Sa Wa Dee – Meet Katie from API’s Teach in Thailand Program

July 24, 2018
API Teach in Thailand participant, Katie, with a few of her students

Sa Wa Dee! A Thai greeting meaning: “May goodness be with you”.

API is thrilled to highlight Katie Warner: a graduate of Western Washington University teaching currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand! Katie arrived to Thailand in May 2018, and will be teaching in Chiang Mai until October 2018. She is excited to share her experience with you!

API Teach in Thailand participant, Katie, in Chiang Mai

“I am stepping into this challenge for perspective, personally and professionally. A Pacific Northwest native exploring the other side of the natural beauty spectrum in the lush jungles of northern Thailand. I decided to take a chance on this adventure as I have come to adopt a life philosophy of celebrating a ‘give it a go’ mentality. Meaning, to move toward new challenges or goals with a can-do attitude and curious spirit – try it, do my best, see what happens. I am so grateful for moving to Thailand. Feeling my way through its culture and natural beauty has been rewarding beyond what I could have imagined.

[How do you feel about your experience in Thailand so far?]

I have been nurtured by Thailand. It’s a frenetic, bustling rhythm that knocks you sideways, but
then you are gently embraced by the tender, good-nature of Thai culture. The love can be
overwhelming at times if you aren’t accustomed to it. Extraordinary generosity at this level goes
unmatched from any culture I have experienced.

[Describe an “Only in Thailand” Experience]

Have you ever felt so grateful for a moment in time that its warm energy courses through your
bones and your body responds inadvertently in pure joy? I’ve been lucky enough to feel that
vibe a few times in my life, but this came unexpectedly.

We were on a Google maps journey in search of a nearby workspace cafe to tackle lesson
planning. Expectations along the rural highway and backroads of Sanpatong were kept in
check. Business hours that hadn’t been updated, sticky humidity, and strong late morning
sunshine made the mile long walk feel more like a heroic pilgrimage. We were just about to
concede and head back to our apartment when our eyes caught a glimpse of of a resort tucked
away from the main road. One last chance for an air-conditioned utopia with fresh coffee. We
wandered through the villas and well-manicured patios admiring the aesthetic decor as we
curiously awaited a restaurant around the next turn.

Looking through its quiet setting with only gardeners in sight we were convinced that this lovely
stroll would come to an end when we were greeted by the loveliest Thai woman. We had
mistakenly walked onto the owner’s grand villa at the far reaches of the resort. When we
apologized for interrupting their family brunch she refused to let us leave without eating and
having coffee.

It led to a full afternoon of warm introductions to their entire family and close friends. We were
showered with a palpable aura of love by these wonderful people we had only just met. It felt
unbelievable and genuine all at once. I had moments where I would catch myself quietly
gasping at each act of compassion. We left five hours later with full bellies, hair braided, and
minds blown. As we stepped outside of their gate to begin our walk home we turned to each
other – speechless. We were in complete amazement to share such a beautiful experience with
strangers who immediately embraced us as family.

I flutter-kicked my feet in bed that evening, my body’s spastic expression of gratitude for the
compassion we were shown by our new friends. ‘Only in Thailand’ I thought to myself, smiling as
I fell asleep.”


What’s the Teach in Thailand program all about?

In this program, you’ll get to experience Thailand as a working professional and live like a local. You would have the opportunity to experience the Thai school system- most commonly, teachers are interested in teaching the English language. Placements are customized to the teacher’s skill set so if you have a background in any mainstream subject – such as math or science – you could be placed in an international or bilingual school teaching a subject you love, in English!

Katie teaching in her Thai classroom

You can find more information about this program here. To read more about a typical day for one of our past teachers, please visit our blog to read about Emily’s time teaching in Thailand:

How can I apply?

The application is online and can be found here on the API website. It’s a quick 10 minutes! Click here to read more about the application process. Once you’ve applied, your program coordinator will reach out to you to schedule an interview to further discuss your placement interests and program details.

If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, contact Octavia Sims, the Program Coordinator, at [email protected].


You May Also Like…