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Transitioning to Thailand after 10 years in ROK.

 
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chaz47



Joined: 22 Apr 2005
Posts: 155

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 3:59 am    Post subject: Transitioning to Thailand after 10 years in ROK. Reply with quote

Hello again Thailand board, I haven't posted here in quite some time! I've been home in the US for a few months after finishing a 10 year stint in Korea. The pay was stagnating even though most things at my school were pretty good. It's been a nice visit home as well, but the US is way more "interesting" than I would prefer and winter is coming...

Anyway, a few questions for you all:
1.) With a BA + TEFL + 10 years of experience what are my options?
2.) What are the general air pollution levels like in Thai cities? I know Bangkok can be stifling but have only visited there and Phuket. Could I find flexible work with my present credentials? I would ideally want to tutor adults and don't estimate needing more than 20 hours a week.
3.) How expensive is organic, gluten-free, etc. food there? After 10 years of instant noodles my digestion is terrible and I've been trying to eat healthier.
4.) I just turned 41 and have a decent vacation beard going. Is this going to complicate finding work? Additionally, is there a strict dress code in many places? I don't want to "suit up" in SE Asia.

Much thanks in advance. Very Happy
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's the wrong time of year to be looking for work. April is the time to have your boots on the ground.

Your BA + TEFL + 10 years in Korea means nothing more than a fresh face with a degree (enough to get legal). Your resume means nothing. Jobs above the entry level here are based on who you know, not what you know. The market here is largely being taken over by ASEAN NNES teachers who will work for 1/2 what you will get offered.

You can expect 35-40k baht (US$1000-1200) straight off the plane for a salary package. There are no benefits included with the majority of jobs here.

You can expect 22 classes per week and a 40 hour work week is pretty standard in a school (what you are most likely to find).

Like Korea, your visa is tied to your employer. You also need to deal with obtaining a work permit.

The days of endless border hops and working at a language center on a tourist entry are pretty much near the end of their days. If you are lucky you can expect 40-45k baht at some language centers in Bangkok but you can expect 30 classes per week to earn it.

IF you are lucky you can probably find some upcountry university language center jobs who will take on a teacher with only a BA. They will pay about 25k baht but only work you about 12-15 classes per week with about 4-10 office hours on top of that.

You might try Russia. Federal Far Eastern University in Vladivostok is looking for EFL teachers. There is always the Chinese market.

.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It's the wrong time of year to be looking for work. April is the time to have your boots on the ground.


It's way too hot to be wearing boots in Thailand in April
Laughing , but you will need some nice shiny dress shoes.


Quote:
I would ideally want to tutor adults and don't estimate needing more than 20 hours a week.


I know a couple of guys who are doing this in BKK (and one teaching part-time in Phukhet), plus another who is upcountry doing online work. It's technically illegal though and I would NOT recommend it nor do it myself. They do visa runs and so far have been able to return.

If it were me, I would get one of the university gigs UPCOUNTRY working as an "ajarn"with a low amount of class hours and large numbers of "co-ed's". You need to find one with a cool dean or head of department, who doesn't require you to be in the office all day Mon - Fri. That way you have your 1-year visa and work permit, at least, and you can teach some evening/weekend classes to supplement your income.

Also, as Suphanburi mentions, most of those have some kind of language center that also hire NES with BA.

The comment about non-native speakers is very accurate. Cheaper and more compliant than "farang", they can be found teaching throughout Southeast Asia, especially in Thailand.

As for the beard, there's no real problem with that (not sure why people even ask) IF you realize that growing a beard involves more than just not shaving, i.e. you keep it trimmed and shaped, so it looks "cool" as opposed to derelict.

Lastly, you should consider the current political situation. Read the news regularly.
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If possible don't finish your 10 year stint. I'm warning you, that's what I did and it was the biggest mistake I ever made. I used to walk down the streets in Chiang Mai and Bangkok with slightly wet eyes.
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Hermosillo



Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 152
Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The beard may not prevent you from getting a job, but it will be the first thing they notice about you, and it's negative. We had about 30+ bad air days in CM, this year. It is still ultra popular with the trashpacker/teacher crowd and salaries reflect that; before you even factor in Filipinos, missionaries, and those paying to volunteer. Chiang Mai's rapidly increasing popularity doesn't mean it's getting better, and reality is that the opposite is happening. Still hard to beat, but I am planning to move to BKK, and I think I will be at least tempted to take a teaching job. For now, I am content with my retirement extension based on being 50+ and having 800K in a Thai Bank. Starting Thai teachers make 15K per month with B.Ed. and often have lots of loans.....just the thought of paying a farang more is obviously repugnant to them, and the decline in their English skills over the last decade is proof.
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