On a sunny day out shopping in Chester, England, Sara and I decided on a whim to book a one-way flight to Thailand that would be departing in a little under a years time.
We had not long returned home from a few weeks travelling in Thailand and were suffering from not only the holiday blues but the “what-ifs”- “what if we would have stayed?”, etc.
After booking our flights to Bangkok, for a few weeks we were in shock and excitement mode- shocked that we had been so spontaneous and excited at the opportunity.
I began researching what was required to secure a teaching position in Thailand and after a few hours I realised that many people had many different opinions about what was actually required and what was not.
After some thorough research and an email here and there I finally found some definitive answers (or at least it worked for me!)
Firstly, in order to be eligible to teach in Thailand you will need to have completed a degree. The subject of your degree does not particularly matter unless you have a degree in Education or perhaps Mathematics or Science as some schools offer an increased salary for degrees in these fields. You will also need your degree transcripts!
Secondly, you will need to have completed a TEFL (or equivalent) qualification. When I was looking for a course to complete my TEFL, I was working full-time in the Hospitality industry so a hands on, classroom course would not be an option for me, so I decided to book an online course that I could complete in my spare time.
As you will see if you decide to search for available TEFL courses, there are so many different companies offering anything from a 120-hour course at £200 to a 150-hour TEFL Masters course at £350+. To be honest, I had a look on Groupon and found that they had a course available for around £50 and booked that (whilst saving some “new life” money).
The next most important thing I needed was a criminal record check (Disclosure and Barring Service or DBS formerly CRB) from my home country. I ordered the basic check for around £30 online using the Post Office website and a little over 2 weeks later, I received it in the post.
As the weeks and months went on, I began to worry about finding a teaching position in Thailand as I didn’t know anybody that had worked there before, just neighboring countries, and decided I would send off a few applications to see if I heard anything back.
When sending applications and CV or resume, it is a standard requirement to send a full-length photograph along with your application. However, I would recommend sending a photograph where you are smartly dressed rather than Saturday night’s photograph with the lads or girls!
Also, just to be extra sure you are who you say you are, it is standard to be asked to send a photocopy or photograph of your passport page with your application.
After a few days I received a couple of offers for a Skype interview, which I gladly accepted!
The interviews were fairly basic and I think they just wanted to get to know me and my personality as well as my hobbies and whether they feel that I would fit in to their team in Thailand rather than whether I knew the different between present perfect tense and future progressive!
Finally, a month before our departure from the UK, we visited the Thai Embassy and purchased our 90-day Tourist Visa which costs around £25-30 and requires you to fill out a short application for and then pick up your visa the next day!
So, here I am in Thailand!
It’s been a long journey from booking our flights and jumping on my TEFL course at any spare moment, but… it was all worth it in the end!
For future reference when applying for teaching vacancies here in Thailand, a monthly salary for a full time teacher (usually 18-20 teaching hours per week) ranges from 35,000-40,000 baht on average and then as previously explained, there can be extra payments depending on whether you are a native English speaker or whether your degree is in Education or even Maths or Science.
P.S. If you have any queries, drop me a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get back from the beach!
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