The first week of the TESOL course in Hua Hin is a Cultural Orientation program designed to help the TESOL students adjust to their new surroundings, cope with the culture shock that may affect them, and learn more about Thailand.
Included in this week are interactive lessons on Thai culture, language, history and politics, taught by area experts. There are also fun and educational cultural excursions each day. This month, the TESOL students visited the Khao Tao Buddhist temple, Rescue Paws animal shelter, a Muay Thai gym and a local artist village.
TESOL students posing for their quirky photo in front of the giant Khao Tao Buddha statue
TESOL instructor and students practice the art of Thai meditation
All TESOL students receive a blessing from the monk at the end of their excursion to Khao Tao temple
Rescue Paws – Animal rescue program for the homeless dogs of Hua Hin
TESOL students visited Rescue Paws following their excursion to Khao Tao temple
Rescue Paws cares for and rehabilitates the injured street dogs of Hua Hin
Rescue Paws does as much as they possibly can to care for and rehabilitate the street dogs of Hua Hin but it comes at a price.
Muay Thai training
TESOL students are taken to the Hua Hin Muay Thai gym where they are introduced to the sport and receive training from expert trainers
Jaco Van Zyl, a TESOL student from South Africa, showing off his athletic ability in the ring
Group photo in the ring after a tough training session at the Muay Thai gym
Pineapple Plantation & Elephant Sanctuary
Students get the opportunity to walk around the beautiful pineapple plantation which is surrounded by some of the most beautiful tropical scenery in Thailand
Some of the juiciest and freshest pineapples you will ever come across
[Update: April 2018: We have made the decision to remove the elephant sanctuary visit due to concerns over treatment of elephants at the facility. We cannot in good conscience continue to support the facility while elephant rides are still offered.] After visiting the pineapple plantation, the TESOL students are taken across town to an elephant sanctuary where they get the opportunity feed and play with the elephants which are cared for here.
[Update: April 2018: We have made the decision to remove the elephant sanctuary visit due to concerns over treatment of elephants at the facility. We cannot in good conscience continue to support the facility while elephant rides are still offered.] The elephants loved the TESOL students so much here that they began hugging some of the students with their trunks
The students visited this traditional Thai artist village where they were given a lesson on Thai art and an opportunity to get creative
Inspirational quote by Kurt Vonnegut
Group photo outside the artist village in Hua Hin
Thai Language Learning
Teacher Pear gave the students several lessons on Thai language to assist them with communicating with the local Thai community
When they weren’t learning new Thai words, the students had the opportunity to practise speaking in Thai with one another and teacher Pear
Beach Braai (Barbecue)
After a long week of cultural orientation, the students are all treated to a beach Braai (Barbecue) on one of Hua Hin’s most beautiful beaches
Some of the students getting active by joining in on a game of beach volleyball with the locals
Stu has always carried with him a passion for exploring the world through work and travel experiences.
After a year-long adventure working at a school in London and travelling throughout Europe, Stu began his tertiary studies at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa, obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) in Social Dynamics.
He also holds a 120-Hour internationally accredited TEFL/TESOL certificate and understands what it takes to teach and travel responsibly. As TravelBud CEO he understands that truly exciting and life-changing adventures only happen when you step outside your comfort zone; and not a day goes by when he doesn’t challenge the team to do the same!
Teaching English in Thailand is a great opportunity for personal growth, professional development, and meeting people from all over the globe. Sometimes, if you’re really lucky, you may even end up finding love too.
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After taking a leap from the comfort of home in Scotland – Paige began her teach abroad journey in Vietnam with TravelBud in February of 2020. Since completing our In-Class TESOL Course + Job Placement Program in Vietnam, Paige has navigated her teach abroad experience with grace and confidence over the past year and a half. Paige has already positively impacted so many of her students and her journey has only just begun.
It’s hard to narrow down a favorite activity from this orientation week – from learning to make local foods to seeing a sloth with your own eyes! Here are my Top 10 Highlights of our Costa Rican Cultural Orientation!
Everyone at Team TravelBud is thrilled to welcome Aubrey Krzynski on board as our newest Support Co-Ordinator! After teaching English in Thailand through TravelBud, Aubrey has returned home and is now applying her experience and expertise by assisting TravelBud teachers as they begin their pre-departure process. We’ve asked Aubrey a few questions to get to know her better, and gain insight from her own pedagogical prowess!
I took a bit of a trip across the Atlantic Ocean from the comfort of my office chair when I chatted with one of our TravelBud teachers who’s currently teaching in Costa Rica. Alexandra Griffin jetted off to start her adventure in San Ramon in February 2021, doing our TESOL Course + Paid Teaching in Costa Rica program. Needless to say, all of us here at TravelBud are a little jealous of the incredible time she’s been having!
A few days ago I had a moment to catch a glimpse of what life is like as an EPIK teacher in South Korea. The oh-so-kind Mallory Cordeiro shared some of her experiences and wisdom with me, which I can now share with you – all the future English teachers yearning to head over to culturally diverse and beautiful South Korea.