Many things changed throughout the epidemic, and many industries and sectors of life were affected. The capacity to travel globally without difficulties has had a significant impact on all of us. Something that used to come naturally in a tiny, connected society has now become a challenge. Every travel decision we’ve made has been second-guessed, and the bulk of us haven’t left the country in at least two years.
As the world opens back up, we have a look at the best destinations to travel to and teach English abroad. There are many on our list, but Thailand is definitely on the top of that. For TEFL Institute alumni, this has been the prime destination and the pandemic has not changed this.
Where do we start with the Land of the Smiles? This has been the most popular destination for years within the TEFL industry and the economy and job prospects only grow. During the pandemic, Thailand reacted fast with its measures and border control. This was necessary being so close to the start of the outbreak. Teachers were looked after as schools went online and many stayed teaching there throughout the lockdown period. Yes, that’s right! They just didn’t want to leave.
Discover Thailand as a TEFL/TESOL Teacher
When you leave the classroom, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in Thailand’s rich culture. Not to mention its neighboring countries of Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia, all of which have diverse cultures. Southeast Asia is known for its unique and traditional festivals, hiking routes, Buddhist temples, delectable cuisine, and vibrant nightlife.
Thailand is known as the Land of the Smiles, and this comes with good reason! Its friendly culture and welcoming locals are all part of the experience that makes it just a wonderful place to be.
Although you may think Bangkok is on your list, Thailand is so much more than this. Towns you may not have heard of are still bigger and more equipped than most countries’ cities. You’ll be able to experience beaches and mountains alike and immerse yourself in the rural and authentic culture of Thailand.
Teaching English in Thailand
Like 99% of schools globally, schools are based in the suburban areas of the cities. You’ll have your local shops and bars with your school, and still be able to travel easily on the weekends to see the sights or experience a bigger nightlife. How easy is it? Well Thailand’s public transport system is one of the best and travelling around to see other parts of the country is second nature between domestic flights and trains. Remember, there are only so many schools based around Bangkok, so make sure to set your expectations appropriately.
Thailand’s biggest ESL teaching niche is young learners. Since Thailand runs TEFL/TESOL programs within public school systems and has lots of afterschool private programs, this is a huge industry with plentiful jobs available. Make sure you are ready for 30+ students at once as this is the norm in Thailand. If you do have students that are significantly young and just starting to learn, you will most likely get a Thai teacher in with you to help you manage the class, such as bathroom emergencies.
The children are excited to have you there and are amazed and grateful to see you! Expect lots of kisses and hugs, and make sure to bring the same enthusiasm that you’ll receive. You’ll also get help with lesson plans and curriculum if you go through a program. IF you do secure a job individually with a school, don’t worry. There are lots of online communities of teachers who are happy to swap lesson plans with you and cut down a little bit of prep time.
English Teaching Requirements for TEFL/TESOL Teachers
The biggest requirement of Thailand is having a Bachelor’s degree. This is a requirement from the Thai government to issue a work permit so it is absolutely necessary. There’s no getting around this one! It will also need to be in English or Thai and be legalized. Degrees, if in another language, can be translated easily and legalization is a straightforward process through the Thai embassy in your home country. We would recommend translating to English. This way if you’d like to go to Vietnam or China after your Thai experience, you won’t need to get it translated again.
The great thing about the abundance of young learners teaching positions is that experience is not necessary and the country is a great place to undertake your first job! Salaries will be higher if you do have experience though.
How to get there
Once you secure a job, it’s time to apply for your visa. The process differs depending on your country of origin. For instance, the Thai Embassy in London has now gone online since the pandemic and you can now get an e-visa. This was all done through postal services pre-COVID. Once you have your visa, you’ll need a COE or a certificate of entry. This is to get you through immigration in the airport. Don’t book flights until you know you have your ducks in a row as there’ll be a few bits of paperwork to get through and waiting on documents from governing bodies can be tedious!
Flights are frequent going into Bangkok and as mentioned travelling domestically is easy. You won’t be spending an arm and a leg to get to your destination. Make sure to look up quarantine protocols when you are leaving. There can be a few stipulations to look into, such as if you’re vaccinated, quarantine may be cut down or not necessary with a PCR test.
The TEFL Institute Training program and Job Opportunity
At the TEFL Institute, we run a training program where you’ll be able to get certified, get some online teaching experience and pre-departure support. What’s more is that we’ll help you get placed in Thailand with our in-country partners.
Your TEFL teaching experience will be based in the northern region of Thailand where you’ll be able experience the beautiful hiking trails and authentic landscapes. Travelling alone is no problem as you’ll be placed with other TEFL teachers and make friends right away! We’ll even get you in contact with one another before you go!
If you have an educational background in another field, like math, they also have unique positions where you’ll teach your field through English.
A typical week consists of 18 to 25 classes from Monday to Friday, with the majority of weekends off. Classes are typically 50 minutes long, with the majority of the lectures focusing on the students’ ability to communicate in English. You should create them to be engaging and enjoyable.
You should budget 15 to 20 hours each week for class planning, grading, and extracurricular activities. Many foreign instructors work in most schools, and most cities have a big community of international teachers and ex-pats.
The starting dates run with the academic year in Thailand, which is May and October. You’ll receive 33000 BAHT to 35000 BAHT per month, get accommodation assistance and in-country support throughout the 12 month contract.
Are English teachers in demand in Thailand?
Thailand has always been one the places to be within the TEFL industry and is always on the top of everyone’s lists; from bloggers to job posting websites. And it’s easy to see why! The job market is booming, it’s stable and has been for years and isn’t going anywhere.
What qualifications do I need to teach English in Thailand?
The great thing about Thailand is that experience is not required and hence is a hotspot for TEFL graduates. For a work permit in Thailand and therefore mandatory, you’ll need a TEFL certificate and a Bachelor’s degree.
How much does an English teacher make in Thailand?
Most new teachers in Thailand find a job that pays around $1,000 USD a month. However, in Bangkok the pay is about 30% higher. With some teaching experience and perhaps a Bachelor’s of Education, you could be looking at anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 USD. When comparing this to the cost of living in Thailand, this is an amazing amount!
Can I teach in Thailand with a TEFL certificate?
Yes, and it is highly recommended. Some experienced teachers that have been there for a while may get away without one. However, if you’re looking for the best teacher contract you can get, get your certification first!
Is TESOL accepted in Thailand?
Yes, as well as a TEFL certification, TESOL is accepted in Thailand and there are TESOL programs run in Thailand as well. If you’re looking to learn in-classroom, this is a nice way to go! If you’re looking to be qualified more economically and faster, then TEFL is the one for you.