How You Can Teach In Thailand
The GeoVisions Foundation is an industry-leading organization specializing in providing teacher training and certification courses to help prepare teachers with the skills and experience to be excellent teachers in the unique teaching environments that exist across Asia.
Currently, we offer teaching jobs in Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, Myanmar, Taiwan, and China. Our reason for doing what we do is that we recognize the impact that teaching English can have on local communities to enhance employment opportunities, build bridges between cultures, and develop global citizens. We prepare our teachers to go out into the field and make a difference in the lives of children and bring passion and commitment every day.
With the rich culture, fascinating history, and large variety of placements, Thailand remains one of the most popular destinations to teach in Asia. We assist with training and qualifying teachers to thrive in Thai schools. We then assist teachers with navigating the numerous school options to find a reliable placement with a reputable school that will be the best fit for the candidate.
Teaching in Thailand is an amazing opportunity to explore an exotic and culturally rich country that is growing rapidly, yet still maintains many of its ancient customs and landscapes. Participants will teach throughout the country in a variety of different urban and smaller town environments in both private and public schools.
From the white sandy beaches in the South, the wild mountains in the North, to the ancient temple grounds in the central region, Thailand has a lot to offer. This wonderfully diverse country is packed full of history, culinary delights, culture while still taking steps to modernize and move with the times.
Opportunity to Travel and Earn Money
Placements range from urban cities to rural towns. Wages range from $800 to $1,100 USD per month for 18-25 class hours per week. Contracts are 4+ months. TESOL courses and placements occur monthly.
Intakes and Budgets
"There is a lot of advanced planning with so many intake dates for Thailand.
|April 2021||March 29||Hua Hin||Start of the school year. Many placements available. Teach 4.5 months.|
|May 2021||May 3||Hua Hin||Start of the school year. Many placements available. Teach 4 months.|
|June 2021||May 31||Hua Hin||A variety of placements available. Teach 3 months.|
|July 2021||June 28||Hua Hin||A variety of placements available. Teach 2.5 months.|
|October 2021||Sept. 20||Chiang Mai||Start of the school year. Many placements available. Teach 4 months.|
|October 2021||Sept. 27||Hua Hin||Start of the school year. Many placements available. Teach 4 months.|
|November 2021||Nov 1||Hua Hin||Start of the school year. Many placements available. Teach 3 months.|
[NOTE:] If you take the in-course TESOL, the intake dates above are when you need to arrive in Thailand. If you already have TESOL or TEFL, or if you don't plan to take the course, we will provide dates to arrive that are later than these.
You must be prepared with enough money to last from your arrival to when you are issued your first paycheck. Normally you teach a month before you receive your first paycheck.
One of the huge advantages of taking the TESOL course in Thailand is that the course itself prepares people thoroughly for teaching in Thai schools and gives them first-hand experience in the classroom during the practical portion of the course. With our Thailand team located in Hua Hin, participants receive expert, in-person support and an in-country network of resources.
When is the best time to come?
Applicants are accepted at all times of year on a rolling basis, however, during the months of March and April and the month of October schools are out on vacation meaning that applicants may need to wait to start at their placement. During the months directly before the school holidays placements are limited and applicants need to be open-minded with regards to their preferences. However, the months directly after the holidays are the busiest times with the most placements available. During the months of April and October, we are able to accept a much higher number of applicants as these are the peak times of the year for recruitment. August, September, January, and February are not considered good months to start teaching in Thailand as the school semesters are coming to an end placements are few and far between.
Holidays in Thailand
The majority of applicants will be teaching in public schools and will have 2 holidays each year along with many public and religious holidays. The main school holidays in Thailand fall in March to April and October. On the months leading up to the school holidays placements around this time will be disrupted and candidates may need to wait longer for placement and be more open and flexible on their placement preferences than at other times of the year.
We can accept placement only candidates at any time of the year. This means you won't be taking the in-class TESOL.
Placement-only candidates will join one of the in-country orientation weeks before heading to their placements. During the orientation week, candidates will meet with the placements team to discuss their preferences and work together to find a suitable placement. By doing the in-country orientation, the participant will be able to experience a full Thai cultural program as part of a group, meeting many other teachers who are also going to teach in Thailand.
As the placement process is expedited for placement only candidates, participants must have their teacher profile documents prepared in advance and they must be submitted to The GeoVisions Foundation before they arrive in country.
Are you interested in teaching English in Thailand?
There Is No Better Way To Get Your TESOL
If you want the best-in-class TESOL experience, and then use it immediately, this is the way to go.
|Focus on all age groups and especially young learners. Approximately 70% of our teachers go on to teach young learners and our program has a significant focus on young learners. Teaching practicum is generally in primary schools.||English Teachers with extensive instruction in, and significant practice teaching to, young learners.|
|Extensive cultural orientation with lectures, workshops, and active learning excursions to ground teachers in the local culture both outside and inside of the classroom||Culturally well-adjusted teachers who respect and embrace the local culture and are sensitive to the impact of culture in the classroom.|
|Standard 16 hours of observed teaching practice for all of our TESOL courses, followed by individual instructor feedback to help teachers improve.||Teachers with extensive practical experience and assessment in classroom environments in the country/or similar country in which they are preparing to teach, prior to heading into the field.|
|Teachers committed to cultural experience and building their careers. Teachers are interested in making a difference and in cultural experience, and thus are more likely to consider a teaching career in provincial areas.||Teachers who often seek out placements in provincial areas away from ex-pat centers, providing a deeper cultural experience|
ORIENTATION WEEK – WEEK ONE
The first week of the course is an amazing, interactive orientation on Thai culture and language, as well as an opportunity to bond with other teachers-in-training and staff members. The program is held in either Hua Hin or Chiang Mai and encompasses the Thai language, culture, and society. The course is taught by area experts and includes several exciting and informative cultural excursions.
Thailand has a rich history and participants will explore the distinct ethnic and cultural regions and exotic neighbors that makeup Thailand’s national and regional geography. Students will receive a strong foundation in Thai language, society, politics, and geography, and this knowledge will be reinforced during several cultural excursions.
Cultural awareness training helps clients settle into their new environment, make local friends, avoid misunderstandings, and enjoy success in social and professional life.
A vast array of exciting and adventurous excursions within the local community to immerse our clients in culturally rich local experiences. These excursions differ depending on the location of the TESOL course.
Hua Hin Excursions
• Thai cooking classes
• Volunteering at Rescue P.A.W.S
• A Muay Thai Lesson
• Visit to a local Buddhist temple to learn about religion and receive a blessing from a Thai monk
• Beach BBQ
Chiang Mai Excursions
We have an amazing one-week cultural foundation course designed for participants to give them a strong foundation in Thai culture and language, and extensive exposure to northern Thailand “Lanna” history and people. The cultural foundation course will include the following components:
• Trip to the top of Doi Suthep (Suthep Mountain), where we will visit a beautiful temple to learn about Buddhism and take in the amazing view. Doi Suthep looks out over the entire city of Chaing Mai from a height of over 2,000 feet above the city.
• Traditional northern Thai “Lanna” welcome meal along the Mae Ping River, which runs through Chiang Mai.
• Meditation with a traditional Thai Monk
• Muay Thai at a local Muay Thai gym
• Rice planting in a local farm
TESOL Course - Week Two
The second week of the course is a deeper exploration of theory in the discipline of English as a second language and how to teach grammar. Students learn about the structure and key elements of a lesson plan. Every lesson requires a detailed lesson plan that lays out the procedures of the class and encourages teachers to consider the challenges, technology resources, and other factors that can impact a successful lesson in the classroom.
During week two, students will also learn how to teach speaking and grammar. Grammar can be challenging to teach. One of the reasons for this is that it has been a long time since native English speakers have reviewed grammar rules. We provide students with a bit of a refresher. The major assignments for week two are to create a lesson plan for teaching grammar and to present a full lesson just as a teacher would in a classroom.
TESOL Course - Week Three
The third week of the course focuses on how to teach reading and listening. The major assignments for this week are to create lesson plans for teaching reading and present full lessons just as a teacher would in the classroom. During this week participants will learn more about teaching young learners and practice planning lessons for kindergarten students. Additionally, our participants will learn about curriculum development for long term learning goals for their students.
TESOL Course – Week Four
The final week the class is dedicated to classroom management and preparing for and conducting the English camp. While classroom management may be the final topic covered, it is in fact extremely important, especially in cross-cultural contexts. Classroom management is about setting ground rules, apply them consistently, getting to know your students, and earning and maintaining their respect and commitment. Students spend several days preparing their lessons for the English camp. The camp typically lasts 2-3 days. During the final week, there will also be an in-class final exam.
Requirements To Teach In Thailand
We accept only candidates with at least a Bachelor's Degree. You may be a non-native English speaker with a Bachelor's degree as well.
Schools in Thailand have different requirements depending on the location of the school. To obtain a position in Thailand candidates must first complete a detailed resume, 30-second introduction video, and send us a professional photo. We will assist the participants through this process but they must meet the minimum qualifying criteria first:
Minimum Requirements Summary:
- Participants must be in good physical and mental health
- Participants must be at least between the ages of 20 - 60
- Participants must have sufficient funds to pay for the program fees and other associated costs of the program
Candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent are eligible for a work permit. The process of obtaining a work permit can take up to 3 months. While native English degree holders are not required to take the full 120-hour TESOL course, we strongly recommend the applicant complete the full course, as it is a requirement in many schools and also increases the likelihood that teachers will be more successful in the classroom. It also reduces the impact of culture shock as participants adjust during the four weeks. Degree holders are required to have their bachelor’s degree legalized for use in Thailand before travel.
Although some embassies are able to complete an affidavit process in country it is preferred that participants obtain a fully legalized copy of their degree in their home country before traveling.
• Participants must be native or fluent English speakers (this is a requirement for placement, but intermediate English speakers are welcome to take the TESOL course).
• Participants must be in good physical and mental health.
• Participants must be at least between the ages of 20 and 60.
• Participants must have sufficient funds to pay for the program fees and other associated costs of the program.
• Participants can get paid between 30,000 and 45,000 Baht per month.
• Participants may get all national holidays off with pay. School holidays are typically from 2-3 months. It is rare for teachers to be paid during these months however it depends on the school.
During certain times of the year, we will accept non-native speakers who hold a bachelor’s degree. Non-native speakers must hold an EU passport, be fluent speakers in English with a clear accent, and have a bachelor’s degree or above. All non-native speakers must take an in-class TESOL course in Thailand as a prerequisite for joining the program.
In order to obtain a Work Permit as a non-native English speaker, the Thai government may require the applicant to take the TOEIC exam once they arrive in Thailand. The minimum required score on the TOEIC is: 700. South African and Irish citizens may also be required to take the TOEIC exam in order to obtain a work permit.
Participants must be in good physical and mental health. In order to get a work permit candidates are required to go for a health check once in-country.
The health check consists of: a blood test and a general check-up (blood pressure, weight etc.). There is no list of unacceptable conditions and schools have advised of very few examples of people failing the medical check.
Health conditions in question will need to be taken on a case by case basis. We ask candidates to disclose any history of mental health issues so we can provide the support needed and to ensure the candidate is able to cope with the rigors of moving and working abroad.
What's Included And What's Not
Your fees are used to start you off to ensure your success.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM FOR IN-COUNTRY TESOL AND THAILAND PLACEMENT PROGRAM?
- Airport Pickup (provided participants land within five days of the start date, and are going to the designated hotel)
- Transfer from Bangkok to Hua Hin (for Hua Hin TESOL)
- Welcome dinner/Beach BBQ
- Several cultural excursions
- Comprehensive job placement assistance
- Contract negotiation
- Visa support
- Thai SIM card (excluding Blackberry services)
- Documentation & assistance in opening a bank account. Fees associated with ATM cards are not included.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PROGRAM?
- Medical Insurance
- Placement Accommodation (we will however provide assistance in finding accommodation)
- Any sort of financial assistance
- Day-to-day transport (including to job interviews)
- Program Accommodations (Depending on the program this may or may not be included)
- Day-to-day living expenses.
- Bank account set up fees
- Accommodation deposit
Before we can place you and then start the visa process, these are the required documents we'll need you to provide to us.
Before arriving in Thailand all participants are required to obtain a copy of the following documents and send them to us:
- A clear copy of your current passport
- A clear copy of your visa (if participants are obtaining a visa on arrival, they do not need to worry about this)
- A criminal background check completed within the last 6 months
- A copy of your international insurance policy which covers you for the duration of your program
- Flight itinerary
- Teacher profile documents
- A copy of your authenticated degree.
GeoVisions Foundation must receive a clear copy of the participant’s current passport information page before they arrive in Thailand. This must show all personal information including passport number, expiration date, and birth date
Once a participant has received their visa from their local embassy or consulate, they must send a copy of their visa to The GeoVisions Foundation.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK
All participants are required to complete a mandatory criminal background check at their local police station or alternative. Background checks must be completed by a government authority and no older than 6 months old at the time of your arrival in Thailand. Third-party checks and online checks are not accepted. Once you have received your background check a copy must be sent to The GeoVisions Foundation. You must also bring the original copy of the criminal background check with you as it will be used to confirm a participant's eligibility to work in schools in Thailand, as well as a requirement by immigration to process work permit applications for those who will receive them.
UK CITIZENS ONLY
All UK citizens must obtain an ICPC (International Child Protection Certificate) which is specific for UK citizens who will be working with children in institutions overseas. The cost is £75 and takes about 10 days to process, excluding mailing time.
Please check the following website for more information: https://www.acro.police.uk/icpc/
INTERNATIONAL INSURANCE POLICY
All participants are required to be in possession of an international insurance policy that covers them for the duration of their program. A copy of their insurance policy, including their name, policy number, and insurance company, must be sent to The GeoVisions Foundation before their arrival. If you plan on using a policy from your home country you must first confirm that the policy covers you for international travel. In addition, if you are covered under a parent or partners insurance policy we must receive proof of coverage stating that you are also covered by the policy.
In order to arrange the necessary transport and accommodation, participants must send a copy of their flight itinerary to The GeoVisions Foundation. Once you have purchased your flights please send a copy of your flight itinerary to The GeoVisions Foundation and we will make all of the necessary arrangements such as airport pick up and accommodation in Bangkok.
DO NOT BUY YOUR FLIGHTS UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED
TEACHER PROFILE DOCUMENTS
• Professional photo
• 30-second introduction video
A COPY OF THE AUTHENTICATED DEGREE
Degree holders must bring their original bachelor’s degree or diploma. Along with the original degree, you must also bring an authenticated and legalized copy of your bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees are more widely recognized and so you do not need to legalize anything above a bachelor’s degree. Only bachelor’s degrees need to be legalized.
ORIGINAL SEALED TRANSCRIPTS
Participants should also bring copies of their transcripts to Thailand. It is best to have a sealed copy of transcripts from the University, however, if they have been opened it shouldn’t cause a problem. It should be noted that online and electronic copies of transcripts may not be accepted by immigration when processing work permits.
This budget covers participants for a month of TESOL and one month afterwards, or the first month teaching whilst waiting for the first pay check.
Below is our recommended budget for 1.5 months in baht. This is based on 30 baht to 1 USD.
|Food (60 days at 250 Baht per day)||15,000 Baht|
|Rent (2 months). Based on single occupancy, including a refundable deposit of 6,000 Baht. Of that deposit, participants will likely get back 3,500 Baht after expenses.||18,000 Baht|
|Utilities (2 months). Based on single occupancy, moderate use. This will typically be taken from the participant's deposit.||2500 Baht|
|Entertainment (2 months). Based on a moderate amount of going out during the course and no going out the first month or portion of teaching career||5,000 Baht|
|Transport in Hua Hin & between Hua Hin and Bangkok||4,000 Baht|
* Please note at the end of the course teachers typically utilize the money returned from their deposits to put towards their second month’s expenses. Deposits are subject to fluctuate based on each individual accommodation.
** This amount takes into consideration modest personal entertainment expenditures. If participants plan to go out frequently, they should set aside more money in their budgets.
*** This amount does not include the cost of a visa trip should a participant need to leave to obtain a new visa. The cost of a visa trip can vary from 5,000 – 10,000 Thai Baht.
Accommodation – 18,000 Baht
There is a high chance that participants can find cheaper accommodation than this, especially if they are placed outside the big cities, but we feel that 6,500 Baht a month is a safe basis for a budget. Please take note that for the first month of any rental agreement (even in Hua Hin during the TESOL course) participants will be required to pay a month’s deposit and the first month in advance, so when you move in, effectively you will need two months’ rent.
Utilities (Water & Electricity) – 2500 Baht
Electricity is normally charged separately and is charged at approximately 7 Baht per unit. The total will depend on the amount of electricity used. Typically this can range from 1,000-2,000 baht for the month depending on usage of the air conditioner, etc.
Travel – 4,000 Baht
Public transport in Thailand is very cheap, safe, and widely used. Different options of transport that participants may possibly use while in Thailand are minivan, bus, motor scooter, tuk-tuk, taxi, and train.
Food – 15,000 Baht
A bowl of noodles or rice will cost between 30 – 60 Baht. We feel that a budget of 250 Baht per day for meals and water (three meals a day) would bring you to about 7,500 Baht a month. We budget for 60 days of food expenses. This should be enough if you eat mostly local food. Western food options are available; however, the cost is considerably higher. A typical McDonald’s meal can range from 150-200 Baht.
Entertainment – 5,000 Baht
We strongly encourage our teachers to only go out at night during the weekends. A typical night out can cost anything between 500 to 1,000 Baht. We feel that a budget of 5,000 Baht a month would more than cover this. It is extremely important to note that additional expenses for entertainment are at the participant’s discretion and could cause a substantial impact on their budget, especially depending on the season as well as a specific venue or event. We have provided the budget we feel is adequate for cost of living based on years of experience. We cannot be held liable for expenses accruing beyond what we have outlined above.
Miscellaneous – 5,000 Baht
There are several items that participants will likely need to bring additional money for. These items include but are not limited to bed sheets at their placement and work clothes.
VISAS, VISA PROCESS, VISA TRIPS, CONTRACTS
Everything you wanted to know about how to work in Thailand legally. What visa to obtain, how to get it, how to keep it and use it to work in Thailand legally.
NON-IMMIGRANT B VISA (BUSINESS VISA)
A foreigner applies for a Non-immigrant B visa when he/she wants to stay or work in Thailand. This visa is necessary for obtaining a work permit for teaching. This is not a ‘WORK VISA’ as Thailand does not have a work visa. A Non-immigrant B visa can be used to obtain a Work Permit.
To obtain a Non-immigrant B visa, an employer must sponsor an applicant. This means the employer or school must prepare the proper documentation for the applicant to bring with them to the immigration office or embassy to apply for a visa. This process is usually done alone by the candidate outside of Thailand in a neighboring country such as Laos, Cambodia, or Malaysia.
Non-immigrant B visas are sufficient to show immigration that you are in a school and that the school is in the process of obtaining a work permit on your behalf.
NON-IMMIGRANT O VISA (VOLUNTEER VISA)
The Non-Immigrant O Visa is issued to participants who wish to enter the Kingdom of Thailand to volunteer there. A Non-Immigrant O visa can be used to obtain a volunteer work permit.
To obtain a Non-immigrant O visa, an organization must sponsor an applicant and arrange the necessary documentation needed to prove the participant's volunteer status. The organization can then apply for a volunteer work permit which allows the applicant to participate in educational activities that have been arranged by the organization.
VISA EXEMPTION STAMP UPON ARRIVAL – (VE)
Participants of the 7 major nationalities are able to enter Thailand under the visa exemption law. Due to an agreement between certain countries’ government and the Thai government, citizens can travel through or enter Thailand for a short period of time without a visa.
Typically, one can simply arrive in Thailand at an international airport and expect to be granted access to Thailand for 30 days. Also, if arriving by an approved land border crossing (i.e. entering Thailand from Laos by bus/van/train) then realistically one can expect to be granted entry for 30 days.
If an applicant is arriving on a 30-day visa exemption stamp there are several items they may be asked to produce. Although it doesn’t always happen, we highly recommend they be prepared for every possibility by bringing the following:
• Booking confirmation – GeoVisions will provide the applicant with this document
• Exit ticket – this must be dated within the 30-day exemption stamp allowance
• Sufficient funds - 20,000 Thai Baht or equivalent in cash. Immigration will not accept bank statements as proof of funds.
SINGLE ENTRY TOURIST VISA - (TR)
A tourist visa is a sticker placed in your passport for the purpose of tourism. One can be obtained in the applicant’s home country through the Thai embassy or consulate located there, or in a Thai embassy or consulate in a neighboring country. A single entry is valid for 60 days with the potential to extend for 30 days.
If an applicant arrives on a tourist visa (TR) they must be sure to have the above-mentioned arrival documents when going through immigration.
A Thai Work Permit can be processed once an applicant has a Non-Immigrant B or Non-Immigrant O visa. The Thai Work Permit is valid for one calendar year and includes 90-day check-ins at a local immigration office. Not every school will provide a work permit. This is entirely at the discretion of the employer. Most degree-holding participants will have a work permit processed for them by their employer within the first three months of employment. It is not uncommon for a 90-day probation period whereby the school will process the work permit following three months of successful employment. The reason why some schools wait this period is that sponsoring a work permit is very costly for the school. This is a major expense and cannot be recouped if a teacher leaves or is let go during the permit lifespan of 6-12 months. Work permits may not be granted for non-degree participants. Most non-degree participants will need to work on a research or education visa. In the case of the former, the participant will need to take quarterly border trips to renew their tourist visa. In the case of the latter, the participant may need to pay a fee to secure the education visa, but then will be required to do quarterly border trips.
At certain times of year work permits may not be sponsored for a period of up to five months after a participant begins teaching. The reason for this is that, if an applicant arrives during the months immediately preceding a school break, they may not have their sponsorship finalized until the new term. This is because schools may be concerned that after sponsoring the work permit, during the break, which is a high turnover period, the teacher may decide to go home.
“Visa trips” are mandatory trips to countries bordering Thailand to acquire or renew visa statuses. The country options are Laos, Cambodia, or Malaysia. All visas must be paid for at the Thai Embassy of these countries. Though some view visa runs as hassles, they can be a great way to travel and explore new countries. You should leave for your visa run the weekend before your visa expires. Aim to be in the Thai embassy with all your necessary documents on Monday morning, as these offices generally close by noon, and then you'll have to wait an extra day. You will give the embassy your passport and application and any other mandatory documents (these vary with each visa).
The cost of visa trips is usually the responsibility of the teacher, but they will receive time off to go on the trip. Depending on the school or agent this may also be paid leave. The cost of the trip depends on how close a teacher lives to the border. For teachers based in Bangkok, the trip costs about 7,000 baht. It can be done alone or through several easy to find border trip providers. The border trip usually takes about 2-3 days, the majority of which is spent sightseeing while the Thai Embassy processes your visa.
The contract duration of teachers in Thailand varies. The most common contract duration is 9 to 12 months and covers an entire school year. Sometimes shorter contracts can be arranged for 6 months and even less depending on the situation. Schools are usually okay with a teacher working shorter periods as long as it is a full term. For those wishing to be sponsored for a work permit, they should be willing to work at least nine months, not including the one-month TESOL course. During certain times of the year, particularly near the end of the school year (March 1, degree holders may not receive long-term contracts as the schools may wish to evaluate the teachers before agreeing to a longer contract. If a teacher comes during this period and receives a short-term contract, we will assist the participant in getting a second, longer contract, once the new school term begins. A participant’s continued employment with the school is entirely at the discretion of the school.
- The number of clothing listed here is all based on how often you want to do laundry/ need an item.
- Although the average clothing size in Thailand has increased over recent years, it can be difficult to find cheap Thai stores with larger sizes.
- Remember Thailand is HOT so you want comfortable and breathable clothes. You will also be very active in the classroom, so make sure you can reach, bend and move around freely in your work clothes
- As a teacher, you will be spending a lot of time on your feet so it’s important to be comfortable. Good, sturdy shoes go a long way and will keep your feet happy
Thai culture is modest so it is important to remember that when packing clothes.
Important Items to Remember:
- Passport and other important documents
- ATM/Debit/Credit Cards
- Participants should call their bank and inform them that they will be traveling so that they do not cancel their card
- Cash to exchange or Thai Baht (South African participants, please contact us directly regarding funds to bring over and money exchanging)
- List of emergency contacts
- Any daily medication (bring copies of prescriptions and be sure to check the Thai FDA website for information on specific medications)
- Laptop and Chargers (it is very important to bring a laptop and not an iPad/tablet for teaching purposes unless they are capable of downloading the necessary apps and printing)
- Unlocked cell phone to be used with the Thai sim card
- Reusable water bottle (can be purchased in Thailand)
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. (NOTE: South African participants, please bring the correct charger from home as adaptors for South African plugs are extremely difficult to find once in Thailand).
We recommend bringing black or dark-colored dress clothes for teaching as they are less likely to show dirt or sweat while participants are teaching. However, you are welcome to bring more colorful attire if you wish.
While participants are in the classroom for their TESOL certification they will be required to cover their knees, chest, and shoulders. Out of respect for our Thai staff and community, we asked that they also refrain from wearing leggings and yoga pants.
Sizes in Thailand
The sizes in Thailand run very small. Westerners often have difficulty 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 9.5/EUR 40, and Men size US 10.5/EUR 44 and above) can also be difficult to find cheap.
Other apparel to remember
Sandals, casual shoes, sweatshirt (bus rides can get a bit chilly!), hat, rain jacket, sunglasses, etc.
ToiletriesLarger cities and towns in Thailand will have most toiletries that you will need and some brands you will recognize from home. A few things that can be hard to find in Thailand include:
- Deodorant (for both men and women, stick deodorant is extremely rare. Deodorant in Thailand is either a spray or liquid roll-on.)
- Sunscreen & lotions (many sunscreen & lotions in Thailand has a whitening agent for your skin and they can also be quite expensive)
- Feminine Hygiene products – sanitary pads are widely available in Thailand, however, some tampon brands can only be found in major cities
(If you are specific in your preferences, bring extra toiletries as reliable name brands can be difficult to find and/or more expensive)
Gifts for the SchoolBringing 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, salt water taffy, chocolate, etc.
- Local book – with pictures of your area
- School supplies – children’s books, magazines
What is the living expense per day?
Do schools provide lunch?
What is the cost of transport?
Is transportation from my accommodation to work included?
How safe is Thailand?
What island placements are there?
What are the age groups I will be teaching?
What are the working hours? And days per week?
Are there sports after school that I have to attend or teach?
After my contract can I still travel in the country or do I need to leave straight away?
Can I renew my working contract and visa without leaving the country?
How long is the working visa valid for?
What type of visa will I be arriving on?
Are there organized activities during evenings and weekends?
Will I receive any language lessons? How will I understand my students?
Where is the best place to work?
What is the possibility of a second job to make more money?
How are the authorities?
Medical services and insurance?
What is phone and Internet connectivity like?
Can non-native speakers participate in the course and placement?
What if you are unhappy in a job? Can you get a new one?
What is the dress code for teaching?
How difficult is the TESSOL course? Can I fail?
Must the teachers have CV’s?
Are there any serious laws they are very strict on?
Can couples be placed together?
What is the level of English and behavior of students?
What curriculum will they follow at school?
Will my colleagues speak English?
Will I work with any special needs children?
What are the chances of schools deducting security money? And how does this work?
What are the expected deductions from your paycheck? Does is differ from school to school?
Will I get paid overtime?
What are the chances of getting a salary increase?
What are the chances of teaching English in neighboring countries?
Are all paperwork and books supplied by the school?
When are the school holidays?
What is the big difference between language schools, private schools, government schools and varsity?
Can I choose part or full time?
Is religion a big issue?
What happens if you lose your job? Can you get a new one?
Am I expected to work during the school holidays?
Can you drink tap water?
Can I complete the TESOL course online or upon arrival in Thailand?
Background Information On Thailand
Let’s get started by learning a little more about your host country, Thailand.
Thailand has a population of over 65 million. It is home to a rich diversity of people, languages, cultures, and landscapes. Thailand's rapid growth in recent years has made it a major economic engine in Southeast Asia. Thailand is often portrayed as a traditional kingdom but is also a country bursting with modernity. It is very interesting to see this modernity juxtaposed with the traditional Thai way of life. An example of this would be to view the local street food merchants cooking exotic dishes underneath Bangkok’s state of the art transportation system, or ancient ruins situated next to contemporary cafes. Thailand truly is a unique blend of traditional and modern lifestyles that is something you must experience yourself to fully appreciate.
The Thai nation began in the 13th Century in what is currently Chiang Mai, a city to the far north of Thailand. During the 1400s, the capital moved from Chiang Mai to Sukhothai, in central Thailand, and then to Ayutthaya during the 1500s. During this time Thailand was known as Siam.
Ayutthaya was a major kingdom in the region and its influence spanned across Laos and Cambodia and south to Malaysia. In 1765 The Burmese attacked Ayutthaya and ransacked the city. The Thais retook the capital a decade later but they did not attempt to restore it to its previous glory. Instead, they moved the capital to the Bangkok region, which is now currently the home of the Thai monarchy and the capital of Thailand.
The country was known as Siam and was ruled by a monarch until 1932 when King Rama VII instituted a constitutional monarchy. In 1939, Siam was officially renamed Thailand. Thailand enjoyed a sustained period of democracy from 1992 until 2006. Since 2006 the country has seesawed between democracy and largely benign, military rule.
Temperatures in Thailand vary with the time of year and the region. In most of the country, temperatures are generally hot and humid, with a cooler season between November and February. March to June is a hot and dry season with little rain. In contrast, between the months of July and October, Thailand sees as much as 98 percent of its annual rainfall.
Thai people are well known for being relaxed, courteous, and hospitable. Buddhism is the dominant religion in Thailand and is the dominant influence on Thai culture. The concept of “wai,” a way to say hello and goodbye without using words, is used throughout society as an overall method of paying respect. The physical action of bowing one's head to meet the thumbs of two pressed palms, the wai is the most significant social practice, and its show of respect and in some cases, deference says a lot about Thai values and customs.
There are several contexts in which the wai is used in daily life. The two major ways are as a greeting with friends and acquaintances, and as a show of respect to people older or of higher status. The wai is used throughout daily life to show respect to people and objects. When in the presence of a superior, such as a boss or elder, an individual will initiate the wai to show deference. The wai is not reserved just for people. You will find many Thais wai at statues of Buddha, at temples, and important places of worship. In addition, many Thais wai to express thanks and gratitude. Westerners are greeted with a traditional handshake and should be addressed using “Mr.,” “Mrs.,” or “Miss” followed by their last name. Thais commonly address each other by using the word “Khun” (similar to Mr. or Mrs.) followed by the person’s first name. A last or family name is not normally used unless it is for a formal occasion. Thais tend to be very reserved, but have a good sense of humor. They attach great importance to laughter and smiling. In fact, smiling is a symbol of the Thai way of life, which tends to be more relaxed and carefree. Smiling is even common in embarrassing and high conflict situations.
LIVING IN THE KINGDOM
Always show respect for the King and Queen, as they are the most respected and revered people in Thailand. It is against the law to make fun of or refer to the Royal Family in less than favorable light. It is smart to avoid discussions about politics, drugs, health-related issues, religion, and the Monarchy.
If Thai people invite you to their home, and to an extent, even their place of business, be sure to take off your shoes before entering. When sitting on the floor, sit cross-legged, or tuck your legs beside you; do not stretch them out in front of you, as pointing your feet in someone else’s direction is considered rude. Whilst it is not obligatory to bring a gift when visiting a Thai person, consider bringing gifts like flowers, books, or fruit baskets.
The biggest challenge confronting foreign nationals in Thailand is the language barrier. Since there are so many different ethnic groups in Thailand, not everyone speaks the same language. The official language of the country is Thai. The use of English will be predominantly restricted to your workplace. Although it is necessary for all students wishing to attend university to pass an entrance examination in English, this does not mean that the person will be fluent in English. Thais tend to be at the beginner level of English and their reading and writing skills tend to be more advanced than their speaking skills. Thais are generally shy about speaking English.
Buddhism has a major influence on the daily lives of Thai people and is practiced throughout the normal course of life. The Buddhist principle teaches one to follow a middle path, avoiding anything extreme, and emphasizes personal well-being above material items or career achievement. Foreign nationals visiting a Buddhist temple or a sacred place should behave in an appropriate manner, as Thai people may consider some actions as sacrilege. As always, the best course of action is to follow the example set by the Thais.
Reviews, Comments, Testimonials
To read all of the reviews about The GeoVisions Foundation and all of our programs, click here, and you'll be taken to the GoAbroad site. All reviews there are independently provided and listed.
"My stay in Thailand was amazing!! It wasn't just a place to visit, but a series of divine encounters. My fellow teachers, the students, community of Uttadarit and Xplore Asia as well as the Thai people I met impacted my life in ways I can't express. The attitude of the culture is one of respect and acceptance that goes way beyond what I have experienced anywhere else in my travels. Combine this with the beauty of the country, the food, the travel and the graciousness of everyone I met and I had the Thaime of my life. I would go back to Thailand in a heart beat and I hope I get a chance to someday."
Teach in Thailand
"Thailand is an incredible country, and through my program I had an amazing opportunity to gain experience teaching and provide a wide range of English skills to my students. As long as you have an open mind, and aren't afraid of occasionally feeling awkward with not only a language barrier, but a cultural barrier, there's no shortage of new experiences and adventures you can have! During my time here, I found most Thai people are appreciative of the fact that you're putting in the effort to even learn the language. A great way to help you learn about your host country is by visiting the many beautiful temples. I have done this in both Chiang Mai and Bangkok and felt it helped me to understand the rich culture and history of Thailand. I have had incredible support from the beginning of my program, from teaching strategies to feeling safe exploring on my own. During my free time I have even been able to attend music festivals and visit Pai, Khao Yai, down south on the islands. There's certainly no shortage of adventure in Thailand!"
Teach in Thailand
"I have been teaching in Thailand for just over two months now. I would say that in order to fully get the experience, you have to make an effort to get to know your Thai coworkers. It's easy to get into a routine and do the typical "hello, how are you?" dance. In getting to know them, you can make life long relationships and do things that are once in a life time opportunities, like going to a Thai wedding.Since it is close to New Years, I am very excited to see how they celebrate it here. I have heard that this is one of the biggest celebrations and they go all out for it. In Lampang, they took about 2 weeks to set up lights and displays for New Years.This experience is allowing me to take time for myself. Back home, I try to put everyone else first and sometimes I ran myself tired. I make sure to take the time to relax and do things for me and this program gives me the ability to do exactly that."
Teach in Thailand
"This has been such an amazing opportunity that GeoVisions has provided me with. This allowed me to teach abroad without giving up my job at home. Thailand is filled with such caring and kind people. I felt support from the teachers at my school and the people in my town. GeoVisions slowly introduced us to Thailand in a way that made me feel safe and comfortable with this new country. I learned many things about the culture and teaching in Thailand during our week-long orientation before being sent to my school."
Teach in Thailand
"This is a great program. You must go with no expectations. You will likely get something completely different, but exactly what you need. The team did a great job preparing me for my time in the classroom and helping me feel confident to go out into my own city in Thailand. It is an experience of a lifetime!"
Teach in Thailand
What does all of this cost?
As you can see, a lot goes into making this opportunity the experience of a lifetime.
If you think of this as "paying to get a job" then you're not going to be happy. You may as well look elsewhere for opportunities to teach abroad.
If you think of it as
- A TESOL or TEFL lifetime certification
- Experience teaching before hitting the classroom
- Experiencing the Thai culture before moving to my new community
- Someone to help navigate the contract for my teaching job
- Someone to help me get the correct, legal visa to work in Thailand
- Someone to call on for help if I need it while I'm in Thailand
then you are going to receive so many benefits including a built-in pathway to success.
The process is easy.
- Fill out your application and include a deposit of $350. If we invite you to apply, it means you're going to be accepted.
- When you receive your job/school match, you'll be invoiced a second $350.
- 60-days before you depart for Thailand, you'll need to pay the balance of $590 if you're not taking the TESOL course in Thailand or $750 if you are taking the course there.
Your fee includes us collecting all of your documents and working with you through the entire process. It also includes your full accommodation during orientation (and the TESOL course if you're taking it there) and orientation.
You will not be billed from The GeoVisions Foundation for anything else. But you do want to read the section of this document entitled "Budget" to make sure you have enough money to get you through to the first paycheck.