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How to Get a TEFL Job in Thailand

Monday 5th December 2011

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a great way for those with English as their first language to travel and work abroad. For one thing, you will be able to find work all over the world, as English is still the language of choice for international business and studying. With the right qualifications, you will be able to find work in countries which would otherwise be no-go areas for travellers jobs, such as China, Russia and South American countries. Schools and colleges will help you with visas and work permits.

Just because you are teaching English, doesn't mean that you will be expected to speak the host countries language. You will be expected to speak English throughout your classes, but it is good practice to learn at least a little of the host country language before arriving, so you can be polite and say please, thank you, hello and goodbye for starters. TEFL is a great way to live and work in another country and really get to know it. You could be working in a city, like Bangkok, or in the middle of the Greek countryside, either way, you will get a unique understanding of what it is like to live in that country, and work with the people who live there.

In many larger schools you will be given the option of sharing accommodation with other teachers, so you will be socialising with like-minded people. This is a great way to make friends in a new country, and to get your bearings when you arrive.

Pay for teaching English is rarely hugely generous, so be realistic when you are budgeting, but in many cases it is much higher than local people are paid, and the cost of living in developing countries is obviously much lower than in western nations, so it is perfectly feasible to live and work overseas as a TEFL teacher for as long as you want to. David Wolf has written an article for us about teaching English in Bangkok, where he has been living and working for 10 years. His article is a great introduction to the world of TEFL in Thailand. Alternatively you can volunteer to teach English overseas with many of the gap year organisations in our volunteering section.