Teaching English in Thailand: the land of the similes

Thailand is one of Asia’s most unique and exotic countries and cultures, priding itself on its rich history, amazing beaches and holiday resorts (and sunny weather!), fantastic food, and warm hospitality.

As well as its awe-inspiring ancient temples, pristine white sandy beaches, idyllic tropical islands, a healthy dose of spirituality and a generally laid-back, thrown-free attitude, Thailand also offers hedonism by the bucket load, with wild nightlife in places such as Bangkok and Phuket, as well as their infamous ‘full moon parties’ on the Island of Koh Pha-Ngan. To the north and north-east of the country life is much slower and more traditional, with lots of wildlife, trekking, white water rafting and visits to see the hill tribes all available to the tourists and adventurers.

Despite being in the global spotlight for recent political unrest, Thailand continues to be extremely safe to visitors and still one of the most popular tourist locations in the world; many of those who visit the ‘land of smiles’ find it very difficult to leave, often marking it down as their ideal retirement location, or simply staying for as long as they can! It is also the gateway to Indochina and the perfect base for those wishing to explore Southeast Asia in their free time, with direct links and cheap flights to just about every other capital in the continent from Bangkok’s shiny new international airport.

Teaching English in Thailand

Whilst there continues to be a high demand for TEFL teachers in Thailand there is also a high number of English teachers based in places like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket, all ready to make their move when the better paying jobs become available. That is not to say one will have great difficulty finding teaching work in Thailand, jobs are still plentiful and although it is recommended to have a university degree, good jobs can be found by those with only a TEFL certificate.

Those who hold standard of life, fun and adventure above any potential to earn and save, will find Thailand to be their ideal TEFL teaching location in Asia. Wages are generally good but not extravagant, with new teachers earning around 15,000 to 30,000 Baht per month (£300-£600 / €375-€750 / $500 – $1000), with jobs in Bangkok and Phuket being at the upper end of the scale. More experienced and qualified TEFL teachers in Thailand can expected to earn anything from 40,000 Baht upwards.

It is possible to secure a TEFL teaching job before you enter the country, though few schools will include airfare and few will include free accommodation. This is not a problem, accommodation is cheap (anything from 5,000 for a small studio, to 10,000 and upwards for a nice one bed apartment in Bangkok), as is food, travel and entertainment, and with a large ex-pat community and Thailand’s love of Western culture, it is not that difficult to acclimatize and socialise.

Thailand’s TEFL teaching hotspots

You’ll find TEFL teaching jobs all over Thailand, from the tropical Islands of the South, in every major city, and all the way up to the hilly farmlands of the north and northeast. No matter what kind of life style you so desire you will find plenty of options if you know where to look. Here are a few of the most popular TEFL teaching destinations in Thailand:

Bangkok is vast in terms of TEFL teaching options, and also an incredible place from where to explore Thai culture. There are thousands of colleges and private schools, with 10s, even 100s of TEFL jobs becoming available every week. Those who live in Bangkok will have the opportunity to experience all facets of Thai culture and tradition, as well as access to some of Asia’s wildest nightlife.

Phuket is a huge one of Southeast Asia’s busiest holiday destinations, and with such a booming tourist industry there are plenty of TEFL teaching jobs to be found. Those who teach in Phuket will be almost overwhelmed by the array of fantastic beaches and water sports available. In the resort of Patong it also has a party town to rival some of Bangkok’s best clubs and discos.

Chiang Mai is the honorary capital of Northern Thailand. A large city but very much steeped in tradition and home to many ancient crafts and arts. Many of those living in the north, an even across the borders in Myanmar and Laos, come to Chiang Mai to study English, making it a great TEFL teaching location for those wish to experience a more traditional and laid back way of Thai life.

If you would like to find out more about teaching abroad in Thailand then click here

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