Do Your Tefl Course and Teach English in Thailand

Do Your Tefl Course and Teach English in Thailand

If you’re thinking about getting your TEFL qualification but can’t quite decide on which destination to head to first, then look no further. Teaching in Thailand offers opportunities for both seasoned teachers and those just finding their stride in the profession.

Consider it a haven, of sorts, for qualified teachers wanting to dip their toes in the world of English teaching. What’s more, there are also numerous paths into teaching in Thailand as well as varying degrees of commitment in terms of contracts. Intrigued? Let’s take a look at what your options are.

Get TEFL Qualified 

The first thing you need to get ticked off your list before you can even consider possible teaching routes is to get your TEFL qualification under your belt. Regulations have got stricter in Thailand regarding English teaching job opportunities and you won’t be able to land a job without it.

But how long does it take to get a TEFL certificate? The answer to this question will depend entirely on you and how much time you have on your hands to study. A 120-hour course is the industry standard and is also the minimum amount of hours required for your visa. On average, students can take from 10 to 12 weeks to complete the course.

The course itself will consist of a variety of modules that cover teaching methodology, grammar, classroom management, feedback and more. You’ll get to work under the guidance of experienced tutors who have first-hand experience in the industry, so be sure to check in with them if you have any questions before applying for your first teaching role.

Why Thailand? 

Also known as the “Land of Smiles” – a name that stems from the various smiles a Thai person may use to communicate different emotions – Thailand is the ideal teaching location for a few reasons. One of the main ones is that it offers both reasonable salaries which afford teachers a decent standard of living as well as opportunities for teachers just starting out in the field.

While more experienced teachers may have a competitive edge when applying for roles, especially in cities like Bangkok, which is known as the best place to find teaching jobs, those with less experience still have a good chance of finding positions in less competitive cities. Some potential options include Khon Kaen, Nakhon Sawan, Pathumthani and Udon Thani.

What can you do? 

Thailand is a country that has a little something for everyone. First and foremost, immersing yourself in its rich culture is a must. According to a 2022 report on international religious freedom in Thailand, its population is 92.5% Buddhist. Make time to visit a few of the over 40,000 temples the country boasts and experience the communities there for a taste of authentic day-to-day life.

When you’re not teaching, you can also go island-hopping. Phuket is Thailand’s largest and most-visited island and you can hire a boat or even check out marine life by trying your hand at snorkeling or diving. If a boat trip is more your speed, the cost of rentals can range from around £50 to £110 depending on how extravagant you’re feeling. For more location ideas, check out

Don’t forget to try street food too, especially in Bangkok’s Chinatown, otherwise known as Yaowarat. Sample Chinese-Thai dishes such as oyster omelettes, soup noodles or rice porridge. If you’re vegetarian, don’t worry – you can also find Indian restaurants that should cater to your needs.

For those looking for even more adventure in the outdoors, there are plenty of hiking opportunities. In the south, you can head to Pran Buri Forest Park, while in the north you can head to Buddha’s Footprint trail, which is close to Chiang Mai. Remember to plan your trip with the monsoon season in mind to avoid getting soaked.

What should you know? 

Thailand is busiest from November to March, so brace yourself for the hordes of tourists and book ahead if you’re hoping to travel, otherwise you run the risk of things getting booked up. The benefit of being a teacher living in the country is that you can also ask the locals for recommendations and the real cost of taxis and tuk-tuks to avoid inflated prices.

Be respectful of the locals by informing yourself about customs and traditions. The typical greeting in Thailand, for example, is not a handshake. Instead, you should dip your head while holding your palms together in front of your chest. You should also always remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.

Health-wise, the golden rule is to never drink tap water and to always wash your hands before eating. This rule encompasses ice as well as potentially unwashed vegetables and fruit. If you’re not sure, steer clear. Mosquito bites can also be a problem in Thailand thanks to the tropical climate, so arrive prepared with spray and mosquito nets.

What it’s like for teachers? 

For teachers who are new to the ESL industry, a teaching placement is a great way to ease yourself into teaching English in Thailand. On average, you’ll be expected to work anywhere from 18 to 25 hours and contracts generally start from 4 months. Teachers will usually be expected to commit to at least one teaching term and are paid up to around £950 a month.

If you’re hoping to get a Non-Immigrant B Visa, which is required for a teaching license in Thailand, then you will need a bachelor’s degree alongside your 120-hour TEFL qualification. In addition to these prerequisites, you’ll also have to provide proof of a clean criminal record.

Don’t worry if you don’t quite fulfill all of these requirements – there are plenty of volunteer teaching opportunities you can look into so you don’t miss out on the chance to teach English in Thailand.

Overall, teaching in Thailand can be an opportunity to either finesse your teaching skills or develop them while simultaneously learning the ins and outs of an entirely new culture. And while there are a few boxes to check, so long as you’re willing to adapt when necessary, it’s an experience that’s open to anyone