Teach English in Thailand

H o W

A Complete Guide

READ ARTICLE

53 Teach Abroad Programs in Thailand

Get Paid to Teach English in Thailand

Live and work abroad through this one-year teaching program offered by International TEFL Academy in Thailand. Available in over 40 different cities in the country including Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai, this placement allows individuals from across the globe to learn a new culture and be professionally grounded on teaching the English to other people through the organization's TEFL or TESOL...

International TEFL Academy
Teach English in Thailand

Teach Away, Inc. Thailand based programs are open to native English speakers who hold a Bachelors degree and are interested in teaching English as a Second Language. This program typically lasts for one year and are based in Bangkok. Teachers who are open to exploring a foreign culture with a distinct history and traditions are welcome to apply.

LanguageCorps – Teach English Abroad

Live abroad in Thailand and spend at over 100 hours getting TEFL training and participating in a TEFL certification course provided by LanguageCorps. Program fees include language and cultural courses, excursions, and accommodation. Placements are available in multiple cities, including Bangkok and Pattaya.

Get Paid to Teach in Thailand

Earn a monthly stipend teaching English to students of primary or secondary schools in Thailand with GeoVisions. The schools are located in both urban and rural areas, including the capital of Bangkok and the cities of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. The program provides language instruction and medical insurance.

Paid Teaching positions in Thailand w/ CE by API

Cultural Embrace by API offers paid teaching position at public and private schools in cities throughout Thailand. Semester or year-long placements are available starting only in May. Programs include housing, visa assistance, airport pickup, orientation, and medical and travel insurance, among many other services.

Get Paid to Teach English in Thailand with i-to-i

Sign up to a 5-month supported teaching programme in Thailand and be more than a tourist as you commute to school, teach English and fall in love with this idyllic country… whilst also getting paid! Known as our Thailand Internship, you will also receive full internationally accredited TEFL training to get you fully prepared for a memorable adventure. No teaching experience necessary!

International TEFL & TESOL Training: Teach in Thailand

Jump start a teaching career with the International TEFL and TESOL Training program in Thailand. Known to be a popular destination for ESL teachers, the organization aims to train participants in the field in order for them to hone professional skills in effectively teaching the English language to others. The program is available in Ban Phai, Chiang Mai, and Phuket.

SEE TEFL Teacher Training

Teach abroad in Thailand with SEE TEFL Teacher Training. Participants can Teach English as a Foreign Language to Thai students after completing four weeks of TEFL training courses. The program is open to participants under 65 who are native English speakers or have strong English language skills. All applicants should be adaptable and open to new situations.

Get Paid to Teach English in Thailand!

Choose between two program options organized by AYC Intercultural Programs in Thailand. Both opportunities seek native speakers of the English language to teach in one of over ten cities where positions are available including Bangkok, Chonburi, and Sukhotai. Participants must be between the ages of 22 and 55 with a Bachelor's degree.

Find Teaching Opportunities in Beautiful Thailand!

Teach for a period of two years in Thailand with Teach Anywhere. Conveniently located in the stunning metropolitan city of Bangkok, this program seeks Primary Key Stage 1 and 2 teachers for a bilingual institution. Chosen participants get to explore the fascinating destinations in the country while helping students gain a deeper understanding on various subject areas.

Teach Abroad with CIEE

Travel to Thailand and educate the young locals with the Council on International Educational Exchange. American participants who are enthusiastic to learn Thai customs, culture, and language can lend their English language skills and teach at a primary or secondary school in an urban or rural location. The international teaching program in Thailand lasts for a 5-month or 10-month period of time.

Teach with Global Vision International

Work as a paid teacher in Chiang Mai, Thailand through GVI. Participants are provided with comprehensive training and orientation to ensure that they are well prepared for teaching placements. Participants who do not have a degree can qualify for the program by completing a TEFL course, also available from GVI.

LoveTEFL Ltd

Spread valuable knowledge of the English language through this teach abroad program set in Thailand. Developed by LoveTEFL Ltd, this opportunity lasts for two months and is available in five cities including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Kanchanaburi. Participation is limited to Kiwi, South African, Australian, Canadian, European and American citizens.

Entrust TEFL

Be guaranteed a TEFL job placement in Thailand through Entrust TEFL. Teaching placements prepare teachers to teach English as a Second Language internationally. Placements are available around the country, from Chiang Mai to Hat Yai to Krabi. All teachers are provided with accommodation, cultural orientation, and in-country assistance.

Teach and Travel in Thailand!

There are four programs to choose from upon deciding to teach and travel to Thailand with Mediakids Academy. Available openings include mentors in the fields of Math, Science, and English. Eligible participants are individuals between the ages of 22 to 40, who are either European, American, Canadian or Australian. Program is available in nearly ten locations.

Back to Programs
For the best beaches you will want to be in the south…

How to Teach Abroad in Thailand

A Complete Guide

Thailand is a popular destination for travellers of all ages, and it's easy to see why. With a fascinating culture, incredible scenery, and friendly people, the country is an attractive choice. And perhaps the most popular way of funding Thai adventures is through teaching English. There's a lot to take in when preparing to go to Thailand to teach, and despite there being a ton of information dedicated to the topic on the internet, it can be difficult to know where to start. Luckily for you, this is an assembled guide of what you need to know and do before you go, so that you can concentrate on getting excited.

Food & Culture

Part of the thrill of teaching abroad is discovering a new culture – and Thailand is about as different from the West as a country can be. Researching the Thai culture thoroughly before you go is a great idea for lots of reasons.

For instance, learning at least some of the language is important. Though schools generally want TEFL teachers to speak only in English during lessons, and many Thai people speak English well, that doesn't mean that you should discard the idea of learning the Thai language.

Speaking another language is rewarding in its own right. But being able to at least speak a little Thai will help you to immerse yourself that much more in the culture – and even make friends.

You'll have a much more rewarding time if you are able to converse at least a little in Thai – and you might find that people warm to you more. Another vital part of your research should be into Thai etiquette. Here are a few dos and don'ts to get you started:

Do:

Smile a lot. Thai people tend to smile more than westerners, and in situations that we might not. Follow what the locals are doing if you're unsure.

Remember to take your shoes off before you enter someone's home – and especially before you enter any temples.

Avoid public displays of affection – they're frowned upon – Thai culture is much more conservative than Western culture, particularly due to the dominance of Buddhism.

Don't:

Show the soles of your feet to anyone. In Thailand, the feet are considered the lowest and dirtiest part of a person, so showing someone the sole of your foot is very offensive. 

Raise your voice in public – you'll appear as though you've been badly brought up. Again, Thai people are generally quiet and conservative, appearance and respect are important.

Joke about the king of Thailand. Ever. Disrespect of the king or the royal family is actually punishable by law and the majority of Thai people hold the King in high regard.

Things to Do

Obviously while you are working you will have to stay put, but you will almost certainly have spare time at weekends and during holidays, which you can use to explore the country. Public transport in Thailand is cheap enough that you can take a trip every weekend if you want to.

The best part of your research will surely be planning where you will go during your free time. Though you may well deviate a little – or completely – from your plan when you finally get out there, it's wise to have a rough idea of where you'd like to go.

That way, you can think carefully about what you want to get out of the trip, and prioritise your activities or excursions accordingly. Plus, you'll be aware of anything you need to know or prepare in advance.

Teaching in Thailand

How to Prepare. First up, save up. Though Thailand is famous for its low cost of living, you'll probably have to at least fund your flights there and back, and perhaps your accommodation – though this is often included as part of your teaching benefits. Plus, if you're planning on travelling after your teaching stint it's a good idea to have a little cash stashed away for excursions and any extra special souvenirs. 

Of course, it's also reassuring to know that you can book an emergency flight home if you need to, and that you have money available for any medical treatment – even if you have health insurance, some hospitals will require payment up front. You can probably reclaim the expenses from your insurance company later, but you don't want to get caught short (Side Note:

Another reason to save up is that you may decide to fly out there before you have a job secured, more on that later though!)

So, before you go, it's a fantastic idea to tighten your belt and preferably find a job where you earn tips and can therefore speed up the savings process. Also, consider asking family members for a contribution to your travel fund for birthdays, Christmases, and any other holidays you might celebrate with gifts. Every little bit helps!

Get Qualified. In years gone by, being able to speak English used to be the only skill you needed to walk into a teaching job in developing countries such as Thailand, but thanks to the increasing influx of travellers from English speaking countries, many Thai schools are now more choosy. So, if you want to secure work it's important to get a teaching qualification – and your best bet, by far, is a TEFL certificate.

But how should you get started? Here are your options:

Face-to-face

The time spent in face to face sessions with an experienced, qualified TEFL teacher can be invaluable, especially if you're nervous about getting up in front of a class. These sessions are often group based, too, so you can practise the techniques you have learned on one another. Another benefit is that you can make friends who will go through the TEFL journey with you and share your trials and triumphs.

Online

However, if you're currently committed to a job, finding the time to complete a face-to-face TEFL course isn't always practical. In this case, an online course may be the best option

Internships

A fantastic way to complete your TEFL is “on the job” through an internship. These are offered by course providers, and alongside learning the modules of your course in a stunning environment, you'll usually get other benefits such as accommodation, an acclimatisation course, and mentoring from experienced teachers in your area. 

Also, you'll be able to instantly join a network of other student teachers in the country who are doing the same internship. This can be a good option if you haven't travelled before as a built in support network is always helpful.

Whichever route that you choose, make sure that your TEFL is legitimate. Though there is no official accreditation body, the following course authorities are known to be especially trustworthy in the industry;

British Accreditation Council

Scottish Qualifications Authority

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

Open and Distance Learning Quality Council

Accreditation Council for TESOL Distance Education Courses

Get some teaching experience. No matter how many textbooks you read, blog posts you devour, or courses you complete, there's no better way to prepare yourself for life in the classroom than to get in the classroom.

Volunteering at a school in the UK or USA (or wherever you currently live) might not help you with Thai culture, but it will teach you techniques for dealing with various issues, such as crowd control and behaviour issues, as well as keeping children engaged by making learning fun.

Schools in most countries are usually only too happy to be offered a helping hand for free, so get in touch with your local primary or secondary, depending on which age range you plan on teaching. If you're unsure as to whether you'd prefer to teach young children or teenagers, consider alternating your volunteering between the two so that you can get a feel for each age range. 

Any real teaching experience that you have prior to applying for jobs will help a lot and while it’s not essential it may mean that you get a better job with better pay or a nicer location.

If you are already teaching you may be able to do a TEFL course with teaching experience, which has the added benefit of giving you a slightly more in depth qualification to set you apart when applying for TEFL jobs. If you complete a TEFL course, it's very likely that your provider will be able to help secure you a job as part of their service, or at the very least offer some useful pointers too.

Get to Know the Country. The country is massive and the culture and atmosphere varies from north to south (and east to west to a lesser extent). Choosing the right location to look for jobs will impact your enjoyment.

Bangkok is a popular option and of course there are plenty of schools there, but if you don’t like massive cities then you might want to seek a calmer pace of life.

Chiang Mai, in the north, is a smaller city with a more historic charm and less of a party vibe, although in the north you will be that much further from the sea, which makes quick beach breaks less practical.

You could try a southern city like Surat Thani or even look for jobs in the Krabi area, which is just a stones throw from the coast. Although your job options may be more limited here and your wages may be lower too.

Basically, decide what you want and then look for the right place – list your priorities and try to find a good compromise. Living in Bangkok may not be ideal, but at least transport options are good.

Choosing a Placement. You may be surprised at how much you can do from the abroad when searching for a job overseas. There's a great online network when it comes to looking for teaching jobs in Thailand, and many schools will conduct interviews over webcam or telephone so that you can have your position secured before you fly over. And of course there are plenty of options on GoAbroad.com.

Before you start your job search, consider which type of school you'd like to work at.

Public schools. Education is compulsory in Thailand for children between the ages of six and 15, and there are free public schools where children learn English, amongst other subjects.  Classes are large and resources often limited. Pay is around 25,000 baht per month. A TEFL qualification is often, but not always, necessary (although always recommended).

Private or international schools. These schools understandably have better facilities and smaller classes, and often cater for preschool children and higher education, as well as children at compulsory school age. Pay is around 100,000 baht per month. You're likely to need a degree and a TEFL qualification.

Language schools. These are attended by children on evenings and weekends as a supplement to their education. Pay is roughly 400 to 700 baht per hour, and the work can be inconsistent. However, it leaves you with more time to explore!

Alongside these schools, also consider:

Private tutoring. This is flexible, which is great if you want to do lots of exploring. You can choose to tutor children, adults for both business and general language learning.

Volunteering. Of course, you won't get paid, but if you have a little money saved up to tide you over, then volunteering is a great way to get some useful experience – or maybe even a foot in the door at a school that could take you on down the line. Consider volunteering at a school for a couple of days a week, and spending the rest of the time tutoring to pay the bills.

Travel & Plan. Employers often favour people who are in the country already because they know that you are committed and that you are much less likely to change your mind and dropout (which does happen). So you may want to consider traveling to Thailand first, which also gives you a chance to get to know Thailand and even to explore different areas and different cities before you make a decision regarding where you will be working. You might decide you don’t like Bangkok and that you would rather find a smaller school near Phuket or Krabi.

Here are some tips in case you want to take this route:

Work on your CV before you leave and print out several copies to take with you, along with cover letters. Keep them safe in a flat folder.

Research locations, try to decide where you think you might want to work, have a short list and once you arrive make it your mission to sample each area.

Make a shortlist of schools in each area, you can always find schools later, but if you know in advance, a handful of places to apply, that will help.

Save hard; you may well be able to secure a job very quickly, particularly if you have a good CV and experience, but what if it takes three months to get something? Have enough savings in case the worst happens.

Interviews. Don't be fooled into a false sense of security just because it's conducted over the phone or via webcam; treat this as you would any other interview. Dress smartly, prepare questions for the interviewer, and do your research on the school. If conducting the interview via webcam, consider carefully where you will sit and make sure it is tidy and clean.

Before you go. Remember to arrange these things well in advance of your flight:

Passport. It seems obvious, but it's worth remembering! Is yours up to date? Will it be when you are on your way back?

Visa and work permit. You'll need a nonimmigrant visa in order to obtain a work permit, and you'll need a work permit to be able to work as a teacher – or face a fine, or in extreme cases imprisonment. Visit www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/work-permit-rules.php for further details.

Have contact details for your school, address for your accommodation, and arrangements for when you will start work sorted out. Will someone be meeting you at the airport, or will you go straight to your accommodation? If you're aware of all of these things in advance, you're likely to feel more excited and less stressed on your arrival.

If possible, try to set up some times and dates when you will be able to speak to your folks back home. It's natural to feel homesick, especially in your first week, but if you have a webcam call or instant messaging session planned in you'll be able to deal with that a lot better.

Try to find out if there are any other teachers starting at around the same time as you at your school, or in your area, and if you can, email to say hi. You'll settle in more easily if you know a friendly face.

Once you’re there. Be flexible and confident. There's only so much that you can plan in advance, and at some point you're probably going to have to wing it; for instance, if the form of transport that you planned on taking to your accommodation isn't running. Remember to stay calm, think logically about what to do next, and remember that what seems like a nightmare now will become a hilarious story in a few short weeks.

One of the most exciting aspects of living and working in another country is that you just don't always know what's going to happen. Embrace it, and have fun!

Robert Oakden

Robert Oakden currently works for ICAL TEFL, which offers a selection of online TEFL courses that are accredited and internationally recognised. For more information about TEFL teaching and teaching options visit the ICAL blog. Robert has spent a good deal of time traveling and teaching abroad.