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Teaching in Thailand-Where to begin?

 
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hip-hop boy78



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 90
Location: Hip-hop land

PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 10:06 pm    Post subject: Teaching in Thailand-Where to begin? Reply with quote

Hello,

I’m looking into the possibility of teaching in Thailand (preferably Bangkok) and would welcome some advice/recommendations on the best way of going about this.

I don’t know very much about the current teaching situation in Thailand but will take the time to try and probe a little further. In the meantime, I’d be grateful if anyone with experience of teaching in Thailand could answer the following questions, and perhaps help me get the ball rolling on whether or not it would be worth it for me to make the move.

I have about 11 years of teaching experience (3 in Japan, and 8 in South Korea), and have taught both young learners (kindergarten, elementary, and middle school students) and adults. I’ve taught in private language institutes, a private university, and a couple of public schools. I’ve taught conversational English, as well as preparatory courses such as TOEFL and TOEIC. I have a BA and an MA in non-teaching related subjects, but no teaching qualification. That being said, what kind of salary would I be realistically able to expect or ask for? Would I be best off looking for work at a private language institute or for a public school? Should I reach out to a few recruiters and see what they might be able to offer me, or contact schools directly? Which recruiters would you recommend from personal experience?

Ideally I’d be looking for a job with not too many contact hours (20-25 per week) thus allowing me the opportunity to do some online teaching in my free time, some holiday time if possible, and at least 40,000baht per month. Is this achievable? Would I be better off applying for jobs from abroad or in person in Bangkok?

When I worked in Korea I had to submit a certified criminal record check, a certified and apostilled copy of my BA degree (don’t think I needed to certify/apostille my MA), and a health check undertaken in Korea. All documents had to be dated within six months. What paperwork is required to apply for a visa in Thailand? Do I need to go through the time-consuming and costly process of certifying my documents all over again? I still have a certified/apostilled copy of my MA, but it’s dated late 2011. Would this still be valid? How long would the whole application process take once I have my documents to hand? And would I need to visit the Thai Embassy in the UK in person in order to apply for a work visa or could I arrange this once in Thailand? Any information here would be greatly appreciated.

I’ve been to Thailand as a tourist before and enjoyed it, but living there would be a completely different experience. I guess I’m trying to figure out whether or not it would be worth the hassle, and whether I’d be able to save money after a year in Thailand, in case I concluded it wasn’t for me and then decided to move on after completing a contract. I’m currently in Europe but not in the UK which is where I’m originally from, if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance for any feedback or recommendations you may be able to give me.
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 930
Location: Cape Town

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sawasdee krup and Greetings from the Land of Smiles! My advice is just fly to Thailand and focus your job search here in Bangkok. NOW is the hiring season and you will probably be offered many jobs. Ensure you apply for a Tourist visa prior to coming here as this visa can be changed to a non immigrant visa at immigration here in Bangkok with the proper school documentation. Good luck and I hope you will have an amazing teaching experience here. Very Happy
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This will be an expansion of what the previous poster said.

Now is the hiring season. You are unlikely to find anything from abroad. There are lots of white faces running around.

IF you don't mind working with kids then you will need:
    degree (authenticated).v Although Thailand is not a member of the apostille club they do recognize it.
    Uni sealed transcripts
    correct flavor of passport (South Africans need a TOEIC test score).
    police check.


Upon landing (from now to mid May) there will be lots of jobs. The number will peak in late April (right after the Songkran holiday).

Most jobs will offer between 32-36k and if you are lucky they will be 12 month contracts. The work load will be about 20-24 classes / week but you will likely be expected to be at school from 8am - 4:30pm.

A large number of schools will offer a first contract from May 1 to March 31 with 2 weeks off in Oct. April is usually unpaid unless you stay for another year.

Also be aware that jumping schools will bite you in the ass. You get 2 teachers waivers from the Thai council of Teachers. The waiver allows a school to hire an unlicensed teacher for up to 2 years. A waiver is NOT transferable. If you change schools you burn up the 2nd waiver and there may not be a 3rd without adding a "teacher qualification" to your list of accomplishments.

And to end off... stop at a your nearest Thai embassy and get a 60-day tourist visa rather than flying in on a visa free entry.
The 60-day visa can be extended for 30 more days.
The 60-day visa is currently FREE.
The 60-day visa can be converted to a non-B PROVIDED you have the documentation from the school AND have more than 15 days remaining your your allowed period of stay.

Entering on a 30-day, no-visa, tourist entry stamp will pretty much guarantee that you will need to do a visa run at least once (cash out of your pocket - the employer does NOT pay for these).

All kidding aside.. unless you are chasing a Thai skirt... you'd be far better off to work in Korea and take your holidays (regular or extended) in Thailand.

.
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hip-hop boy78



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 90
Location: Hip-hop land

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies.

@Suphanburi,

Regarding the required documentation, would a certified/apostilled copy of my MA degree be acceptable, or does it need to be a copy of my BA? I had copies of my BA and MA certified back in 2010/2011. Would the Thai authorities likely accept this, or do degree copies need to be certified within the last six months? This was an issue I faced in Korea, whereby the officials would only accept a recently certified copy of a document.

When you say 'authenticated', or you talking about a document that has an apostille attached to it, or would a simple stamp of certification suffice? Do the Thai authorities require an apostille, or would I be able to obtain a teaching licence and work permit without it? I've had documents authenticated before but it's a costly and time-consuming process.

Same question for the criminal record check. Does it need to be authenticated?

In your post, are you talking about private language institutes or public schools? At language institutes do people mostly teach young learners or a combination of kids and adults? I'm presuming most adult students won't have time to take class during the day while they're at work.

Thanks again.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hip-hop boy78 wrote:
Thanks for the replies.

@Suphanburi,

Regarding the required documentation, would a certified/apostilled copy of my MA degree be acceptable, or does it need to be a copy of my BA? I had copies of my BA and MA certified back in 2010/2011. Would the Thai authorities likely accept this, or do degree copies need to be certified within the last six months? This was an issue I faced in Korea, whereby the officials would only accept a recently certified copy of a document.

When you say 'authenticated', or you talking about a document that has an apostille attached to it, or would a simple stamp of certification suffice? Do the Thai authorities require an apostille, or would I be able to obtain a teaching licence and work permit without it? I've had documents authenticated before but it's a costly and time-consuming process.

Same question for the criminal record check. Does it need to be authenticated?

In your post, are you talking about private language institutes or public schools? At language institutes do people mostly teach young learners or a combination of kids and adults? I'm presuming most adult students won't have time to take class during the day while they're at work.

Thanks again.


Authentication processes vary but if you have a copy of your BA with an apostille and a sealed transcript you should be fine, The BA is the requirement. The MA is largely ignored.

You won't get a teaching license. You will get, with your BA, a teacher's waiver. With that and a job you can get a work permit.

The police check does not need to be authenticated but must be less than 1 year old.

The majority of jobs are in k-12 schools. Most language academy jobs are part-time evenings and weekends.

.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd agree with Suphanburi that Thailand is not the best place to save much money. It's possible but people usually do it by being very frugal.

Also, you should maybe look into teaching at a university. Normally, the pay is lower than the schools but you only teach around 15 hours a week and have opportunities for extra work. Plus, if you have a cool boss, you can come and go as you please.

Actually, with your MA, you may be able to find a position on some sort of "International" program, depending on what it's in. That would pay more, maybe around 60k?
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