The largest province in southern Thailand, Surat Thani was once a capital of the tenth century Indonesian Srivijayan Empire, and it now covers one of most visited islands and national park areas in the entire country. A progressive city with a laid back atmosphere, Surat Thani continues to attract international teachers as it becomes an increasingly beneficial city to start a career teaching abroad. English teaching jobs in Surat Thani are becoming especially sought after, as the city gains notoriety.
Teaching Jobs in Surat Thani
Surat Thani is the gateway to Southern Thailand and serves as a commercial and transportation hub. The name Surat Thani literally means “City of Good People”, making it an even more attractive place to teach abroad in Thailand.
Most teaching jobs in Surat Thani are offered at either public, private, or international schools. Outside of traditional education settings, there are also many language schools in Surat Thani that seek out international teachers to instruct both individual or group language lessons for a variety of students. Private language lessons are also a great way for teachers to make a secondary income while teaching in Surat Thani.
The majority of teaching jobs in Surat Thani are centered on English language instruction, however there are occasionally opportunities to teach other subjects. Most schools in Thailand use Thai as the official language of instruction, which means that it will be beneficial for all foreign teachers, even those who obtain English teaching jobs in Surat Thani, to take basic Thai language lessons. Learning basic phrases and keywords will not only help teachers better manage their own classrooms and promote learning among their students, Thai language skills will also be very useful in day to day interactions.
Those who hold teaching certifications, like TEFL or TESOL certificates, will likely be eligible for a larger number of English teaching jobs in Surat Thani. However, even teachers with a moderate amount of teaching experience should be able to obtain teaching jobs in Surat Thani without too much difficulty.
Life in Surat Thani
Surat Thani is known as “The Province of a Thousand Islands”, so teachers can look forward to many quick weekend or holiday trips to some of the most visited islands in the whole country. Additionally, the whole region is rich in national parks filled with beautiful hiking opportunities, so teachers will truly have the best of both worlds. Teachers will also find that there is no shortage of cultural sites to see and events to attend in Surat Thani. All schools in Thailand are required to observe national holidays, so international teachers will typically have the opportunity to enjoy annual festivals and occasions that are celebrated nationwide as well as take time to explore the natural beauty of the region.
As a major hub of southern Thailand, it is easy to set off to nearby provinces from Surat Thani. The city has an international airport as well as numerous trains, buses, and ferries available nearly around the clock for travel to nearby islands, cities, and countries. Transportation within the city is also efficient, with tuktuks and motorcycles readily available on almost any street.
Life in Surat Thani is much slower than in the capital city of Bangkok. The welcoming downtown area and bustling night market will prove to maintain a countryside vibe anytime of the year. Days are hotter, cuisines are spicier, and locals are friendlier in Surat Thani. International teachers who want to maintain a slower pace of life, with easy access to outdoor escapades, may find that teaching jobs in Surat Thani are a perfect option.
Salary & Costs
The cost of living in Surat Thani is much cheaper than in Bangkok and other major cities in Thailand. Although salaries are slightly smaller as well, the lower prices of commodities, apartments, and general living expenses will keep almost any teacher’s finances balanced.
Depending on which type of school you plan to work at and your background and experience, salaries for teaching jobs in Surat Thani can range from 20,000 to 30,000 Baht. Most teachers will also receive additional bonuses or benefits along with their monthly salary, such as all expenses paid housing arrangements. Since accommodations are usually provided, day to day living costs will be truly minimal. Teachers can be real cheapskates by only visiting local markets, where a filling meal will easily cost under 40 baht, and smaller shops for all their daily needs.
Accommodation & Visas
Foreign teachers will typically be provided with accommodation and other benefits as part of their compensation package. Whether housing is provided within the school’s complex or in a shared apartment with other international teachers, most schools will at the very least provide international teachers with assistance in finding a place to live for the duration of their teaching job in Surat Thani.
Once hired, international teachers will usually be provided with the appropriate documents needed to obtain any necessary working permits and apply for a visa from their host school or program provider. Visas and working permits for international teachers are typically valid for one year, but this can be dependent on the host school and the type of teaching job. All visa expenses and documents are usually provided by each host school, making the application process even easier.
Benefits & Challenges
Requirements. Teachers without TESOL, TEFL, or any other type of ESL teaching certificate may find it more difficult to find teaching jobs in Surat Thani. However, it is possible to earn a TEFL certification in country and then find a teaching job in Surat Thani afterwards. On the other hand, some institutions will accept more basic training and skills, especially if teachers have a great deal of teaching experience.
Language. Teaching in Thailand can sometimes be a challenge for those with absolutely no Thai language skills, especially those who wish to teach subjects outside of the English language. Despite the challenges teachers will face in communicating with their students, if they are ready for a challenge and eager to learn the Thai language, then diving in head first may be a great opportunity for intense immersion.
Culture. The Thai people are known for being extremely friendly, hospitable, and helpful to foreigners, so teachers can expect to feel welcomed, especially in the smaller city of Surat Thani. Teachers should be sure to read up on cultural norms and expectations of teacher-student relationships before departure though, to avoid offending anyone in their first few weeks on the job.