My first month in Thailand

"Puh, it is really hot today!" "Yes.... but it is hot every day" ".... you know, in Thailand there are two seasons: First there is the very hot season, and after that comes the hot with rain."

My name is Floria. I am 19 years old and came to Thailand to do a three-month voluntary project in Khlong Hoi Khong, where I would teach English at a primary school.

Let's be honest: the beginning of my project wasn't easy for me. And the unfamiliar heat wouldn't make things easier at all.

Before I came here, I was told to do this project with up to 5 other international Volunteers. Accordingly disappointed was I, when I realized I would be the only one after all.

But then there was the turning point. About three weeks after I arrived in Thailand I got used to the heat. Everything under 33 C is now ok for me, even though I might be still sweating. If, at some special day the temperature wouldn´t even hit 30 C in the morning or afternoon, I would go as far as considering it to be cold.

Also, school had started. The first week of teaching was quite difficult for me. After all I am not a teacher back in Austria. All I ever did was tutor younger students at my own school. And that was totally different to the teaching I am doing now. The children enjoy to do a lot of activities. By now I know about almost all the popular flashcard games and esl classroom activities one could find on the internet. After some changes, I now only teach Pratom 3 to 6, which makes it a little bit easier to adapt to the children’s knowledge and energy. It’s nice to see the children being excited and even shouting English words and sentences from the top of their lungs. Whenever I would meet them outside the class we would greet each other and I would try to encourage them to have small conversations. On the other hand, they tried teaching me the elephant song, a popular Thai children’s song. 

Even though I didn’t meet any other international Volunteers yet, I got to know some of the local Thais living here. The teachers are really nice and sometimes we would go jogging or to a market in the afternoon or evening. On the weekends I enjoy going to Hat Yai, to meet some of my friends. 

In the beginning, there might have been some struggles. But now I am looking really forward to whatever the coming two months might bring.

Floria, volunteer from Audtria in ICL Songkhla project May - July 2023