Thailand has garnered the nickname “the Land of Smiles” and has a fierce reputation as one of the best places for ESL teachers to hone their craft. The country has tons of benefits for teachers both new and experienced and continues to attract new faces years after bursting onto the ESL scene.
There are more than 11,000 English teachers with numbers growing annually. Everything from visa processes to flight costs, exciting communities and weather make Thailand a desirable destination. Here are the top 5 reasons you should consider traveling and teaching English in Thailand.
Teachers seeking to live and work abroad usually consider the cost of living first. This needs to match up to a good standard of living to make it worthwhile. Teaching in Thailand gives teachers the opportunity to live comfortably off of a fraction of what they might earn in western countries, and still save up some money.
Teachers who start teaching make around $1,000 per month and basic accommodation can be anywhere from $150 to $250 per month. Utilities are very cheap and buying food and using transportation is also very affordable. With lip-smacking meals as little as $7 at restaurants, it’s easy to see how people can save money while living in Thailand.
Living in the capital of Bangkok is a little more expensive with rent being closer to $400 but teachers usually get paid better for living in the city. Some teachers make upward of $2,000 so you are still able to save plenty despite higher costs of living. The average Thai household only brings in an average of $612 per month so earning a teaching salary puts you well in the top earning percentile for the country.
Speaking of food, Thailand has some of the most desirable cuisines in the world. Eat your bodyweight in curries or Pad Thai noodles and stock up on a myriad of exotic fruits from the local market. Street food is also a major part of Thai culture and you can’t walk more than a few feet without finding a new and exciting dish to try.
Thai food is not completely foreign to most with a large Thai diaspora found in most major cities across the world. Travelers easily adapt to their new diet of sticky rice and mangoes and will continue craving these dishes for years after they leave the country.
Thai food is also very healthy, unlike many western cuisines. Dishes are loaded with vegetables and intense flavors. You will find lots of chilies, lemongrass, ginger, coriander, and turmeric in the food, all ingredients that have been linked to many health benefits.
Good Job Market
There is never a shortage of English teaching jobs in Thailand. Teachers are always in demand as the country has one of the fastest-growing English-speaking populations in the world.
Teaching in Thailand is a possibility for newbie teachers to get valuable experience and work their way up the ranks. There is also a demand for more experienced teachers to teach at higher-ranking institutions that also offer handsome payment.
Securing a job in Thailand is also easy compared to most of Europe where employers will want to see teaching qualifications, degrees, and possibly work experience. You can get a well-paying job with only a TEFL qualification and in some cases, they will require a university degree. Howeve, the subject of the degree is not important.
Read more about how to teach English in Thailand, strategies & examples of job searches, and how to apply.
The stunning natural landscape of Thailand is vast and diverse. From verdant mountain regions to islands with turquoise waters, there is no shortage of breathtaking places in the country. It is also conveniently inexpensive to fly between these places making weekend trips a breeze.
Most teaching jobs are in Bangkok, a bustling megacity with almost 12 million residents. This in itself is something otherworldly to experience. Chiang Mai is also a popular teaching destination in Thailand with teachers enjoying the lush forest surroundings.
Quickly hop on a plane and get to Krabi, Phuket, or Koh Samui to swim in tropical waters teaming with life. Thailand’s islands and beaches are among the most beautiful in the world but they remain affordable destinations, perfect for people on a teacher’s salary.
Thailand also boasts some of the best weather in the world. It is hot and sunny with mostly tropical weather across the board. Despite a few weeks of “rainy season” putting a damper on things, you will still enjoy summery weather all year long.
Broaden Your Horizons
It is one thing to teach in Thailand for work experience, but this opportunity also allows you to broaden your personal horizons like never before. When you move abroad to travel and work, you are connected with people from all across the globe and Thailand is well known for its bustling expat scene.
You get to mingle with people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, allowing you to get a better understanding of others. You will also immerse yourself in Thai culture and experience religious practices and traditional environments.
It also looks very good on your resume to show that you have worked in a foreign environment. You will learn how different workplace cultures function and show your future employers that you are up for any challenge. Teaching foreign children is also worlds removed from teaching students in your native language. Their classroom environments are vastly different and their approach to studying will also be new to you. These are all factors that give you immeasurable experiences that you will take with you throughout your career.
Teaching in Thailand is an experience all teachers need to try at least once. The combination of culture, natural treasures, and decent wages make this a very attractive option. It’s not the right fit for everybody but it is an experience you will never forget.