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Mid April Arrival: pretty much clueless.
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ippollite



Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:46 am    Post subject: Mid April Arrival: pretty much clueless. Reply with quote

My contract in Japan ends in about 1 week. The plan was to head back to the UK and sit around paying a fortune in rent while i spent a few months killing time getting my docs ready for another sojourn to Korea. Then a bolt of inspiration hit me last week and i thought "hang on! i could watch my meager savings disappear on a few months of rent in a miserable country in crappy weather and maybe get a crappy job shelf stacking... OR i could just go to thailand for a few months, see if i can get a job there teaching... see if i like it... get a nice suntan, and at the very worst ill be having a three or four month vacation.

Seems a more fun plan.

But thats LITERALLY the extent of the "plan": "i know! ill go to thailand for four months or so!"

Now comes the fine tuning...

Ill just say hello at the moment and then throw up some questions as they come to me. Ive done a spot of research, weather is going to be about as hot as it gets. Many people are going to ask me if i want to buy a suit. Tuktuk drivers will "rip me off". Its the big hiring season at schools. Public school jobs are hell? The thai language seems extraordinarily tough to learn. English isnt widespread outside Phuket. Phuket is hella expensive compared to everywhere else. Theres three towns near malaysia that i dont want to live in. They have snakes in the long grass. And giant centipedes. If you mai (is it a verb) anyone of lower standing, they feel uncomfortable and call you a weirdo behind your back. Alternatively, if you mai them they feel surprised but happy that youre not treating them with contempt. Chiang Mai is the cooler part, but probably has the most nasty little insects trying to kill you in your sleep. Dont walk around in your bare feet at night. You need a degree for your visa, and you dont need a tefl, but a tefl makes you competitive. They dont really come all that cheap though - $2000? Thai people smile if you smile. Theyre super friendly, but super conservative. You cant be rude about the royal family. First impressions are huge. Photos on your cv. White shirt. They bathe twice a day and dont like sweaty pink fat scottish people stinking up the place. English education isnt really important in thailand (not even in the way that its not important in japan and korea where its really important academically if not socially). Schools in thailand can have upwards of 7000 kids.

I know theres a lot more, just really consolidating what i can remember by writing it out Smile

Basically, have a BA hons Philosophy and my original certificate. 5 years JHS teaching experience in Japan, 2 years as a NET on JLP/Epik.

Chances of finding a job are probably okay i assume, but unlike most i actually LOVE teaching in public schools. I also dont mind teaching super low level students with limited motivation (which i read... from here i believe... is almost the literal description of public school teaching in Thailand.

But one thing i have noticed is that a lot of the Jobs for public schools tend to be "high school". Is it like UK where theres no interim level (middle/junior high), or is it just that middle school jobs arent really that common?

Just wondering Smile

Also wanted to start getting my head around the country. I would love to find a place with decent surf but not too far south. South seems hot, and im pretty pasty. :p

Yeah, i know. I definitely haven't thought this through. Its going to bite me on the ass. Im a cautious person by nature and radically miss-trust my instincts until i have time to dwell on the consequences of them. Thailand seems like its going to be my nemesis in many ways.

Ooooh, one last question... do i need a drivers license to ride one of the mopeds everyones on. Kinda love cycling, but despite how it feels in my mind, its not exactly a small country. Itd be nice just heading out and seeing it all
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 906

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:00 am    Post subject: Re: Mid April Arrival: pretty much clueless. Reply with quote

ippollite wrote:
weather is going to be about as hot as it gets.


It went up well over 37.7 C last hot season

ippollite wrote:
Many people are going to ask me if i want to buy a suit.

The best thing to do is buy the jacket, pants and shirt separately at a department store like say Paragon (If someone doesn't like Paragon then recommend someplace else).
ippollite wrote:
Tuktuk drivers will "rip me off".

They typically represent the most stupid and dishonest sector of Thai society.

ippollite wrote:
Its the big hiring season at schools. Public school jobs are hell?

Not necessarily any more than private schools although you won't get aircon class rooms in Public schools. As far as student academic ability and school commitment to learning some public schools outdo expensive private schools.

ippollite wrote:
The thai language seems extraordinarily tough to learn.

It's less difficult than Korean probably Japanese and isn't supposed to be that difficult.
ippollite wrote:
Theres three towns near malaysia that i dont want to live in. They have snakes in the long grass.

I don't know about that. Although the muslim inhabited parts of Thailand close to the Malaysian border have insurgents that might poise a more serious problem.
ippollite wrote:
Chiang Mai is the cooler part, but probably has the most nasty little insects trying to kill you in your sleep.

I've lived in both Chiang Mai and Bangkok and the insects in Chiang Mai are not any worse.
ippollite wrote:
Dont walk around in your bare feet at night.

You will see, mosquito's attack your feet in Thailand before anything else.
ippollite wrote:
You need a degree for your visa

You need a degree to get a teaching license to teach legally, but you don't have to teach legally in Thailand. The government generally doesn't care one way or the other. You will only run into trouble continuing to get tourist visas at the Thai Embassy in Vientienne, other Thai embassies don't care.

On the other hand don't ever present fake documents to schools (fake Khao San degrees etc.). That will get you in serious trouble.
ippollite wrote:
and you dont need a tefl, but a tefl makes you competitive.

Five years teaching in Japan and 2 years teaching in Korea is vastly more competitive than any TEFL certificate. Although if you want invest 1400 US in a good TEFL school for a certificate.
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BA, transcript, degree from the UK (or other English speaking (G20) country) and you are good to go.

You qualify for a provisional teaching license so you can get a non-b visa and work permit. Gets you through the first 2 years.

Thailand is tough.
Land.
Get a job
- should take less than 30 days if you hold out for more than 40k.
- should take less than 7 days if you take the first 35k offer that comes along.
Start work in early May.
Students return around May 15.

Google "ajarn" (Thai for teacher) for more job ads.

If you are here between April 13-16 you should prepare to get wet and hit with white powder bombs (Songkran).

.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1007

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, the greeting is a "wai", not "mai". Primarily, it is used as a verb, but in English it is also used a noun.

"Mai" has many many meanings, including the famous sentence "mai mai mai mai mai?" which means "New wood doesn't burn, does it?" with a different tone for each "mai".

It is used in two important phrases: "mai pen rai" (never mind, no worries) and "sabaidee mai?" (are you well? how are you?)
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ippollite



Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice dudes. Its been a while since ive had to find my own job to be honest (3 years on jet (they position you), then dispatch (they position you - though admittedly you apply to them), then korea as a NET (recruiters position you), then back to japan with same dispatch (they position you where they need you)). The idea of cold calling and handing my resume to schools is kinda scary Smile Mail or doorstepping? There isnt really a public school programme is there with BoEs positioning people?

Also, i remember the whole fun times in korea inverse relation with distance from seoul (though i lived in Naju and freaking loved those kids - and the whole Gwangju attitude so i dispute it).

With that in mind:

a) does the same apply in relation to bangkok/phuket.
b) If i dont really want to base myself in either but just a nice city or town on the coast, wheres a good place to start thinking about? I was thinking that Rayong area looks a nice location... by the beach, within access of bangkok for civilisation, big enough to have plenty of possibilities, and just kinda peaceful looking. Am i doing this wrong?
c) If you could live anywhere but the main obvious parts in Thailand, where would you go?
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ippollite wrote:

a) does the same apply in relation to bangkok/phuket.
b) If i dont really want to base myself in either but just a nice city or town on the coast, wheres a good place to start thinking about? I was thinking that Rayong area looks a nice location... by the beach, within access of bangkok for civilisation, big enough to have plenty of possibilities, and just kinda peaceful looking. Am i doing this wrong?
c) If you could live anywhere but the main obvious parts in Thailand, where would you go?


Cohiba's law...

a) No. BKK has the most jobs and the pay is mostly decent. You are only an hour or two from the beach for your weekends.
Phuket is the most expensive and poorest paying place in the country for EFL teachers (too many applicants want to stay by the beach).

b) You and every other newbie headed for Thailand. See "A".
Oh, and Rayong is OK if breathing is not important to you.

c) 90 KM west or north (or some combination of the 2) of BKK.
Easy reach of the city when you want it.
1/2 the cost of living in the Big Mango.
Most of the conveniences of the city.
Easy reach of everything else in the country other than the white sand crowds.

.
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ippollite



Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks dude, so if i want a proper salary, avoid the beaches but stay within reach of bangkok. I also had a wee look at the cities in thailand wikipedia page. Its rather amazing. One city of over 2 million, then 10 cities between 100,000 to 250,000 (though mainly closer to 100,000). Then about 15 cities of between 20-100,000 people. Its not exactly a small country so im surprised that there arent bigger cities. I might however just be used to the Japanese system where the city is defined closer to a municipality or a region (hamamatsu being a striking example). I guess this means if its my first time i should really try and stay close to bangkok or Chiang Mai. Possibly leaning towards chiang mai though. Looks rather beautiful on google images :p I can just take up golf i guess Smile
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ippollite wrote:
Thanks dude, so if i want a proper salary, avoid the beaches but stay within reach of bangkok. I also had a wee look at the cities in thailand wikipedia page. Its rather amazing. One city of over 2 million, then 10 cities between 100,000 to 250,000 (though mainly closer to 100,000). Then about 15 cities of between 20-100,000 people. Its not exactly a small country so im surprised that there arent bigger cities. I might however just be used to the Japanese system where the city is defined closer to a municipality or a region (hamamatsu being a striking example). I guess this means if its my first time i should really try and stay close to bangkok or Chiang Mai. Possibly leaning towards chiang mai though. Looks rather beautiful on google images :p I can just take up golf i guess Smile


Tourist destination (Pattaya, Phuket, Krabi, Samui, Chaing Mai etc). = lots of competition and hence much lower wages.

Move 100km in any direction and you are fine.

As for city size - population density ...
Japan, 370k km2 and 130 million people. density 377/km2
Thai, 510k km2 and 66 million people. density 132/km2

Outside of BKK (and Rayong) there is lots of clean air to breathe and plenty of room to swing a cat.

.
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ippollite



Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Next question. Ive got a month to kill or thereabouts...
Since im notoriously poor at studying the language anywhere i end up living, i want a bit of a kickstart. Itll also keep me focused during the day and not let me slip into bad habits.
Ive had a look online, but due to the massive holiday in mid april it seems all the courses will be in full swing by the time i arrive with a late march start, end of april end. I dont suppose anyone knows of a good school that has a more flexible approach? Or will i have to just pony up for private 1 on 1 classes?
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you mean learning Thai... then don't worry about it.

You can usually get by with English for the first few months (find a town with a TESCO in it) and after you get settled your gik will give you all the language lessons you need.

.
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ippollite



Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hahaha! what the hell is a Gik. Actually, im going to just go ahead and assume what it might be. Im particularly unloveable though, poor, and very very scottish. Therell be no giks snuffling around in my vegetable patch for truffles!

In truth just wanted something to keep me in the right frame of mind so that when schools begin in mid may i wont feel like ive just spent the last month sat around in my monthly lease rental playing x-com all day. I hate free time. Smile
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ippollite



Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to clarify. One of my friends said that many of the teachers at her school couldnt get the teaching license so couldnt get the Non-B visa and had to do visa hops.
She said you need an education degree or one directly related to teaching to qualify or you have to pass a test that none of them could pass. My degree is in philosophy which isnt really that helpful to teaching. I have transcripts, i have my degree. I should also have it apostilled as well since the long game is back to korea.

I have 7 years experience teaching but no teaching qualifications per se other than the experience and the degree.

Am i destined to border hop? Or will it be reasonably easy to gain the teaching license in order to get the visa?

Its confusing because obviously im hearing different answers so figured its best i clarified things.

PS. Failed to get the dual re-entry. Had to renew my passport which arrived only yesterday, then went to the Thai embassy in Tokyo to be told they only do appointments now. Next free appointment was very late april. Cant really afford to stay in Japan until then, so looks like im off next wednesday on a 30 day tourist visa. All good i assume. Would like to get all the paperwork on board by May so probably need to accept quickly after arrival which naturally scuppers my options and potential pay a bit Smile
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tttompatz



Joined: 06 Mar 2010
Posts: 1951
Location: Talibon, Bohol, Philippines

PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ippollite wrote:
Just to clarify. One of my friends said that many of the teachers at her school couldn't get the teaching license so couldn't get the Non-B visa and had to do visa hops.
She said you need an education degree or one directly related to teaching to qualify or you have to pass a test that none of them could pass. My degree is in philosophy which isn't really that helpful to teaching. I have transcripts, i have my degree. I should also have it apostatized as well since the long game is back to Korea.

I have 7 years experience teaching but no teaching qualifications per se other than the experience and the degree.

Am i destined to border hop? Or will it be reasonably easy to gain the teaching license in order to get the visa?

Its confusing because obviously im hearing different answers so figured its best i clarified things.

PS. Failed to get the dual re-entry. Had to renew my passport which arrived only yesterday, then went to the Thai embassy in Tokyo to be told they only do appointments now. Next free appointment was very late april. Cant really afford to stay in Japan until then, so looks like im off next wednesday on a 30 day tourist visa. All good i assume. Would like to get all the paperwork on board by May so probably need to accept quickly after arrival which naturally scuppers my options and potential pay a bit Smile


IF you have a degree and passport from one of:
UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, NZ or Aus then you qualify for a 2 year provisional teaching permit (so you can get a non-b and work permit).

Within those 2 years you need to take the Thai Culture and Ethics course. That will give you a further 2 years extension on your provisional teaching permit.

By the end of 4 years you will have had to write and pass the 4 tests (9 sections) from the Thai Council of Teachers and acquire your Teaching License. Details are here: http://www.ksp.or.th/Khurusapha/en/ ) menu on the left side of the page.

Failure to pass the tests within 4 years will doom you to regular border runs.
While the tests are a bit difficult they are not insurmountable. I wrote all 4 at TCT test 10 and passed all 4 (admittedly many people don't pass on the 1st try).

You don't need your degree or other documents apostilled for Thailand. Thailand is not a signatory to the apostille treaty.

IF you come in on a 30-day entry stamp (visa waiver and NOT an actual visa) then pepare for a headache at the airport in Japan (outward passage is a requirement of visa free travel) and you will need to make a run to Laos to get an actual double entry tourist visa (cost about 7000 baht including the van run up, Laos entry, overnight accommodation and Thai tourist visa) if you take one of the agencies that run from On-Nut).

.
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ippollite



Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks dude, that was a great help. I had a feeling that the info I got from her was a bit over simplified. Good to know that there's a two-four year window to enjoy the country. Looking forward to the headache at narita then. Hopefully I can explain the situation about the visa and not get in too much trouble Smile thanks for taking the time to explain it, it's been a huge help!
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plumpy nut



Joined: 12 Mar 2011
Posts: 906

PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Thai Culture course has been canned by the Thai Ministry of Education. They were going to come up with a new improved one, but as far as I know nothing has come out yet.

It doesn't sound like your running off to take the course anyway.


Last edited by plumpy nut on Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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