Joe Moore completed his course five years ago. He tells us what he has been up to.
My name is Joe Moore. I graduated from Samui TEFL five years ago, on November 19, 2011. Ever since that day my life has been full of new experiences. My first involvement with teaching came a few months later in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai where I volunteered at a language school that assists Burmese refugees and indigenous Thai people with English conversation skills. The center of Chiang Mai activity is old city which is easily walked. Chiang Mai has a large town feel rather than a city. There are no real sky scrapers or metro systems and the cost of living is much lower than Bangkok.
After six months in Chiang Mai I was offered an ESL position at a Thai government high school in Samut Sakon province about 45 minutes south of the Thai capital. The town of Mahachai is a fishing village next to the Bangkok bight which houses many of Thailand’s frozen seafood factories. Fresh seafood is available at the markets at wholesale prices. Although, only a short ride from Bangkok, very few westerners live in this part of the kingdom.
From Mahachai I moved to the southern province of Surat Thani where I worked at two Thai government high schools over an 18 month period. Both schools were located in the countryside. This area of the mainland is mostly rural surrounded by rubber tree and palm oil plantations. Surat Thani city is a travel hub which includes Thai Rail, long distances buses, an airport and ferries. It’s a jumping off point the Thailand’s southern islands. Samui can be reached by a bus then a ferry in about two hours.
After my time in Surat Thani I was offered a position in Xuzhou, China, Jiangsu Province to teach seventh grade ESL. The main city of Xuzhou has a population of 2 million people. Beijing and Shanghai are both a four hour high speed train ride away. The city of Nanjing is only one hour away. I lived and worked in the new city of Xuzhou which was a 30 minute taxi ride from the main city. The new city was somewhat of a ghost town. Very few people actually lived there. Most of my students were bused from the main town. Altogether, I spent 14 quiet months in Xuzhou. The Chinese people were friendly and very eager to learn English.
In February 2016 I moved to Dubai, United Arab Emirates to work as a History/Social Studies teacher. I also teach ESL reading and writing. Dubai is a great city and an excellent location from which to travel. Two thirds of the world’s population and cities are within an 8hr flight. New malls, beaches, clubs, and five star hotels are the norm here. Alcohol which is heavily taxed is available at bars or clubs that are attached to hotels. The actual native populations of Emirati’s are a minority in their own country. Dubai is a melting pot of Indians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, every gulf state country, and westerners thrown into the mix. Many different cultures can be experienced just by walking out the door. Of course the UAE is a desert country and during the summer it can reach 50C or 120F degrees. The UAE is a Muslim nation which does practice sharia law, but with that said its moderate compared to bordering countries and has freedom of religion.
Joe has made the most of his TEFL course, and used it to teach in three different countries so far. Let him be an inspiration -- teaching English as a foreign language is a great way to experience different countries on a deeper level than being a tourist.
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