A career you can have in Thailand

A career you can have in Thailand

The recent reshaping of the world of work has allowed many to choose where they want to work from. Although the WFH (Work From Home) scenario seems to be some people’s favourite, others prefer to enjoy face-to-face interactions, especially in the TEFL industry. 

A career you can have in Thailand

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a sector that appeals to those who want to experience different cultures by living and working abroad. For them, South-East Asia is a very sought-after destination, with its eleven countries: Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as this corner of the world fascinates its visitors in more ways than one: from enchanting landscapes to rich history and diverse culture.

Out of the eleven countries in South-East Asia, Thailand - together with Vietnam - is the most popular destination for TEFL teachers. Its central location in this area makes travelling to its neighbouring countries easy and convenient; its low cost of living makes travelling and exploring more affordable; its  laid-back way of life makes the whole experience extremely enjoyable.

Another reason why people choose to live and teach English in Thailand is because of its locals. Their kindness and friendliness is known worldwide - you couldn’t expect anything else from a country that has thirteen different ways to describe a ‘yim’ (smile).

Starting a new life abroad is a massive step for anyone, and although life in Thailand is generally safe and affordable, it’s always better to plan ahead - especially if your career as a teacher of English as a foreing language is just beginning.

Let’s see what could help you make your move to Thailand stress-free. 

1. Choose your base

Before you start your job hunt, you should decide which part of the country is suitable for your lifestyle. As is often the case, big cities will offer more opportunities and better paid jobs, more efficient public transport and services, and there usually are established expat communities that can help you settle in. However, living in smaller towns offers advantages such as a relaxed lifestyle and full cultural immersion.

Here are some popular choices among TEFLers:

  • The country’s capital, Bangkok, with over 14 million residents, is the largest city. With its modern shopping centres, skytrains and impressive buildings, this city is the heart of Thailand’s economy.
  • Phuket holds the record of being the largest island in Thailand. It doesn’t come as a surprise that its attractive beaches make Phuket one of the most popular locations in this country. Although life here is more expensive than anywhere else in the country, over 100,000 expats enjoy luxurious golf courses, outdoor activities and water sports. and, with its many attractive beaches, is the most popular destination among expats. 
  • If you would like to enjoy a lifestyle similar to that in Phuket, minus the price tag, Hua Hin is the right choice for you. This island might not be as famous as Phuket, but it has plenty to offer, like fantastic outdoor events, like the Kite festival, the Jazz festival, and the Vintage Car Rally. 
  • Chiang Mai might be your cup of tea if you aren’t interested in living  by the beach. Its affordable lifestyle and its historical and cultural background make this peaceful city in the north of the country an idyllic place to live in.
The recent reshaping of the world of work has allowed many to choose where they want to work from. Although the WFH (Work From Home) scenario seems to be some people’s favourite, others prefer to enjoy face-to-face interactions, especially in the TEFL industry. 

2. Teaching English in Thailand

Teaching salaries in Thailand are quite low by western standards, as they can be anything between $800 and $1,200. However, with this amount you would be able to live a comfortable life and have enough money spare to travel around because life in Thailand is generally very low-cost.

You can spend around $4 for a typical meal and you can rent a one-bedroom apartment for around $200. Most schools usually help their teachers in finding accommodation, while others will have it already arranged before their arrival. To avoid disappointment, don’t expect much in terms of furniture and decor, as your room or apartment might be pretty basic and  bare.

In Thailand, teachers have a full schedule of 40 hours, but only 18 of those are contact (teaching) hours. To be hired, you’ll need a university degree, while a TEFL qualification is strongly recommended. You can learn much more about teach English in Thailand by joining virtual expat communities on social media.

Each school in Thailand is run differently. So you might find that local teachers will spend their breaks together in one room, while the international - or farang (non-Thai) - teachers will be in a separate staff room. Don’t let this put you off. Try to socialise with your local colleagues by sharing teaching experiences and asking them for advice.

3. Culture shock

Whenever you travel abroad for a long period of time, chances are that you might become affected by culture shock and/or homesickness. To avoid them, or to reduce their effects, you need to be prepared. Here are some tips on how to better face some of the obstacles of living abroad:

  • Social media is a useful tool that can help you connect with TEFL expats in the area you’re moving to. They’ll be happy to give you advice and suggestions on how to settle into your new country more smoothly.
  • Another way to make the most of social media is through language exchange. You might never be able to master Thai, but learning the basics can go a long way with the locals.
  • To avoid feeling homesick, remember to bring something that reminds you of home, like pictures or an ornament, and make sure to find time for calls to loved ones regularly. 

Start your new career (and life!) in Thailand

What’s in a nickname? Thailand is called ‘the land of smiles’ for many reasons: from the locals’ kindness to the expats’ supportive nature. It’s a vibrant and charming country ready to be explored. Are you willing to give it a try?


  • https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20190627-the-850m-long-bridge-uniting-a-town
  • https://internationalliving.com/countries/thailand/move-to-thailand/
  • https://greenhearttravel.org/blog/teach-abroad-thailand/expectations-vs-reality-of-living-and-teaching-in-thailand-and-tips-for-a-smooth-transition
  • https://aseannow.com/topic/1114408-the-mystery-of-exactly-how-many-expats-live-in-thailand/#:~:text=According%20to%20figures%20in%20the,of%20those%2072%2C969%20are%20retirees.
Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!

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