up their confidence levels to be comfortable speaking in conversational English. While this is a generalization, I would say that students in Myanmar are among the best in the world in terms of their respect for teachers and willingness to learn. I was warned that I had some “trouble-makers” in my class, but every student I had was unbelievably sweet and unique.

What have been the highlights of your experience teaching in Tachileik?

 Observing the rapid changes in each students English ability was pretty amazing. NIEC Tachileik has only been open for a few years, but many students are already passably fluent. As a native English speaker, you will be frequently asked to take control of situations even if you are new and unsure of yourself. 

Besides wanting to travel, I came to Myanmar to test out teaching as a profession. I really fell in love with teaching here, and I am now back in Chicago pursuing a degree in secondary education. This was definitely a great experience to get my feet wet in the profession, and to meet a lot of incredible people in the process.

What do you do in your free time in or outside of Tachileik?

 When I wasn’t teaching, I spent a lot of time reading, wandering the streets, eating tea leaf salad, and wrangling feral cats. I also spent time perfecting my Burmese with phrases like “Don’t put peanuts in that” and “One fried rice to-go, thanks.” I also went to Bangkok every 70 days to renew my business visa.

Is there anything that you would like to tell prospective teachers thinking of coming over?

 My advice to prospective teachers would be to have an open mind about trying new things, to not take yourself too seriously, and to just go for it!


How did you find out about the program and what made you decide that Myanmar was the right place for you to go teach?

 I found out about the program through Greenheart Travel.  I decided to choose Myanmar because its a fascinating country and is undergoing interesting times.  When I was an undergrad, I had the opportunity to some research projects about the country and the region, and from then on, I knew I wanted to go there at some point in time to experience and witness the changes.  Also the fact that the program offered the TESOL certification courses and also job placement afterwards was a plus.  I was actually selected to join Peace Corps to volunteer in Eastern Europe, but opted for this program because I wanted to go to Myanmar.  Though I’m an American, by roots, my parents are from Southeast Asia and going to Myanmar was my calling.

What made you decide that Myanmar was the right place for you to go teach?

I decided to choose Myanmar because its a fascinating country and is undergoing interesting times.  When I was an undergrad, I had the opportunity to some research projects about the country and the region, and from then on, I knew I wanted to go there at some point in time to experience and witness the changes.

Also the fact that the program offered the TESOL certification courses and also job placement afterwards was a plus.  I was actually selected to join Peace Corps to volunteer in Eastern Europe, but opted for this program because I wanted to go to Myanmar.  Though I’m an American, by roots, my parents are from Southeast Asia and going to Myanmar was my calling.
Also the fact that the program offered the TESOL certification courses and also job placement afterwards was a plus.  I was actually selected to join Peace Corps to volunteer in Eastern Europe, but opted for this program because I wanted to go to Myanmar.  Though I’m an American, by roots, my parents are from Southeast Asia and going to Myanmar was my calling.

Describe a typical day in your life as a teacher here…

 A typical day as a teacher in Myanmar, well, my experience was a little different compared to my cohorts.  I had the opportunity to teach in Lashio for one month, and then in Pyin Oo Lwin for about four months.  In terms of the daily routines as a teacher, I taught a wide range of students, from pre-schoolers, teens and adults.  It’s quite a unique teaching experience to have such a wide range of different age groups to teach.

In Lashio, things were a little more convenient because I actually lived at the school, so transportation was not an issue.  Maybe because I have an easy going personality, the accommodation was fine to me.  I had blocked schedule and breaks in between lessons, so that was nice.  The school’s staff and local teachers are phenomenal and always willing to help.  They literally fed me everyday with delicious home-cooked Myanmar food.  In the morning, I would go to the playground and play with the pre-school kids, during my breaks I would do a run-through with my lessons before I teach, then there’s grading papers/workbooks, and then plan for the next day or week ahead.

 In Pyin Oo Lwin, I lived with a family, but had a separate section of the house to myself.  I would ride a bicycle that the school provided from my house to school every morning.  Depending on the route I took, it would take me 15-20 minutes to get to school.  The routine is similar to the Lashio school, just the living accommodation was different and I needed a form of transportation to get to school.

How would you describe Lashio?

 Lashio is literally like a city in the clouds.  You’re so high up in the mountains.  Every morning, I would wake up around 5am just to see the sunrise, the clouds rolling and the fog carving around the tall mountains.  It’s breathtaking.  Lashio is located close to China, so you get a lot of great Chinese influences in the cuisines.  There are plenty of pagodas to visit, the famous large market and also the local hot spring.  Transportation, the form of taxis you’ll have access to are tri-wheeled motorbikes (kind of like Thailand’s tuk-tuk).

Pyin Oo Lwin is a nice quaint town.  It has an interesting history, being the summer capital during the colonial period when the British colonized Burma, so you can see a lot of the old British (Tudor style) houses and buildings scattered around town.  Transportation, you have the option of motorbike taxis or horse carriages.  It’s a beautiful town where east meets west, but in terms of centuries ago.  You won’t get many western amenities here like you would in Yangon.  This town is famous for its botanical garden and also its damson wine. Oh! And for coffee lovers, there’s great coffee here.

What do you do in your free time in or outside of Lashio?

 In Lashio, I think my short time-frame there was somewhat of a blessing. During my free time, I’d workout (sometime running back and forth on the school’s roof) or go hiking up to the 2500 year old pagoda trail (taking the steps route or the dirt route).  I was able to persuade some of the school’s staff and teachers to join me.  On occasions, the local teachers would invite me to go to the market with them or they’d take to visit a pagoda.  I’ve literally paid my respects to all the pagodas in Lashio.  I only did the hot spring once.  It rained a lot during the month I was there in Lashio.  I think the icing on the cake of the experience was when I was invited for lunch to one of the local teacher’s family’s home.  It was my first time ever being in a local Myanmar home and to see how they lived modestly and such.  The entire experience went by fast and definitely learned to make the most of everyday.

 In Pyin Oo Lwin, during my free time, typically, I just ride my bicycle around town and grab lunch or coffee with some of the school’s staff.  On my days off, I would sometime volunteer at the nunnery to teach English or help with art and crafts activities.  Sometimes, the school staffs would take me to visit pagodas or go to Ruby Mart (it’s the only supermarket in town that’s fairly new).  I’ve had the chance to watch some Myanmar films at the theater there, pretty interesting experience and I highly recommend it!  There are also some good hiking trails out there.  I haven’t done the popular one where you can hike to a waterfall yet, but I heard that one is well worth it.  There are two famous caves with pagodas there too.

 In terms of doing the more touristy experience, I’ve been fortunate to go on trips with the schools that I’ve taught at.  The school staffs pretty much organize the trips and I just tag along.  So far, I’ve been to Mandalay, Monywar, Sagaing, Goteik Bridge, Bagan and Yangon.  Most of these trips entail paying homage to pagodas.  I also enjoy ancient architecture and how beautifully Myanmar has been able to preserve its traditions and culture, so it’s great being able to witness it.

What have been the highlights of your experience teaching in Lashio?

 For both Lashio and Pyin Oo Lwin, the highlights would be to be able to experience life at the local level and immersing oneslef in the customs and culture.

Is there anything that you would like to tell prospective teachers thinking of coming over?

 Be open minded, flexible and willing to help/learn.

Thank you Rachel and Amy for sharing your amazing experiences teaching in Myanmar and sharing your wonderful experiences with the XploreAsia family. Read more about teaching abroad in our blog posts and teaching programs!
A huge thank you to Rachel and Amy for sharing their experiences as teachers in Myanmar with us! For more information on the teaching opportunities in Myanmar click here. The TESOL course is taught in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar and the perfect place to immerse yourself in the culture of your new home. You can also experience Myanmar as a volunteer with XploreAsia

Teach in Thailand 2017 – An Unforgettable Adventure

Teach in Thailand 2017 – An Unforgettable Adventure


Reasons to Teach Thailand in 2017:

Most of us can remember our favourite teachers, we can remember how they inspired us, how they motivated us, and how they made us feel about our achievements.  The fact that most of us have never forgotten these moments says a lot about the impact teachers can have on an individual.  An inspirational teacher can not only change the life of a student, but also have lasting impact on a community. When you teach Thailand in 2017, we’ll give you the opportunity to become unforgettable.

Inspire the new generation and make friends that will last a lifetime!

Muay Thai Hua Hin, TESOL Orientation Week

english teacher in Thailand

teaching english in Thailand

TESOL course beach BBQ

 As an educator, your students will make a lasting impression on you.  Their smiling faces, their kindness and generosity, their moments of extroversion will stay with you forever.  You will be welcomed with open arms into a community, and in-turn will work with that community as a teacher to improve their younger generation’s future prospects.

At XploreAsia we truly care about the experience we offer every single one of our participants.  We care about our community, and improving education all over Thailand.  We offer truly life-changing adventures.

To give you an overview of our particiapant experience, here’s our latest review over on GoAbroad :

“It was nerve-wracking to make the decision to leave home and move to a new country to teach English but XploreAsia replaced all my trepidation with excitement and confidence! I have been living and teaching in Thailand for the past 7 months and couldn’t be happier with my choice. XploreAsia provided endless support prior to coming to Thailand, invaluable teaching preparation, personalized placement meetings to help place me in a job best suited for me, and unending support after I was placed in a school. This program goes above and beyond in making sure participants are well-prepared and confident going into their own classrooms. I found the continued support after being placed in my school to be one of the most positive aspects of my experience as the XploreAsia staff is happy to help and well-informed in regards to Thai life and culture. I cannot recommend this program enough, if you’re looking to embark upon a life changing and growing experience then don’t hesitate. Wonderful things are waiting for you!”

                                                                                                                               by Julianne Tierney

 Still need convincing on why you should teach Thailand in 2017?

Check out these inspiring stories and adventures of XploreAsia alumni:

Shanoira made a decision to embrace a new adventure in October 2016 and hasn’t looked back since – Why Teach English in Thailand

Jazz is a cheerful and dedicated English Teacher in Isaan who takes the most out of the teaching experience – Making a Difference as an English Teacher

The best part about stepping out for your comfort zone is that it can change your life the way you never imagined – How We Found Love While Teaching in Thailand

If you have any more questions about teaching abroad and would like to embrace a new culture, do not hesitate to contact us! 

Top 10 Reasons To Intern Overseas

Top 10 Reasons To Intern Overseas

Working as an intern overseas opens up countless opportunities, and broadens your perspective in a way you could have never imagined. But do not take our word for it! Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Intern Overseas listed by a XploreAsia intern Jane, who did a 12 week internship program with us. We are so glad to have her as part of our XploreAsia family and wish her best of luck in her new adventures back home!

1. Explore A New Country. This one seems a bit obvious, but in a case you did not realize, as an intern overseas YOU GET TO EXPLORE AND DISCOVER AN ENTIRE NEW COUNTRY!!!!! When living in a new country, it is so nice to have a place to call home and a home-base to return to after a long weekend and day trips around the country. You also become very familiar with the area that you live in, and you`ll gain a lot more knowledge about the culture than an average backpacker would. 

2. Live Like a Local. By living in a different country for an extended period of time you get to learn so much more than if you were simply visiting for a few weeks. You become completely immersed in a new culture. By living in Hua Hin, I have picked up a good amount of Thai, improved my bargaining skills and learned so much about Thai culture and customs!

sunset in Hua Hin
sunset in Hua Hin

Sunsets in Hua Hin, as beautiful as always.

3. Make Your Resume Stand Out. The decision to move abroad is not an easy, or a small step to take, however, interning overseas sets you apart from job applicants who do not have any international work experience. Employers see so much more in it than just another internship. It shows that you are open minded, you are able to adapt, you learn to over come obstacles and develop problem solving skills, the list goes on!

4. Gain International Work Experience. Working for a company in a different country means that you will be working with locals and other various nationalities. You have an opportunity to work in a multicultural environment, learn from different perspectives and work ethics. It will help you to understand how different cultures work and how to co-operate in a business environment.

5. Learn a New Language. One of the most exciting yet difficult parts of moving abroad to a country that speaks a different language than your native tongue is communicating with local people and understanding local life and culture. However, you will most likely learn how to say basic phrases and how to order your favorite foods and nothing feels better than when the local people understand what you are saying in their language!

6. Meet People from All Over the World. There will most likely be people from many different countries if you intern overseas. Some of these people may even end up becoming lifelong friends, mentors or both!  Working in an international organization allows you to learn about other people, where they come from and what it is like in their country.

XploreAsia staff and interns

7. Grow Your Network When you work in an international organization, you meet people from all around the world. You make connections that you can later use in life. People come from all different types of careers and backgrounds, and often have a lot of connections in different parts of the world.

8. Opens New Doors (opportunities and desires) it sounds cliché but people sometimes travel to find themselves.  While I would not say that you “find yourself” by moving and working in a different country, you definitely discover things about yourself regarding who you are as a person and perhaps even desires and things that matter to you that you may have never realized.  This could further lead to open an entire new world of opportunities that align with your new found passions!


Surprisingly, Thailand is also a home to handful of vineyards!

On the way to one of the temples in Khao Takiab, about 30 minute drive from Hua Hin

9. Personal Growth. Being away from your version of normal, gives you no option but to grow! Everything is different and initially it all feels quite uncomfortable.  From the food you eat and every day commute, to the way you interact with people, it is all different and strange at first. It is a constant testing of your patience and at the end it makes you become a more calm and accepting person.  As there is a saying, nothing good ever comes from a comfort zone.

10. Everyday life is Actually Exciting. One of the best parts of interning abroad is that every day is unpredictable. When you are in a comfortable familiar setting, life can become routine and sometimes even boring.  However, life in another country is always an adventure, ranging from discovering your new favorite lunch spot to exploring your new town after work! You never run out of things to do and always have a new adventure to look forward to.

Is this something that you would be interested? Would you like to join our international XploreAsia family, gain valuable work experience and have a taste of what’s it like living in Thailand? If yes, get in contact with us and lets have a chat!

Considering Going Overseas? Here’s Why You Should Work Abroad Instead of Backpack

Considering Going Overseas? Here’s Why You Should Work Abroad Instead of Backpack

work abroad network

Whether you’re looking to travel after graduation, or eager to find a blank slate for a fresh start; you’ve decided to go abroad. In any case, there are many reasons and opportunities to make the most of your experience abroad. You can travel, volunteer, teach, or work abroad.  No matter which path you decide to take, you will gain  valuable insight into a new and exciting country.

Let’s say you can’t commit to a whole year teaching but you want more time than a week of vacationing or volunteering. Consider two options for a moment; you can either carry your life on your back or settle down and find work abroad.

Many people decide to travel as backpackers for an extended period of time, whether on their own or with a small group of friends. These back-packing experiences provide valuable insight to various local cultures and customs of many different regions and cities: everything from the local people to the cuisine, the landscape, and the diverse geography. Typically this type of excursion is an action packed list of things to do compressed into a small amount of time. With that in mind, backpackers are constantly on-the-go, seeking the next opportunity that comes along their path.

Picture your life backpacking: one week you might be hiking through a luscious mountainous region and the next you’ll be posted up on a white sand beach with a Chang in your hand. What could be more ideal?

Well, let’s consider the flip side of that exhilarating excursion – the cons, per se. While you may gain some unique street smarts navigating a foreign country, you won’t be getting an in-depth understanding of each culture if you’re constantly looking ahead for the next best thing to come along. Not to mention, there’s no time to relax when there’s so much to see and too much to do.


Taking in the view of our new home in Hua Hin.

Sound exhausting and stressful? Well, I have a solution for you. Ditch the backpack (along with the sore feet) and choose to fully immerse yourself in a local culture through working and living abroad. There are various attractions and benefits to working abroad compared to the constant hustle of backpacker travel. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know your surroundings while also appreciating each moment, embracing every aspect of this new, diverse environment. 

xa orphanage

Amazing to be part of a company that is dedicated to giving back to their community with time spent at the Pala'U orphanage.

First of all, you’ll gain hands on work experience in an international Thai office, pretty cool right? Those who work abroad gain value through capturing an in-depth understanding of how a business within another culture operates. Participating in daily operations allow for a better interpretation of the company in general and why they promote specific values relating to Thai culture.

Not only will you gain insight to a multi-cultural/international work environment but any challenges abroad will allow for more individual growth and prepare you for future struggles back home. Through working with other cultures you will learn how to navigate through daily issues that aren’t typically addressed within a monocultural environment.

Some of the XploreAsia team saying a farewell to one of our interns!

These miniscule interactions lead to a better understanding of how others operate while also promoting a new way of thinking. As you build these international relationships, your diverse group of colleagues will soon become a substantial global network of friends.

Buddhist monk mediation

Enjoying a lesson on meditation from a local monk.

Interacting with the same people on a daily basis can also change your perception of someone from a different cultural background as you begin to understand why they do the things they do and reasoning put behind the unique customs of Thai people. It truly is an enriching experience to befriend a local and gain their personal insight on life in Thailand. Plus collaborating with locals within the office enables the perfect opportunity to enhance your Thai language skills. Everyday brings a new chance to learn something about the Thai culture and about yourself.

So if you’re thinking you’ll be stuck in one city without experiencing any of Thailand’s rich offerings by taking an internship over backpacking, you are mistaken. On one hand, much of the valuable offerings occur within daily office interactions. But what about the travel opportunities? As an intern, I find it much easier to travel somewhat sporadically because it helps to save up money before these trips while also allowing for some down time during the week without the stress that comes with constantly changing scenery. It is also reassuring to have a home base to return to after a hectic weekend reliving planes, trains, and automobiles. Travelling is still very much attainable as an intern so don’t be discouraged if that is a main concern when considering a work abroad opportunity.

viewpoint of hua hin

Viewpoint over Khao Kalok Beach in Pranburi

While there is much to learn about culture by backpacking through a new country, personally I have found that working within an international office I have gained an extensive, unparalleled skill set with communicating across various cultures that would not be attainable through just traveling. 

With that said, consider these five reasons why you should leave the backpack at home and work abroad instead:
  1. Work within an integrated office environment and learn how to interact professionally with Thai people while also improving your own Thai language skills.
  2. Gain full immersion into local culture including all of the food, friends, and welcoming family atmosphere you could ever dream of.
  3. Assume automatic lower stress about what will happen next and gain more appreciation for what is happening now.
  4. Build both a personal and professional global network of friends and colleagues.
  5. Have the opportunity to travel on weekend excursions while still having a secure home base to return to afterwards.

Now that you’ve weighed the pro’s and con’s, why not start your journey now and apply to one of our unique internship programs!


Written by: Marti Lippert 

Why Teach English in Thailand?

Why Teach English in Thailand?

Have you ever considered a different career path? Always wanted to do something that gives your job a meaning, a sense of adventure and freedom at the same time? One of our alumni, Shanoira, had the exact same thoughts! Read her encouraging and heart warming story of her adventures and experiences teaching English in Thailand.

I have been in Thailand for about 7 months now and if you’re reading this, then you are probably interested in teaching abroad. You might be wondering what it is like and if it’s something you can really do.

Well, no need to fear! I will let you in on everything there is to know about life in Thailand.  

So first off, the hardest part is taking a leap of faith and truly committing to coming to Thailand! At one point, Thailand was just a dream. I was reading blogs but I didn’t have an active plan to move to Thailand. Then one day as I sat at my office desk (hating my job), staring at a picture of Loi Krathong, I thought, “What am I waiting for?”.

That night I filled out an application which led me to Thailand. So if this is something that has been on your mind for awhile: DO IT! In life you only regret the chances you did not take.

TESOL Certificate 

In order to teach in most Asian countries, having a TESOL or TEFL certificate furthers your chances of getting hired as well as getting better pay (especially if you do not have a degree). I decided to get my TESOL certification with XploreAsia. XploreAsia is a well-run organization that has taught me in a short amount of time (3 weeks) to be a well-equipped teacher. For people who have never taught before or people who are new to a foreign country, I highly recommend going through a program like XploreAsia. In my view, not doing so would’ve been like jumping into the deep end of a pool and not knowing how to swim.

Their are numerous benefits to this program, such as you will instantly have a network of friends that can help you if you ever have a question about anything: visa runs, lesson plans, places to visit, etc. Also they will be living all over the country, so if you ever want to travel anywhere in Thailand you have a place to crash. When it comes to XploreAsia, they provided me with Thai lessons, cultural lessons, and fun excursions, all on top of the intensive training to be an ESL teacher. They set up my bank account, found me a job, and even helped me arrange transportation to my new town. I would never in a millions years have been able to do any of those things without the guidance of XploreAsia. Honestly, XploreAsia? You da bomb.

Teaching English in Thailand

Officially Certified!
Call me Teacher Shanoira

TESOL graduation in Chiang Mai, teaching english in Thailand

TESOL graduation in Chiang Mai with Benz, XploreAsia Senior Placement Co-ordinator.

Teaching English in a Thai School

 If you’re like me, you may have visions of these well-mannered Thai children eager to learn English, engaged in all your activities, and hanging on to your every word because you’re that awesome of a teacher. Well, it’s about time to wake up because all that, simply put, is a dream, not a reality. My students are hyper and talkative; there have been many times that they couldn’t care less that I want to teach them English. When I just began teaching, I wanted to rip my hair out of my head because I couldn’t get them to stay quiet, nor could I hold their focus for longer than 30 seconds.

teaching english in Thailand

However, please don’t let these things scare you! I honestly love being a teacher and I have never felt more fulfilled from a job in my entire life. Once I mastered classroom management and became inventive with the activities I used in class, this satisfaction from my job only increased. Every day (well, maybe not every day, but most of the days I’ve had teaching), I knew my students left class and learned new words or concepts. I’ve realized that English is a crucial skill to have, and the ability to speak and understand the language really does provide new opportunities to students for their futures. By being a good teacher, I’ve aided in their English knowledge and that makes me super happy.

Also, just so you know, Thailand schools tend to function by disorganized chaos. Classes get cancelled or moved around all the time. The students are constantly missing class since they are studying for some big Thai test that you know nothing about or it’s sport week, which is treated like the mini Olympics. You just have to learn quickly to go with the flow and your life will be so much easier. Do not get worked up when things do not go as planned because believe me – they won’t go to plan.  

Teaching English in Thailand

When kids do behave, they are adorable and all the misbehaving is forgotten. 


As a foreigner with braids in my hair, I sometimes feel like a painting in an art gallery. Thai people will stare at me, whisper to their friends, and some even pull out their phones to snap a picture. One thing you’ll have to get use to is the amount of stares you will encounter being a foreigner in Thailand. We look different, and we act different, and especially in smaller towns, you can stand out like a sore thumb. At times, it can be annoying when all you want to do is eat dinner at the market but everyone has stopped what they are doing and are intently staring at you. But in time, this becomes normal, and you’ll instead feel odd when you go to places like Bangkok and no one cares that you are not Thai.

english teacher life in Thailand, elephant sanctuary

My Town

I got my placement in the Chaiyapum province which is located in Isaan. I am approximately 6 hours north of Bangkok. If you have ever visited Thailand, there is a 99% chance that you have never visited my town. Google has stated that less than 1% of tourists pass through Chaiyaphum each year. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a fantastic little town, and it has truly become my home away from home.

Some of the things I enjoy doing in Chaiyapum include eating breakfast by the lake, hanging out at the one bar, checking out the markets, and going for a swim at one of the local resort’s outdoor pool. However, I also love going for rides to one of the highest viewpoints in the province (like on the picture below) and just relaxing; we’ll check out the waterfalls and visit the stone hedges. Chaiyapum is a cute little town, and I have honestly met some of the most amazing people there.


Thailand is not really big on kitchens. Therefore, most apartments are “dorm styled” and are big enough for only one person. However, you will never hear me complain about this because the rent here is BEYOND cheap! I live by a lake in a quiet part of town next door to mansions that the house governor generals inhabit, and I still only pay 3500 baht a month in rent (Approx $120 CDN). And this also includes Wi-Fi! I am from Toronto, and I pay more rent living with my mom there than I do here for my own spot. I also love being the queen of my castle and being able to decorate my place how I wish to, clean my apartment when I want to, and come in and out as I please without having to talk to anyone. You really can’t put a price on freedom.


When you are new to Thailand and you don’t speak the language, ordering food can be a pain, especially if you have dietary restrictions. I don’t have any dietary restrictions, and it was still stressful to figure out how to order food when I first got here. You will go to a restaurant and the menu will be in Thai, so you’re pretty much playing Russian roulette by ordering something based on the picture or the one with the minimal Thai words that you’ve recently learned. You will hope it will be delicious or at least edible, and sometimes when I did do this, the food was amazing. Other times, I didn’t get so lucky.

Western food is a lot more expensive in Thailand, but it is still a nice treat once in a while.

Thailand food selection was something I had to adjust to a lot! In Canada I did not eat much Thai food besides the occasional Pad Thai, so everything here in Thailand was very new to me. At first, I was very reluctant to try new cuisines because at times I can be very picky about food. Also, Thai people love spice, and I hate it. It was definitely a sharp learning curve for me, getting to know all the Thai cuisines, but now there are so many new dishes I love.

Another thing: Thai people also LOVE sugar so if you’re like me and thought you would get to Thailand and lose weight without dieting or exercising, then give up the dream now. It might not be like that.


Thailand’s transportation is generally super easy and convenient. There is a train or bus that can get you to anywhere in Thailand for very cheap. If you are ever in Bangkok, the BTS system is years ahead of any transportation in Canada, and I love transportation here. It’s very easy to get around in Thailand, so if that was ever a stress of yours, I hope I put that to rest.

I should note that I have never ridden a motorbike before and neither do I have my driver’s license back home in Canada. However, getting a bike seemed like the most logical thing to do once I got to Thailand, so I got one. Getting a motorbike is super easy: all you need is a passport, cash and *boom* you can rent a bike virtually anywhere! I rented my bike for approximately $60 (Canadian dollars) a month and gas ran me around $4 a week. So overall, it is super affordable and easy to get a bike in Thailand, and remember to be safe (i.e wearing your helmet, not drinking and driving)! Navigating the streets of Thailand is really not a problem, except for in Bangkok. Driving in that city would be pure chaos. Just take the transit system there!


There is such a difference between reading about Thailand and actually living in Thailand. Facebook and Instagram can be super deceiving. You see posts of your friends feeding elephants, and drinking Pina Colada on the beach and you think, “Wow everyday in Thailand must be like paradise.” To an extent, living in Thailand is its own form of paradise, but people also forget that Thailand is a big country filled with more than just elephants and beaches. If you are coming to Thailand to teach English, you might be placed somewhere in the middle of the country, not just at the beach.

The best advice I can give to you is to be open-minded and to embrace the cultural experience you will undoubtedly have. There are plenty of opportunities to travel (like long weekends or school breaks). So don’t think you have to be on an island teaching in order to enjoy Thailand.  

Living abroad can get lonely and culture shock can be significant and real. But believe me, the pros will outweigh the cons, and you will get over culture shock no matter how bad it gets! This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and when you embrace the good and the bad, you will reflect on this experience later in life, and you will be more than glad that you did it.

In Hua Hin, celebrating Songkran (Thai New Year) with my XploreAsia family

So now that you know everything there is to know about my life in Thailand. What are you waiting for? Book your flight now!  

You can also check out Shanoira’s Youtube channel where you can have a more detailed overview of her adventures in Thailand and additional tips for teaching english in abroad. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact us in XploreAsia, we would love to hear from you! 

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