Despite mainstream stereotypes, Thailand is more than just a tropical hot spot for tourists. Hollywood films like The Hangover and The Beach do little justice to showcase the country’s cultural depth and rich historical traditions. Teachers looking for opportunities to teach abroad should not underestimate the benefits of living and teaching in Thailand. High demand, job flexibility, and quality of life are just a few reasons why the former Siam is the ultimate teach abroad destination. But who’s counting?
Start the adventure early and get your TEFL in Thailand. Here's why:
1. Freedom of Choice
With so many available opportunities to get TEFL certification in Thailand, teachers have more freedom to decide on the location and later, their preferred type of teaching position. The geographic diversity of Thailand is magical. If you like the beach and plenty of fresh seafood, you can choose to teach in south Thailand, on the warm sands of Krabi or Surat Thani, or even look at islands like Koh Samui.
If you prefer a cooler mountainous region while taking TEFL courses in Thailand, try Chiang Rai or Pai. If you enjoy jungles and monkeys, look in Lopburi or the Udon Thani region. If you prefer the big city lights, Bangkok is the place for you, or perhaps busy neighboring cities like Chonburi, Pattaya, or Rayong.
The type of schools will vary depending on the location you choose, but there are generally several types to choose from. You can teach in government or public schools, or you can elect to work in privately run schools, universities, or even in language centers and workplaces. The condition of schools and quality of teaching tend to be higher in private schools and language centers. You can choose to teach English in Thailand to young children, middle or high school students, or adults, either teaching general or business English.
2. Food, Foot Massages, & Fish Spas
After a hard day in class reviewing verb structures, you're going to be hungry! And lucky for you, Thai cuisine is some of the best in the world—especially if you enjoy spicy. Of course you have your traditional coconut chicken and sweet n’ spicy shrimp soup, Pad Thai noodles, and plenty of curries, but there are many other dishes and items entirely foreign to most Americans, like exotic fruits, oyster omelettes, or fried grasshoppers. Can you say TEFL Thailand jobs #perks?! Don’t be afraid to be adventurous, but do be aware of signs to help you avoid food poisoning!
Massages in Thailand are cheap and authentic. Whether it’s a traditional Thai massage, foot massage, or even Swiss deep tissue, they know what they’re doing, and they don’t charge an arm and a leg. Be sure to get your fill while there, and try the fish spa too if you’re not too ticklish. It leaves your skin feeling silky and smooth, and it’s not legal in the States.
3. A Low Cost of Living
Besides Singapore, Southeast Asia is considerably more affordable than the U.S. Your expenses outside of TEFL course certification will be quite minimal, especially since you'll be in class for the better part of most days! You'll need some spending money for food, souvenirs, and mini-adventures that you squeeze in between lesson planning and catching up on sleep.
And what earning power do you have to look forward to after you are TEFL certified in Thailand?
Most individuals who teach abroad in Thailand make a minimum of $1000 per month (roughly 30,000 Thai Baht), and experienced teachers can easily earn twice that working in higher paying jobs. Your average one bedroom apartment in Bangkok rents for $330 per month, monthly transportation passes are $30, and a delicious plate of Pad Thai is $1.00 on the street, or up to $5 at a higher end restaurant. So teachers have the opportunity to save money, or put it in their travel fund!4. High Quality of Life
Thailand is sometimes referred to as “The Land of Smiles,” which comes from the fact that Thais are a naturally happy, friendly, and peaceful people who like to smile a lot! Perhaps their relaxed vibe comes from the majority of people practicing Buddhism. Whatever the reason, Thailand’s quality of life ranks second according to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). There’s also a rather large network of expatriates living in Thailand, which makes it easy to search apartments, jobs, and find suggestions for all things local, including easy trips to neighboring Cambodia or Laos when it’s time to extend the visa.
5. So Many Ways to Travel & Adventure
Thailand is a highly central nation bordered by Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia, with Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines nearby as well. The ease and affordability of transportation in this region makes it easy to travel to all sorts of destinations, both within and outside of Thailand, including tropical jungles, waterfalls, ancient forests, National Parks, sublime ruins like Angkor Wat, huge limestone cliffs, exquisite beaches, and incredible cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Jakarta, and Manila.
You'll be pretty pressed for time during your TEFL course in Thailand, but that doesn't mean you can't take weekend trips or day trips to fill the gaps and make your adventure truly unforgettable.
6. High Demand = More Job Opportunities at the End! #Hired
The demand for native English speaking teachers in Thailand is evident. Numerous TEFL, TESOL, and ESL certification programs are available in several locations in Thailand, some of which guarantee an English teaching job in Thailand after certification. In general, certified teachers will have more teaching job opportunities to choose from in Thailand. Plenty of schools hire regularly, especially in cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket. But you can easily teach English in Thailand’s rural locations and smaller villages, as well in places like Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Saraburi, AngThong, and Lopburi.
Next steps to getting TEFL certified in Thailand
Don't pack your bags juuuust yet. There are a few items on your TEFL course to do list you should check off first.
How to Get TEFL Certified & Teaching in Thailand ASAP:
- Decide where to go. Figuring out where to do your course or TEFL internship in Thailand isn't easy. The gorgeous foothills of the Himalayas? On the beach? Somewhere in Bangkok? Don't let the coconuts hold you back—choose a place that's right for you.
- Choose from the best TEFL course programs in Thailand. Pay attention to past participants’ TEFL Thailand reviews, your school and organization reputation, location, and your ease of getting started as a paid worker. Is it accredited? Do they help with job placements after? Some schools or providers may even provide contact info for ambassadors or past participants if you want the REAL dirt.
- Decide if you want to specialize. Adults, kids, private schools, public schools? Spend time considering the type of teaching environment you'd most like to be involved in. You can choose from a range of ages, goals (for example, Business English versus Conversational English), and institutions, from one-on-one tutoring to university employment. Choose between 120 or 240 hour TEFL courses in Thailand, as well as other specializations.
- Plan your finances. Sort out funding before you go to afford daily essentials and splurge in travel (in addition to program costs and airfare). Do your research to have an idea of how to pay for your TEFL certification cost.
- Get prepared! You've done your research, chosen your program, saved up the money, and are entering your last weeks of life "at home" before you move abroad to find ESL teaching jobs in Thailand. Well done! Here's our TEFL course preparation guide to help make this stage more fun and less stressful!
Get your TEFL in Thailand!
Choosing Thailand TEFL courses means you will have the experience of a lifetime, learn about new cultures, pick up some new language skills of your own, and meet some of the most amazing people ever. You will see how easy it is to meet other people who embrace the laid back vibes of the local culture and who have the shared spirit of wanderlust! You will learn the skill of TEFL in one of the most amazing countries in the world and meet people you will call friends for life!