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Teaching on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand

Louise (second from right) with fellow volunteers at her school in Thailand.  Her project arranged by PoD.Teaching on Koh Phangan was an amazing experience in a completely different culture. With a very warm welcome and plenty of help from both the PoD staff and the locals, I couldn't have had a better trip. Teaching in the school was challenging, but the kids are so willing to learn, even taking the opportunity to talk to me in English over lunch. Accommodation was really good and right at the beach.

We would have breakfast and some time either at the beach or in the pool, before getting a taxi to the school and teaching for two or three lessons. Lunch at the school was really good (and free). Then we could spend the rest of the day exploring the town, shopping or swimming. We had dinner as a group and drinks at a local bar on the beach.

The progress the kids were making was absolutely amazing. The most The children at Louise's school were very keen to learn.rewarding moment for me was when one of the seven year olds walked up to the board and started drawing things after class so she could learn the names of them in English.  The behaviour of the children is completely different to a school in the UK, they often run out of the class, but they always come back so it's best to just carry on teaching without them. I even have to confiscate some knives! Minor injuries of the children (cuts/falls) go unnoticed by the Thais, so leaving the kids alone when they cried was so difficult!

I'd recommend volunteers to immerse yourself completely in the placement and give everything you have to the kids in the school, it is hard at first and it's very tiring, but it makes your two or three hours at the school much more worth it.

Living in another country is an amazing experience.  You learn skills you can transfer to every aspect of your life at home, especially the ability to communicate with others effectively whatever language they speak. Being able to adapt to a completely different culture is an essential skill in the workplace.

PoD give immediate support both at home and in the country you are travelling to. Having this support makes you feel secure and safe in another country and gives you someone to talk to if you are travelling alone.

Louise Harney spent 4 weeks Teaching in Thailand on a project arranged by PoD.