Briony Weddell, 18, Australia
When I first got to Thailand I imagined smiling faces, elephants, and exotic culture. It was all I had expected, and more!
I have so many fond memories of my experiences in Thailand, and I was very fortunate to be placed with a family who I now call my own. Everyone was so accommodating and I felt I blended in right away. In my host family there was a mother and a father with a five year old daughter (I have always wanted a little sister!). Some spoke limited English, but we soon found a few jokes and couldn't stop laughing! Some of my favourite memories would have to be playing soccer in the park with my host family while the sun went down, and walking into school every morning to see the smiling faces of my students, all wanting a high five! I also enjoyed going to the night market for dinner, and generally any time with my host family.
Teaching in Thailand can be challenging at first. My host mum and all the Thai teachers were very supportive, and in no time all my worries had vanished. I gained confidence and soaked up the amazing experience. After school finished I would go for a walk in the park with my little sister sitting on my shoulders, merrily singing nursery rhymes. One thing I found in Thailand is that the people can be quite shy, so I urge you to try to connect with them. Once you do, they are the kindest, funniest, most laid back people with a truly positive outlook on life.
Thank you Thailand for this amazing experience, I hope to see you again soon!