Tag - jobs

Working in Thailand

thai_officeFallen in love with Thailand? Fallen in love with the language? Met someone special? Alongside high-tech Internet websites with hundreds of jobs, we at www.khaosanroad.com offer you a platform for the exchange of news and hints about getting work in the Kingdom.

Teach in Thailand
You’ll find that most people who have been in Thailand for a while probably got a foot in the door teaching English. There are numerous opportunities for teaching in Thailand, and the good thing about it is it’s not necessary to have masses of qualifications to land something worthwhile. Most languages centers (and especially universities and other government organizations) require potential employees to have a degree, but if you are keen and willing to learn, you’ll probably be able to get something without one. If you have TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualifications, the range of job opportunities available to you broadens, and the income you can command gets better (even more so the longer you stay here).

Teacher Training
See our page on Teacher Training courses in Thailand… Click here

Ajarn.com
If you are interested in teaching in Thailand there is only one really definitive source of information on the topic – Ajarn.com. ‘Ajarn’ means teacher in Thai, and this site has basically everything you need to know to be able to fully consider teaching English as an option. Developed by Ian – an Englishman from Yorkshire – the site lists a number of local jobs, tips of the trade, and what to go for and what to avoid. Ajarn.com has grown from humble beginnings to a thriving online community of likeminded people. Check it out – it’s good.

Working in ThailandECC Thailand
As you will see from the Ajarn.com web site – ECC (Thailand) is the largest English language organization in Thailand. With 56 branches around the country, ECC pretty much always has positions available in Bangkok, as well as positions in places a little more of the beaten track (fancy a year in Yala?). Given their size and the difficulties faced by any large organization, ECC are reasonable employers and pay well by local standards. A company related to ECC is First Training. First Training often has positions available for primary school teachers and also has a variety of opportunities for people interested in teaching at Thai companies. We should stress though that both ECC and First Training require native English speakers who have TEFL qualifications and at least some experience, so if you are new on the scene they may not be able to offer you much. Check them out all the same.

Newspapers
If you have time on your hands and you have very specific requirements of the positions you apply for, you are going to have to do some research. Obviously, one of the best sources of jobs is the local newspaper. The Bangkok Post and The Nation are both English language dailies, and at 20 Baht a throw they often have more teaching jobs listed than you can ‘shake a stick at’. Teaching jobs are also listed at the papers’ websites.

Internet
Aside from the local rags there are numerous Internet sites that deal with TEFL positions in Thailand. The classic source is Dave’s ESL Cafe. One of the veteran sites, Dave’s ESL Cafe lists jobs all over the world and it’s basically the first place a serious teacher would look for a job in Thailand. If you are looking for information on jobs coupled with other information about living and working in Thailand, Escape Artist.com might fit the bill. Escape Artist.com is bit more ‘ex-pat’ in its approach, but let’s face it – ex-pat is where the money is! Both have good tips on teaching positions. One final site to visit is TEFL.net. Again, one of the classic sites, TEFL.net is another site that serious teachers would visit first during a job hunt.

Jobs in General
If you have other strings to your bow, our advice is this: USE THEM! Although teaching in Thailand is a fine profession and one of the most enjoyable jobs you can have, the income can be ‘modest’ to say the least. Most teachers don’t get rich. Some have been known to suffer from malnutrition and there are teachers’ soup kitchens abound around Bangkok! Actually, that’s probably a bit of an overstatement – but you do have to hunt far and wide for a well-paid teaching job! With expertise in other areas, the possibilities become endless. Despite of the recession (in fact, probably because of it) there are numerous opportunities for qualified, talented and experienced people in a number of areas.

Internet
As with elsewhere in the world, a swathe of jobs sites exist for jobseekers in Thailand. A lot of these sites are interactive in the sense that you put your profile into their system and it sends you jobs that fit your criteria as soon as they arise. Some sites also allow you to put your resume on display for prospective employers. One site leads the way in Thailand – JobsDB. Both sites offer interactive capabilities that deliver jobs right to you in-box. Jobbees is another good site. Although it doesn’t offer the high-tech know-how offered by other sites, Jobbees has a grassroots approach and a ‘cute’ feel about it. It’s packed with jobs for both foreigners and locals. Well worth a visit.

Of course as with teaching jobs, the best source of up-to-date information on vacant positions must be the English language papers – in Thailand, the Bangkok Post and the Nation (see above).

Advertise
Another thing to try is putting a wanted advertisement in the papers. A small advert costs around 3,000 Baht in the Nation and around 1,500 in the Bangkok Post (see above).

From the Community
Of course, in the Khao San Road community the main source of information about jobs should be word of mouth. If you hear of any good jobs available, or any good organizations, companies or groups that help people find jobs, let us know. We’ll pass on the information.

So you want to teach in Thailand?

Teaching in Thailand
Teaching in Thailand
Teaching in Thailand

Easygoing people, fantastic climate, great cuisine, low cost of living; it’s no wonder so many travellers visit Thailand and decide to stay. Thailand’s ESL teaching scene is on the rise and companies like ECC and English Plus are cropping up all across the country. A teaching job can be fun and breezy for some, stressful and draining for others. Below is a list of tips for potential teachers.
Expect Options

ESL teachers have options in Thailand; those with English degrees and/or impressive teaching resumes should look into university teaching jobs where the students are keener and the holidays are usually paid.

Teachers who work for language schools can expect evening and weekend classes with good resources but a wide range of levels. A typical teacher’s schedule may include private lessons with a 5-year-old, advanced business English for adults, and anything in between.

Teachers who work in public elementary or high schools have lighter schedules but bigger classes; often 40 or more kids per class. These teachers might also participate in school events like sports days or campus television shows.

Expect Variety

Some language schools give you a fantastic course textbook and a library full of additional resources, and all you need to do is teach from the book and add extra activities as you see fit. With other classes, you may find yourself in a room full of students with one pen between them, and you’re forced to design every lesson plan and write up your own tests. You should figure out how much input you want in course outlines, and find a school to meet your expectations.

Expect Surprises

As far as teaching jobs go, you may be told with a few days notice of a new class to teach, a test that’s to be given, or a school holiday. This may be the mark of a disorganized company, but it’s most likely just another difference between western jobs and Thailand jobs. Your best bet is to try and adopt the “mai pen rai,” attitude and not get stressed over small matters.

Expect Visa Hassles

The Thai policies regarding non-immigrant work visas seem to be ever-changing. While your school will handle the application process, you may be asked to produce documents that weren’t required two months ago, like a letter of confirmation from your university, or a letter from your TEFL instructor.

For the many teachers working in Thailand on tourist visas, monthly border runs are a necessary while their paperwork comes through. If you’re close to the embassy in Bangkok, a 2-month visa from Cambodia or Laos can be arranged in advance. If you’re crossing the border once a month, ask your school about their policy on refunding your travel costs, as many will comply and remember – new visa regulations suggest you can only do this for 90 days in any 6 months. All details regarding your work visa should be addressed before any contract is signed. In addition, remember that you can…

Expect the Taboo

If you’re teaching children, it can be difficult to control a classroom. Public schools often have classes of 50-plus students, and Thai co-teachers might treat your class as an optional commitment. It’s said that Thai classrooms are sometimes a bit unruly so even seasoned ESL teachers will have to figure out the best way to keep order. Never touch a student in any way to discipline him or her. It’s best to discuss discipline techniques with Thai teachers before starting and they are likely offer some good tips.

Expect to Make Connections

To live in Thailand, a teacher will see up-close how different things can be for tourists. A smart newcomer will learn the “Thai price” for taxi rides, food stall dishes, and admission costs, and learn enough Thai to haggle it down. Even if you’re living as a local, you’ll still be met with the inflated tourist prices on some goods. It’s smart to master how to count in Thai so that price-bargaining goes smoothly.

You’ll likely be approached for private lessons from many people, and many teachers find it useful to swap Thai lessons with English lessons in order to best pick up the language. If your schedule is full, politely refer the person to your language school, and they can arrange one-on-one classes from there.

Expect Scrutiny

Unless you’re living in Bangkok, Chiang Mai or Phuket, your arrival in town will be discussed and scrutinized. Most teachers don’t realize how much they’re talked about, but the truth is that foreigners stand out a mile away and for Thai people, make great fodder for gossip. Whether you’re arguing with someone at the market or drunk at the pub, don’t forget that people talk. Some discretion on your part will make life much easier. Schools have been known to fire teachers if their public reputations start concerning parents and students.   
  
Anne Merritt is Canadian and has an English Literature degree. She has worked as a journalist for a university newspaper. She is currently living in Ayutthaya as an ESL teacher and is sharing her experience of Thailand with KhaoSanRoad.com.