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New Location, New Career


When I first learned that my husband had accepted a job in Bangkok, I embarked on an adventure that would change my life. I gave up my corporate career back in the States and began teaching English on a voluntary basis. After discovering how much I loved teaching, I decided that it was time for some formal training, so I stopped into the local ECC office to find out more about the Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults or CELTA course.

I had never considered a job teaching English before I moved to Bangkok. However, once I arrived in town and had a chance to weigh my options I found that teaching was the perfect choice for me. It provides me the opportunity to work with great students and interesting colleagues, yet still leaves me the flexibility to set my own hours so I have time to travel and experience all of the amazing culture that Bangkok and Southeast Asia have to offer.

I work for a non-governmental organization that provides educational support to low-income Thai women who are hoping to improve their job prospects by learning English and other practical skills. The level of my students ranges from lower elementary to upper intermediate. Since I began working with these women, I have relied on colleagues and books as well as trial and error to plan my lessons. A few months ago, I decided that it made sense to take my skills to the next level and earn an internationally recognized qualification. That’s where ECC entered the picture.

All of my research on TEFL courses led me to the CELTA programme. I spoke to friends, colleagues and various EFL teachers and their advice was unanimous—CELTA is simply the best programme for training EFL teachers. After discovering this, I was thrilled to find out that ECC Siam Square offered the programme. Their office is conveniently located two blocks from the BTS station and only 20 minutes from my home. From my first visit to the ECC office, the staff was helpful and informative. One of the teacher trainers carefully explained the application process and course requirements to me in detail and really made me feel welcome. When I had questions prior to the course, I felt comfortable calling the office or sending an email. Everyone at ECC was always very responsive.

I’ll never forget the first day of the course. It had been several years since I had been a student, so I was a little nervous. As the other trainees filed into the room, I was pleasantly surprised to see the diversity of ages, backgrounds and nationalities. It was the support of my classmates and the camaraderie among us that provided me with some of the most memorable experiences during the month-long course. As a Bangkok “local” I enjoyed sharing a bit of my life and knowledge of the city with my new friends. In return, I got a glimpse of their lives in places like Turkey, Oman, Malaysia and Cambodia. Learning about their experiences both in and out of the classroom really enriched the programme for me.

Although the CELTA course is very enjoyable, there’s no question that it’s very challenging. The good news is that everything I learned is practical and applicable to my job. I can see the value of each teaching practice and input session and know that I am a better teacher today than I was before. Since completing the course, I feel re-energized at work and am constantly putting my new skills into practice. Knowing that I have the CELTA qualification has also boosted my self-confidence. It’s wonderful to know that I have an internationally recognized credential that will help me find work wherever my next move takes me. And as every expatriate family knows, that move may only be a phone call away.

Mary Vosbury

For more information try the following links

  • Read more information about CELTA
  • Find out what it's like to live in Thailand
  • Learn about job opportunities at ECC or teaching in Thailand


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