Michael Bartolomei Testimontial
One Year Testimonial by Michael Bartolomei
Moving abroad is exciting. Moving abroad is scary.
I had a terrible roommate once. He was a total neat freak. O.C.D in a bad bad way. I couldn’t make the apartment feel like home, no matter how hard I tried. It was a foreign country with really clean surfaces. I think everyone wonders and worries if making the move abroad will land them in a place, clean or dirty that doesn’t—that can’t feel like home.
Super English to the rescue. The management at Super English understands that working in Thailand is more than a job; it’s a crazy, upside down tumbling of normal life. It’s a door that opens to the other side of the big bad world and you don’t know what to expect when it swings open.
Before you arrive you will be openly encouraged to contact and get to know current teachers. When you arrive you will given New Teacher training, most likely taken out to a delicious Thai breakfast and set-up in housing with other Super English teachers. Every month Super English management organizes social activities to thank the teachers for their hard work and dedication. By social activities I don’t mean mind-numbing team building exercises, I mean parties, fun stuff!
There is a practiced and intentional family atmosphere to Super English. I have been in Surat long enough to see several groups of teachers come and go and in each case the groups got along brilliantly. That is rare and it starts at the top. As teachers we are respected, supported and made to feel at home on the far side of the world.
I have worked for different schools in Surat Thani and trust me Super English should be your first and only choice. However, because there are several other schools in the area the foreigner or farang community is active and vibrant. You will have no trouble making new friends both inside and outside of Super English.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Thailand is a world away and it will feel like it. There will be things that inspire you. There will be things that enlighten you. There will be things that piss you off. The adjustment to living abroad isn’t always easy, you will need patience and understanding and an ability embrace an unpredictable life. But, you won’t have to do it alone. The support structure at Super English is second-to-none. Only you can take the leap, but there will be people here to catch you.
Why did I stay for 18-months? Because a year isn’t enough time. Within a few hours of Surat Thani you can visit Koh Samui, Koh Phangnan, Koh Tao, Phi Phi Island, Railay Beach, Khao Sok national park and list goes on. Plus, you have the rest of South East Asia to see over the breaks. Plus, it takes time to assimilate, learn some of the language and experience life in a true Thai town. By the time you have done all those things, it will be time to plan your exit. Maybe that will be enough for you. But, it wasn’t for me. I felt like I had just unpacked. There was too much I still wanted to see. The list of reasons to stay was long and filled with exotic and exciting things. The list of reasons to go was just a picture of me scratching my head.
Fine, then why are you leaving?
Because my experience at Super English and living in Surat has gotten me hooked on life abroad. I opened the door to other side of the big bad world and fell in love with everything that I found. I want to open a new door. I want to see what’s on the other side of other places.
And I can do that with the utmost confidence because of one beautiful truth; Thailand isn’t going anywhere and she loves me. You may take my job. You may make Thai kids with names like, Iceboy, Guitar and Café forget that Teacher Michael ever existed. But, Thailand will remember. And when I come back, whenever that is her people will smile as they always do and I will feel at home.