Long Stay in Thailand- HELP!

Old Jul 8th, 2009, 11:09 PM
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Long Stay in Thailand- HELP!

I am thinking about teaching in Thailand for several months, and I need your help! I have never been there, but I am wondering where I might find the best quality of life. Bangkok sounds a little rough. What about Chang Mai ? Which region of Thailand would you recommend to live in for a while?
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Old Jul 8th, 2009, 11:39 PM
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You need to tell us more about your background, interests and desires.
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Old Jul 8th, 2009, 11:54 PM
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Hi katieboo. A Canadian friend taught in Chiang Mai last year and loved it. Another friend who teaches on Koh Samui, says her income quite low-around 35,000 baht a month. Rent may be about 30-40% of income, however food is cheap if you eat Thai. Good quality Western groceries & restaurants are far more expensive than local Thai restuarants. Wine and imported spirits are taxed very highly. Thought about Taiwan or China? Rumuneration much higher at around 45,000-60,000 USD a year I'm told. Good luck.
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Old Jul 8th, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Sorry should have spell checked-remuneration-salary would have been easier, eh?
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Old Jul 9th, 2009, 12:04 AM
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If it's TESOL you're thinking of, sites for info are a dime a dozen but you'll also need to sort out your visa arrangements for the Thais have tightened up a bit in recent years from when it was a case of doing what were called border runs to renew a visa.
www.projectvisa.com is a good site that'll get you to relevant government department to check latest requirements.
http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/Teachi...Forum-f46.html has also had a lot of discussin re visas and Thai stuff generally.
And http://www.eslcafe.com/thailand/ could be useful.
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Old Jul 9th, 2009, 08:42 PM
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If you want to teach in Thailand there are a few things you need to bear in mind.

Qualifications.
If you want to teach EFL then you need a degree in any subject and a TEFL / TESOL cert.
(You may hear of others who do not have these qualifications, but you will now find it near to impossible to get work without them.).

If you are a qualified “school-teacher” in your home country, you may also get work in the “International Schools” that usually teach either International Baccalaureate, US syllabus or UK National curriculum. These jobs can be quite well paid – up to 80k per month

Most teaching of English divides into 2 categories – Govt and institution-run Schools or Business and Private Language Schools.

The former will require full-time teachers usually starting in May for one year. You will teach children and often have a Thai assistant teacher. These jobs are low-paid – starting at about 30k p/m. Some schools employ several English language Teachers, others in rural areas only one -0 this can be quite a lonely existence.

The latter - private language schools - usually teach evenings and week-ends to private individual customers or short-term contracts with local companies.
Teaching therefore is largely to adults and often in the evening or on week-ends and sometimes on business’s premises – transport can be an essential. Salaries are usually paid on an hourly basis – there is the potential to earn more (40k to 60k p/m) with these companies if the work comes in!!


Problems and pitfalls.

The Thai economy like all economies is feeling the pinch at present and many companies are “downsizing” – one of the first things to “downsize” is the English language teaching – so there are now many teachers with a lot of experience in Thailand running around looking for work. They also have run for cover in the govt. Schools. All this makes getting a job as a new teacher in the market all that more difficult.
It has to be said though that there IS still a shortage of female teachers.

The other problems are associated with you potential employers.
Schools have very little money and often teachers are depressed by the lack of support and resources given to them Also accommodation can be a problem.

Many of the language schools will promise “up to” 40 k p/m but in reality won’t get you the work and you could be on the breadline for periods of time.

Work permits and Visas – this is a bureaucratic quagmire. To work as a teacher you need the qualifications above PLUS –

A work permit
A NON IMMIGRANT “B” visa
And in most cases a teacher’s licence, and crime report and a Thai cultural course certificate. (The cultural course seems to be avoided by most schools at present)

Your school should do all the necessary paperwork for you – And they should really also pay the costs. - IF THEY DON’T YOU SHOULD AVOID THEM.

Now here’s a catch 22 situation – Your work permit is dependent on your visa and your visa is dependent on your work permit and BOTH are job and location specific.

So.......you need a non-immigrant “B” visa – these are only available OUTSIDE Thailand – and you really need all your employers documentation and paperwork to get one – so most people have to leave the country once they have found a job and go to a consulate that issues these visas – Singapore is one (not all consulates issue Non –immigrant “Bus.) – in the end your employer has to synchronise all this with Immigration and the Department of Labour (and even the Education authority!!)

If by any chance you can come to Thailand with a Non-Immigrant “B” visa you will save yourself a trip out again!

Having said all that, the schools are used to dealing with all this and usually have a “friendly” official who smoothes out the whole process.

DON’T try working with a fake degree – they are being checked

Don’t risk it without the right papers – if someone decides to “inform” on you, you will be locked up and deported.


Finally – if you want to find a job in Thailand there is really only ONE site to look for work on – ajarn.com – virtually prospective employer will advertise on this site – it also has a LOT of advice etc for prospective teachers.
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Old Jul 9th, 2009, 08:48 PM
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I should have added that if you intend to teach it requires above all a commitment to your students.

You cannot just expect to waltz in do a couple of months teaching and walk out - you have to commit to a substantial period of teaching - in the case of Govt schools the minimum is usually a year. Standard business course are arranged in 30 or 60 hour lumps - that's 3 to 5 hours a week until each course is finished.

Teaching is not just about YOU -it involves your students too.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 12:24 AM
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PPS - A high proportion of the "best" teaching jobs are in Bkk as are the regular high wage opportunities.
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