Thailand: TEFL Destination of the month
Thailand is our destination of the month. Why wouldn’t it be? With sun-kissed beaches, terrific temples, and mouth-watering cuisine, it is no surprise that this country nicknamed the ‘land of the free’ is a top TEFL destination.
But it isn’t just the tropical weather or the fascinating culture that attracts thousands of TEFL teachers there each year. The abundance of teaching opportunities, its openness to first-time teachers, and the promise of a unique teaching experience that you will not get at home has people flocking to this Asian paradise.
The requirements to teach English in Thailand are :
- Four years Bachelor’s Degree
- TEFL Certificate (Check out our courses here)
- Be a Native English speaker or have a high level of fluency
- Passport holder from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand
Salary expectations for TEFL teachers :
Of course, every teaching position is different, and salaries differ depending on working in a public, private or International school. But generally speaking, you can expect to make between €800-€1000 a month teaching English in Thailand. Although this wage might sound relatively low compared to wages for TEFL teachers in other Asian countries, this money can go a very far way in Thailand; you just have to shop local. With that being said, if you are located in a central city like Bangkok, teaching salaries are higher there to reflect the cost of living. If you choose to work in an international school, your wage can significantly increase, with some teachers making upwards of €2000 a month. However, you are more likely to fall on the lower pay scale if you are starting. But fear not, teachers have been known to save nearly €500 a month on a monthly wage of €800, which means you can have plenty of savings to explore the country.
To gain a greater insight into the daily life of a teacher in Thailand, read about our Intern Evelina’s time teaching in a public school in Thailand here.
The low cost of living in Thailand :
A small amount can go a long in Thailand, primarily if your school provides you with accommodation. In situations like this, a monthly accommodation fee is taken out of your wages, usually between €100-€200 a month (then you will be left with the remaining €800). If your school doesn’t take care of your accommodation, you will have to shop around yourself. As well as cheap rent, it is very affordable to eat out in Thailand. Most people will get their three daily meals from the local food market. You can expect to pay between €1-€3 for a meal in the market.
Although the day-to-day living costs are low in Thailand, we advise that you come out to Thailand with some savings. This is because you will probably be exploring what your town or city has to offer during your first month, and the cost to visit tourist attractions can add up quickly.
Now, since we have discussed the requirements, wages, and low cost of living in Thailand, it is time to learn some fun facts about the country so you can find out why we have chosen it as our TEFL destination of the month.
Seven things you need to know about Thailand
Be prepared for a culture shock, ladies and gentlemen; although Thailand is famed for its rich and historical culture, there are some things that Westerners are surprised by once they step off the plane.
- Kitchens are not a thing in Thailand.
You will not find an apartment with one in it. If you do, then that’s unusual. This explains why the local food market is an essential focal point in Thai towns. It is where everyone gets their food, so those people who tell you before you move to Thailand that it’s dangerous to eat from food stalls don’t know what they’re talking about.
- The Thai Royal family is significant.
The Royal family in Thailand is highly respected and celebrated across the country. You will find a portrait of either the King or his father, King Rama IX, hanging in every classroom. The birthdays and the coronation date of the King and his family are national holidays and are seen as days of celebration. You should be aware that alcohol is not sold on these days out of respect for the Royal family, so be sure to stock up in preparation if you are going on holiday. It is also frowned upon to speak ill of or openly criticise the Royal family, and doing so can result in jail time.
- Buddism is the main religion.
You will see evidence of the religious teachings and beliefs throughout the country. 95 % percentage of Thai people are practising Buddhists. It is common to see monks of all ages walking around draped in their yellow or orange robes on the streets. In fact, before the age of 20, every man in Thailand must become a monk for a short period, usually around three months. Each school day begins with Buddhist prayers, and frequently children will mediate in class.
- Spirit houses
A Spirit House is a miniature version of the building it sits outside of; it houses the spirits disturbed when the building was being built on that site. People make daily offerings to the Spirit House that is found outside their home or a building. People will leave flowers, food, drink or money, etc., to appease the spirits and ask for their protection.
- Buddhist Temples are everywhere.
There are 30,000 Buddhist temples or wats across Thailand. They are in every town, village, and city. They are often beautifully decorated and are places of worship and spirituality. Famous temples include Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Arun in Bangkok, and Wat Rong Khun outside of Chiang Rai. If you are entering a temple, you must be dressed appropriately and be respectful once inside.
- Thai people love festivals.
Thailand is famous for its festivals. The celebrations are usually linked to Buddhism or the Royal family. They happen pretty regularly throughout the year, so look forward to lots of bank holidays.
Popular festivals include:
Songkran celebrates the Thai new year in April and sees people participating in massive water fights on the street.
Loi Krathong/ The Lantern Festival symbolises new beginnings and a fresh start. Children and adults will make floating flower baskets and place them in a river every November.
The Sakon Nakhon Wax Candle Festival marks the end of Buddhist Lent. It is celebrated with a parade of giant hand-carved candle sculptures and a beauty pageant. During the march and beauty pageant, people will be adorned in their national clothing.
- Thai food is delicious.
Thailand is famous for its food. Popular dishes include Massaman curry, Pad Thai, Pad Kra Prao (minced pork and rice), sticky mango rice, egg fried rice, and much more. Thai people are big fans of spicy food and fish, so Thailand is perfect for you if you like these things. As previously mentioned, people get most of their nutrition from the local food market. It is customary to get several different dishes and share them with friends and family. The same goes for alcohol; people will split one beer between a group of five. This custom to share your food and drink will come as a shock to most foreigners, but thankfully it also means that you will get to split the bill.
There you have it, seven amazing facts about our TEFL destination of the month! If you’re interested in teaching in Thailand but are unsure about how to do it, look at our Thai Internship program, which guarantees that you will have a job, accommodation, and a visa before you even get there. Read about Suzanna’s teaching in Thailand experience here.