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Teaching English in Thailand: What to Pack

Posted by Alexandra LeGrant | Sep 22, 2015 1:51:16 PM

Congratulations! You are about to begin your journey to Asia, to the beautiful country of Thailand.  But wait! What are you going to pack?!

Don’t worry: our friends at XploreAsia made this great guide for what to pack while teaching English in Thailand

teaching english in thailand You'll see amazing temples like this while teaching English in Thailand. But what should you pack? 

Important Items to Remember:

  • Passport and other important documents (bring copies as well)
    ATM/Debit/Credit Cards (Be sure to tell your bank to let them know you will be using your card while teaching English in Thailand!)
  • Cash to exchange or Thai Baht
  • List of emergency contacts
  • Any daily medication (bring copies of prescriptions), Contacts/Glasses
  • Laptop and Chargers

Work Clothes:

Men

  • 5-8 dress shirts
  • 3-5 pairs of dress pants/trousers
  • 1-2 ties
  • 2x belts (1 brown, 1 black)
  • 2x pairs of shoes (1 brown, 1 black)
  • 5-8 dress socks

Women

  • 3 -5 long skirts (covers the knees)
  • 4-6 blouses that cover shoulders & chest
  • 1 – 2 dresses (covers the knees, shoulders & chest)
  • 1 pair of black dress pants/trousers
  • closed toe shoes

***Please Note***

teaching english in thailand
  • The number of clothing listed on here is all based on how often you want to do laundry/ need of item.
  • Cheap Thai stores are for small people so it may be hard for westerners to find the bigger sizes.
  • Remember, when teaching English in Thailand, it's going to be HOT so you want comfortable and breathable clothes.
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes go a long way when teaching all day (you will be very active in the classroom, so make sure you can reach, bend and move around freely in your work clothes).
  • Thai culture is modest so it is important to remember that when packing clothes.

Casual Clothes:

Men

  • 5-8 t-shirts
  • 2-4 tank top
  • 3-5 shorts
  • 1 pairs of jeans
  • 5-8 under garments
  • 5-8 pairs of socks

Women

  • 5-8 t-shirts
  • 2-4 skirts
  • 2 sundresses
  • 2-4 tank top
  • 3-5 pairs of modest shorts
  • 1 pairs of jeans
  • 1-2 pairs of yoga pants
  • 5-8 pairs of socks

Sizes in Thailand: The sizes in Thailand run very small. Westerners often have difficultly finding size XL and above. These larger sizes can be especially challenging to find in small towns, but are more present in big shopping malls in cities at a higher cost (H&M, Forever 21, Zara, TESCO - the Thai version of Walmart). Large shoe sizes (Women size US 8/EUR 38, and Men size US 9/EUR 42 and above) can also be difficult to find for cheap.

teaching english in thailand

Other apparel to remember while teaching English in Thailand: Sandals, casual shoes, sweatshirt (bus rides can get a bit chilly!), hat, rain jacket, sunglasses, etc.

Toiletries Needs: Larger cities and towns in Thailand will have most toiletries that you will need. A few things that can be hard to find in Thailand include:

  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen & lotions (most sunscreen & lotion in Thailand has a whitening agent for your skin)
  • Feminine Hygiene products – sanitary pads are widely available in Thailand, however, some tampon brands can only be found in major cities
  • Toothpaste

(If you are picky, bring extra toiletries as reliable name brands can be difficult to find and/or more expensive)

teaching english in thailand

Electronics: North America uses 110 volt outlets while Thailand uses 220 volt outlets. Bring a converter/adapter so your electronics don’t get fried. The plug in style is the same type you would bring to Europe and normally North America.

Gifts for the School: When teaching English in Thailand, bringing a small gift from your home country for your school makes a great first impression and starts the conversation about different cultures. Some nice gift ideas include:

  • Local food – Maple syrup, saltwater taffy, chocolate, etc.
  • Local book – with pictures of your area
  • School supplies – children’s books, magazines,

Optional (but a good idea):

  • Tablet/books
  • Camera
  • Headphones
teaching english in thailand

Avoid over packing: While Thailand is still a developing country, you should be able to find most items or extra clothing in major cities. It is much easier and less stressful to travel with a manageable amount of luggage through the airports and taxis. Our advice – don’t over pack! You are heading out to teach English abroad. That means you'll be getting a paycheck. As your wardrobe changes, you'll be able to afford a few new things.

Thanks to GeoVisions participant Ethan Parrish for sharing these amazing photos of Thailand.  You can see more of his work on his website.

Written by Alexandra LeGrant

Alexandra is the Community Manager at GeoVisions Foundation. She handles all of the Social Media and Alumni relations. Alex loves to travel and meet with our participants.

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