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I missed the hiring season so when to go?
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Mysty66



Joined: 01 May 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:27 am    Post subject: I missed the hiring season so when to go? Reply with quote

Greetings ESL Cafe Members,

I am a US citizen who is feeling the itch to go abroad and teach ESL again. I am considering traveling to Thailand and teaching there. I can see by other posts on this board that I missed the hiring season and school is starting now. But I'm still planning to visit vacation-wise and would like to turn that into a job hunting/knocking on school doors experience as well.

So my first and most basic question is when would be the best time to go in what remains of 2017?

I've found there is a break in October and I've read that universities don't begin until August. Is this true and what about private ESL schools?

Some things about my situation and experience that would be helpful (sorry for the long introduction on my first post!):

I could visit before August but it would be very difficult for me to take up a job there or anywhere else until August or September due to factors I won't bore you with.

I'm primarily interested in Bangkok but would consider other areas as well.

I am most interested in teaching in non-primary/secondary schools (private or international ESL schools) or a university. I have a lot of teaching experience. I have a Master's in English that qualifies me to teach at University level. I taught ESL and English in Prague for seven years and loved it. I taught High School, at private schools, a university, private lessons, you name it. I have experience teaching college English and Literature and ESL (at a private school) in the States. I don't have an ESL teaching certificate or degree however.

I have some savings to fall back on if anything goes awry though I'd rather not quit my current job until I've found one in Thailand or elsewhere.

Hopefully there is at least some chance of landing a job before the beginning of the 2018 school year? I'm hoping to figure out the optimum time of visiting and having that happen.

Thank you!
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can travel before the end of the month there is no shortage of jobs for native speakers with a degree. The current situation in Thailand has jobs outnumbering native speakers at about 10:1.

If you have to delay then there is a bump in hiring in Oct for 2nd semester positions. There will be some variance in the beginning of 2nd semester this year due to the Royal Cremation on Oct 26.

A lot of schools will be breaking early in Oct this year (teacher holidays starting around the 5th) and teachers returning the week before the cremation.

There are jobs year round but the pickings get pretty slim during July-Sept and almost nonexistent from Dec-March. Just about anything you find that is not part-time/hourly will be jobs that people have jumped away from for one reason or another.

If you are not a certified teacher then the better international schools won't look at you unless they are desperate for a white face to fill a hole until they can get a certified teacher to come in.

You would be able to get a position in lower level (tier 2 / tier 3) international schools, better private K-12 schools or an "English Program" at a public school. The time to be looking is late Sept and be "in country" by the 1st week of Oct.

language centers (private language academies - usually after school and weekends) hire year round but typically do NOT offer full time positions and usually don't support a visa and work permit (regardless of what you may see in some ad). 400 baht per class hour is pretty common in Bangkok and 250-400 upcountry.

If you are looking at a university position they are found through connections. They typically do not advertise on EFL ( or any other ) job boards and you would have to be "in country" to find one.

Mysty66 wrote:
I have some savings to fall back on if anything goes awry though I'd rather not quit my current job until I've found one in Thailand or elsewhere.

Hopefully there is at least some chance of landing a job before the beginning of the 2018 school year? I'm hoping to figure out the optimum time of visiting and having that happen.


You are NOT going to find anything in SE Asia while you are sitting at your desk in the US. The only places that recruit EFL teachers from abroad are Korea and China. Buy a plane ticket and hit the ground running.

.
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sigmoid



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 1216

PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 2:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If you can travel before the end of the month there is no shortage of jobs for native speakers with a degree. The current situation in Thailand has jobs outnumbering native speakers at about 10:1.


There are good reasons for this. Most savvy expats gave up on Thailand years ago. The social, political and economic problems are worsening and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

If you're planning on traveling there, you can gauge for yourself first-hand. But definitely keep your eye on the news before you go.
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Mysty66



Joined: 01 May 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
If you can travel before the end of the month there is no shortage of jobs for native speakers with a degree. The current situation in Thailand has jobs outnumbering native speakers at about 10:1.

If you have to delay then there is a bump in hiring in Oct for 2nd semester positions. There will be some variance in the beginning of 2nd semester this year due to the Royal Cremation on Oct 26.

A lot of schools will be breaking early in Oct this year (teacher holidays starting around the 5th) and teachers returning the week before the cremation.

There are jobs year round but the pickings get pretty slim during July-Sept and almost nonexistent from Dec-March. Just about anything you find that is not part-time/hourly will be jobs that people have jumped away from for one reason or another.

If you are not a certified teacher then the better international schools won't look at you unless they are desperate for a white face to fill a hole until they can get a certified teacher to come in.

You would be able to get a position in lower level (tier 2 / tier 3) international schools, better private K-12 schools or an "English Program" at a public school. The time to be looking is late Sept and be "in country" by the 1st week of Oct.

language centers (private language academies - usually after school and weekends) hire year round but typically do NOT offer full time positions and usually don't support a visa and work permit (regardless of what you may see in some ad). 400 baht per class hour is pretty common in Bangkok and 250-400 upcountry.

If you are looking at a university position they are found through connections. They typically do not advertise on EFL ( or any other ) job boards and you would have to be "in country" to find one.

Mysty66 wrote:
I have some savings to fall back on if anything goes awry though I'd rather not quit my current job until I've found one in Thailand or elsewhere.

Hopefully there is at least some chance of landing a job before the beginning of the 2018 school year? I'm hoping to figure out the optimum time of visiting and having that happen.


You are NOT going to find anything in SE Asia while you are sitting at your desk in the US. The only places that recruit EFL teachers from abroad are Korea and China. Buy a plane ticket and hit the ground running.

.


Thank you! That is very helpful. I was thinking shortly before that Oct break would be a good time. And good to know how the creamation will affect this.
The other info about what types of schools I might be able to work at is about what I expected.
But it is really nice to hear there are jobs.
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Mysty66



Joined: 01 May 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigmoid wrote:
Quote:
If you can travel before the end of the month there is no shortage of jobs for native speakers with a degree. The current situation in Thailand has jobs outnumbering native speakers at about 10:1.


There are good reasons for this. Most savvy expats gave up on Thailand years ago. The social, political and economic problems are worsening and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future.

If you're planning on traveling there, you can gauge for yourself first-hand. But definitely keep your eye on the news before you go.


P

Definitely keeping an eye on what is going on in Thailand.

It seems a pessimistic time in general and very different from the first time I set off with a backpack. A British friend of mine who teaches in the Middle East warned me that the ESL world is dead (a bit of hyperbole I imagine and in keeping with his personality) though he seemed to think so out of a deficit of jobs.
At any rate, if someone currently or recently "on the ground" has any experiences they would like to share feel free to post them or PM me if you feel more comfortable doing so.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the ground in SE Asia.

There are LOTS of jobs - the issue is not finding one.
The issue is pay. It hasn't changed in the last decade except in China.

There is no real issue in Thailand politically either.
If you are not involved in the politics then you would never know that it was a military rather than civilian government other than for the lack of street protests.

Daily life goes on.
People go to work.
People go to play.
Men and women interact.
The malls are open.
The banks are open.
Lots of tourists. The airports are busy. The beaches are sandy.
There is money to be made and people making money.

.
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Hermosillo



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

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed. Consumer confidence is at a 24 month high. No shortage of jobs or teachers, just a shortage of people willing to work for half the minimum wage in the US. A friend just sold his house in Hua Hin, fairly easy. Of course, the bar stool experts have been declaring a real estate crash for ten years plus. 9 acres in Bangkok? Can be yours for 500,000,000...USD!
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Mysty66



Joined: 01 May 2017
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

suphanburi wrote:
On the ground in SE Asia.

There are LOTS of jobs - the issue is not finding one.
The issue is pay. It hasn't changed in the last decade except in China.

There is no real issue in Thailand politically either.
If you are not involved in the politics then you would never know that it was a military rather than civilian government other than for the lack of street protests.

Daily life goes on.
People go to work.
People go to play.
Men and women interact.
The malls are open.
The banks are open.
Lots of tourists. The airports are busy. The beaches are sandy.
There is money to be made and people making money.

.


Thanks guys. Definitely looking for different perspectives before I go.

I am aware of the poor pay and though I'm not rich by any means would not do this if I didn't have a cushion and enough to come back or move on.

"Men and women interact."
Already sounds better than the USA! Wink

But seriously, do teachers there find that eventually they can at least "break even" each month? Pay for rent, food, the occasional night out?
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Hermosillo



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

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think taking 30k in BKK would be worse than taking 25k in Chiang Mai. Getting 35k in Isaan would be better than both, and not that unrealistic. I live here on a retirement extensional, and also have a good cushion. The red tape and bureaucracy is more of a deterrent than the bad pay. I just haven't seen anything that would remote!y tempt me to cancel a perfectly good extension and take a bus to Vientiane. Seems to be a revolving door of applicants for CM, and they lowered the pay accordingly. This is also the HQ for several TEFL programs that place people...which seem an awful lot like pay to work scams to me. So many seem to have the need for British style pubs, complete with 269 THB pints of Guineas....do the Math; it is a recipe for financial failure.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mysty66 wrote:
Thanks guys. Definitely looking for different perspectives before I go.

I am aware of the poor pay and though I'm not rich by any means would not do this if I didn't have a cushion and enough to come back or move on.

"Men and women interact."
Already sounds better than the USA! Wink

But seriously, do teachers there find that eventually they can at least "break even" each month? Pay for rent, food, the occasional night out?


Yes. Teachers usually start at the bottom end of the scale and if they are any good at all can quickly find that opportunities will present themselves.

Female, MA in English .... you can find work just about anywhere.

The caveat here is that you can pretty much write off most of the international schools (at least the ones you might like to work at) unless you are certified as a teacher to go with your MA.

Universities pay the worst unless you have a PhD (even ABD is OK) in a related subject but they offer lower work loads and the most chances to add supplemental income.
University language centers pay the worst (25-30k for 9 class hours/week + 4 office hours). Some universities will require you to be on campus for 35-40 hours per week anyway if you are attached to the language center.

Teaching subject matter (rather than EFL) in a University's International Program pays much better. I get 1500 thb/class hour or 20k per month per course (teach 3 courses (9 class hours per week) for 60k/month). The downside is that as a part-time adjunct I don't get paid for the holidays. It is great part-time work though. (I have a day job).

As a female, if you don't mind working with little kids and you are under 40, then starting wages of 50k are certainly available without too much searching.

If you have a teacher certification to go with your MA then 80k+ is on the table and you might find work while you are still sitting in the states.

Straight off the plane, especially at mid year, you are looking at 35-40k teaching 20 classes per week as part of a M-F, 8-4:30 work week in a government high school.

As to the cost of living, you can "get by" on 35k but there isn't much in the way of a night life. It gets pretty tiring after a year or so.

If you get up to 50k then life starts to be comfortable with money to spend and occasional trips outside the country.

When you get up to 80k+ then life starts to look pretty good.

If you get over 120k then you can pretty much live large. I like sitting on the upper deck of EK384 going to Hong Kong.

.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 512
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given my own experience this last week I'm not surprised that the available jobs, even paying a paltry 30-35 thou a month, exceed the number of teachers. So the 'way' to get legally hired in Thailand [well one of them] is to enter on the 60 day tourist visa and have it converted to a 'B'-that's fine BUT many Thai embassies are now applying absolute draconian conditions to those applying for these! With a job lined up I confidently went to the Thai embassy in Jakarta last week with documents as per the Thai embassy website. 'Proof of funds' to cover your stay became a personal letter from your BANK MANAGERin country of origin-attesting to your character, and confirming that sufficient funds were available. A hotel address on arrival in Thailand became a complete record of bookings for the WHOLE PERIOD OF THE 60 DAYS. Blimey....... Shocked An online search revealed that the same problems have been encountered in other embassies, Kuala Lumpar-for example. And when I informed the 'soon to be' employer about the situation.....they didn't even have the courtesy to respond. Sad
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People do so like to complicate things.

Fly in on a 30-day no visa entry. You need a ticket in, a ticket out and the address / name of some flop house / hotel in Bangkok.

The airline will want to see your "exit ticket" showing a departure from Thighland. A throw-away, US$100 ticket to anywhere will suffice.

When you are ready, pop out to Laos or Penang and get a 60-day TR (they are currently free) or if you are lucky and the school has your paperwork ready get your non-B and save a trip to immi to do the conversion.

The vast majority of employers wont bother with anyone who is outside the country. They let you get in and then they take you seriously. There are far too many beach/skirt chasers who apply for jobs to follow their other "dream" and who never get here for an employer to care about off-shore applicants.

.
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Tazz



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 512
Location: Jakarta

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People do so like to ignore reality as well........there are serious problems being faced by westerners obtaining the 60 day tourist visa in many places right now. The embassies are taking the requirements such as evidence of funds and accommodation to the absolute limit with what they are asking the applicant to provide. Yeah, I can fly in on the 30 day visa waiver....but following the experience at the Thai embassy in Jakarta-I wouldn't go into the thai embassy or consul in Laos with a great deal of optimism.....
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Hermosillo



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

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There can be a huge difference in neighboring countries, even within the same one. Penang and KL, for example. Singapore, PP, and Saigon are a beast. Some schools actually take care of these things for you, but there is a huge labor pool of people willing to spend 20 hours on a train or 30 hours on a bus....most will only get 90 days, quite a few will get rejected.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 797

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 10:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tazz wrote:
People do so like to ignore reality as well........there are serious problems being faced by westerners obtaining the 60 day tourist visa in many places right now. The embassies are taking the requirements such as evidence of funds and accommodation to the absolute limit with what they are asking the applicant to provide. Yeah, I can fly in on the 30 day visa waiver....but following the experience at the Thai embassy in Jakarta-I wouldn't go into the thai embassy or consul in Laos with a great deal of optimism.....


Catch the van to Laos with one of the travel agencies.
Getting a TR-60 visa is about as hard as finding a hooker in Pattaya.
The same can be said for Penang.

KL and Singapore have always been ball busters.

Vientiane, Laos hands them out like candy. In today, out tomorrow. 5500 baht with Meesuk travel and they take care of everything including meals and hotel. You don't even need proof of funds or a confirmed hotel. They run on Sundays and Wednesdays. They typically have 1 van of westerners and 4-5 vans of Filipinos each time.

Savannakhet, Laos also does them so routinely that it is like getting candy at Halloween but you have to do the legwork yourself.

It has been a while since I have been to Penang for a visa but they used to be pretty fast and loose too. Friends down in Hat Yai had no issues last April.

.
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