Published 26th April 2021
Thailand is definitely one of the most popular destinations for TEFL teachers and it’s not hard to see why. We’ve all seen The Beach, right? Tropical beaches, friendly people and delicious food all make Thailand a traveller’s dream. But there are so many amazing countries that you could travel to, so what is it that makes Thailand such a great destination for TEFL teachers? Is it possible to live in this amazing country and earn a decent living?
Thankfully, yes it is. Here are just a few (of many!) reasons you should teach English in Thailand.
The Land of Smiles
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place known as the Land of Smiles? Thailand is famous for its friendly people which makes being there a very pleasant experience – as a tourist or as a resident. Of course, living anywhere will make you realise that it’s not all roses all the time, but Thai people have a way of dealing with circumstances in such a way that nothing ever seems like too much of a problem. It’s no surprise that you will hear the phrase mai ben lai (don’t worry) at least once a day.
Travel opportunities in Thailand
Whether you’d like to spend your days off lazing on beautiful white beaches or trekking through the jungle, Thailand is such a big country geographically it has a lot to offer any kind of traveller. The south of Thailand has islands that are spectacular in their beauty. Even if you’re not keen on sunburn, you can still find lots to do on the islands – hiking to waterfalls, elephant trekking, scuba diving and fishing are just a few examples. The north of Thailand is much cooler and better suited to adventures in the jungle, discovering local tribes or taking a cooking course. Central Thailand is where you will want to go if you want to explore ancient cities, visit traditional villages or chill out with monkeys. So you can see, whichever part of Thailand you go to, you’re guaranteed to find natural beauty and fantastic adventures.
If you are keen to venture further outside of town, why not cross her borders into one of the neighbouring countries? Travelling is so easy in Thailand and with just a short journey you could find yourself in Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar or Laos. During school holidays it’s commonplace for TEFL teachers backpacking around South East Asia, so even if you are a solo traveller you won’t be lonely for long.
Festivals and Holidays
Thailand has numerous cultural festivals throughout the year. You’ve probably heard of Song Kran, or Thai New Year, which is basically three days of water fights in the streets – definitely an insanely fun festival to experience. There is also the Chinese New Year which is celebrated across the country, and so many others. An added bonus, every year Thailand has 16 public holidays!
Thai food is famous around the world but nothing beats Thai food in Thailand. From street food to 5-star restaurants, pad thai to green curry, in Thailand you will never go hungry. What’s more, with the currency exchange rate, you’ll find that food in Thailand is cheap as chips. So you can eat to your heart’s content.
Teaching English in Thailand
When it comes to teaching English in Thailand, there are jobs for everyone! As a TEFL teacher, you can teach at a government school, a private school, an international school, a university or a private language school. While salaries will vary depending on if you are teaching in a big city or a small village, it’s still possible to make some assumptions about average salaries.
In a state school, you are likely to earn between B35 000 and B45 000 and work an average of 22 to 25 hours a week. Universities can offer you around B60 000 to B75 000 and in a private school, you can earn upwards of B100 000, (but for both you will need to be more qualified). Language schools generally pay you hourly, from B400 to B1 000 an hour. You’ll work about 18 to 25 hours a week.
While jobs are widespread throughout Thailand, there are understandably more jobs in the bigger cities of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Ayuthaya. No matter where you live, however, the cost of living is so low that even the most basic salary will be enough for you to live very well. You’ll be able to afford a nice apartment, eat out on a daily basis, and travel as often as your heart desires. Having said that, though, the Thai Baht is not a strong currency so it is wise to spend your salary in Thailand or around Asia rather than try to pay off your loan back home.
Read more: The Best Places to Teach in Thailand
Teaching English online in Thailand
On the other hand, if you’d rather not work in a school in Thailand, it’s one of the top destinations for digital nomads. The lifestyle is good and the living is easy, so it makes sense that online freelancers settle in Thailand and make dollars or pounds online. This is truly the essence of being a digital nomad: living cheaply but earning as you usually would; working the hours you want so you can explore the country in your time off; moving around as you please without a thought for your work. Is this not what TEFL dreams are made of?
Thailand is an amazing country in so many different ways so it’s not surprising it’s so popular with tourists and TEFL teachers alike. It has so much to offer everyone and wherever you go and whatever you do, you’ll be guaranteed a great time.