Teach in Thailand

From Teaching English Abroad to Teaching English at Colorado State

Last year at this time, I was celebrating my 27th birthday with these adorable Thai kids who brought me a cake and told me I was old:

Teach in Thailand

They weren’t always as adorable as the appear…

Those of you who know me aren’t surprised that I still get carded buying alcohol in the States, or that I got asked twice while snowboarding at Steamboat Springs if I was on my high school spring break. Not so long ago, I got carded for the purchase of a rated ‘R’ movie ticket, though I think the ticket boy was a 16-year-old on a power trip.

Yesterday, I turned 28.

The last year was amazing. I kicked it off with six weeks in India before returning to my beloved Thailand for some quality time with the kids above, while intermittently squeezing in weeks of time to write on my favorite beach. When I returned home in May, I worked hard to continue accomplishing my goals. First obtaining residency in Colorado, then road tripping from Bend to Fort Collins via Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

When school started, I worked my butt off to be a good student while juggling what seemed an unrelenting workload (after a few years on Easy Street) with multiple jobs aimed at getting my foot in the door of U.S. higher education. In January, I applied (yet again) for a teaching position at CSU, and just a few weeks ago, they offered me the job!

I was supposed to keep it a secret since the process isn’t yet finished (they do a second round of hiring if incoming students choose other schools), but I can’t hold it in any longer, and I know you aren’t telling!

Teach in Thailand

I’m beyond excited. It seems my excursions of teaching English abroad, coupled with all my teaching-related endeavors in my first year of graduate school have finally paid off. Not only am I stoked to gain the experience of teaching freshmen composition (a required course for all incoming freshmen — oh the power to mold young, writerly minds!) and eager to enter a new struggle of managing my own thesis writing and homework with teaching and grading lengthy papers — but most importantly, this position delivers the best birthday present of all: FREE TUITION!

Now that’s a gift that will keep on giving.

So here’s a toast to the Thailand that taught me to love teaching (chon gaew!), a raised glass to my university students in China who helped me hone my skills and narrow down my preferred grade level (gambei!), and to the wonderful folks at Colorado State for recognizing my potential (cheers!). I enter into my 28th year with new and higher goals to reach, and I look forward to looking back again at 29 to see how far I’ve come. Thank you all for your continued support. Despite all of this boasting, I’m humbled.





  1. Kristine Kollodge Rérat says:

    So fantastic and well-deserved …. CONGRATULATIONS, Jessica!!

  2. Graeme Voigt says:

    Congrat’s!!! Enjoy your travels!

  3. Rachell Hughes says:

    That's exciting news!! Congratulations, you have earned this.

  4. Nicole Stinnett says:

    New job!!! Birthdays!!! Get it girl!!

  5. Wonderful, wonderful news! I know that's got to be a load off your mind. Now you can focus on the fun stuff: the writing, the teaching, the learning (and, of course, a little traveling mixed in too right?). Kudos!

  6. Glad to see you are doing so well.

  7. Eric Roth says:

    Congratulations! Colorado State made a savvy choice, and you will bring many experiences and insights into the classrooms.

  8. Wow! What an incredible birthday gift and exciting new adventure for you! Sounds like a DREAM position, and one that you will find very rewarding indeed. Well deserved and I’m glad that all of your hard work has paid off!

  9. J in Beijing says:

    Congratulations! It will be great experience and then you get free tuition as a bonus. Awesome! What a great birthday present.

  10. Frank says:

    Cute kids! Congratulations Jessica on the job!
    Frank (bbqboy)

  11. Jenna says:

    Congratulations! And thanks do much for featuring me on your blog!

  12. Congrats! You’ll definitely be one of the cooler teachers at Colorado State. Also I think that ticket boy at the theatre may have be trying to flirt with you.

  13. Jennifer says:

    Congratulations and welcome to the world of working in higher education. I don’t teach, but I am responsible for a very important part of student’s education at the university I work for. And the free tuition, which my husband is now taking advantage of, is definitely a perk. Enjoy!

    • jessicajhill says:

      Thanks, Jennifer! What do you do at the university? I’m constantly interested in learning about my options 😉 I’m drawn to teaching for many reasons, but I’m second guessing the politics of working in higher eduction. You’re at a university in Paris, then?

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