CHRISTEL CHAPPEL, FORMER TEACHER

Hello, prospective teachers and welcome to Surat Thani, Thailand!           

            First off, allow me to introduce myself – my name is Christel and I’ve been living here for just over a year and a half now. I’m from the southern part of the states, and this is the first country I’ve visited in my international adventures. I work over at the Surat Thani International School and teach a group of lovely, vivacious 3 and 4 year olds.

            Although this is the first country I’ve visited outside of America, I believe it to be one of the best that I’ll see. Now, allow me to tell you why…

            Thailand is beautiful! While tropical and often hot, it is vast, green, and luscious. These are some of the most gorgeous beaches and national landmarks I’ve ever seen, especially the temples. The roads are a bit off the beaten path and awesome! Some of the creatures might surprise you; others will amaze you. (I recommend snorkeling in Koh Tao.) I believe to never see this country is to truly miss out on one of the most beautiful countries in the world. While Thailand offers astounding views, it also gifts you with this rugged, simple life, which allows you to see how little you actually need to be happy and content.

            As far as the food and people go, you could do none better. The people honestly remind me of home, with how open and friendly and welcoming they are here in Surat. If you show the tiniest hint of respect and appreciation for their culture, you get piles of kindness in return. Not only are they willing to help you with anything you need, but they’re also willing to teach you how to cook their amazing food, if you’d like to learn. From massaman chicken to pad si oi noodles, I absolutely love Thai food! Now you’ll see (and smell) some strange things at the market, but never be afraid to try something new. (I honestly tried a grasshopper once and it was pretty good.) Their spices and flavors offer a wide range for your taste buds, and food has become exciting to me.

            All of that having been said, I’d like to discuss STIS.

            This school is incredible! (And that’s not just me trying to sell you.) In a typical Thai school environment, you’re faced with a class of about 50 kids. Also in Thailand, it is not considered rude to speak while someone else is speaking. So, do you really think all 50 of those kids are listening to you? At STIS, you have a smaller class size for more focused learning. All of the kids are incredible! They listen and learn so much that sometimes it still blows my mind. I have been on board with the school since its inception and am so glad I stuck with it because it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

            Aside from the kids, the school itself is beautiful. It is run by an incredible staff! This staff will help you with anything you need and handle anything you ask. They are truly awesome people! I trust this company to always have everything and never worry about any paperwork. I trust them to employ the best and be the best because they are the best. The communication is always open and honest. We work together and that’s what makes us so awesome! I feel we have a strong team and will continue to be a strong and successful school, where learning is fun and you genuinely get to know your kids, as well as the Thai culture.

            I’m very happy I chose this path, this company, this school. So happy that I’ve signed on for another year!  And I think you’ll be happy to choose the same. The country, the culture, the school is all an amazing journey that I hope you get to take, as I have. (I also hope you walk away with some of the recipes like I am.)