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Working in Thailand?
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  1. #1
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    panic Working in Thailand?

    I have been gradually lurking here at the site for the last week or so, getting useful tips on things to do and see when I go to live in Thailand this fall. Everyone's topics are always so helpful and I appreciate all the advice.

    I am going to become a TEFL teacher and am looking forward to the experience. While I was doing a semester of college for an associates degree in education here in the states, two of my friends stole away to Thailand and received their TEFL certificates even before I began to think about my finals. So I had to rethink my options and am now saving up to make the journey myself...

    The only problem is my boyfriend is going to be coming with me. He has not expressed a desire to become a TEFL teacher himself. Is there any other job opportunities available to farang in thailand that we should look into? We will most likely be living in Chiang Mai if that helps out any.

    Again thank you all for your wonderful topics and hope you have a great day.

  2. #2
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    Are you saying you are quitting your plan for doing an "associates degree in education"? I think that is unwise. You might need it to make yourself stand above the crowd.

    A friend of mine did a TEFL course on the beach on Samui island. You could do that while your boyfriends plays in the sand! Seriously, they are no other jobs on offer for foreigners unless you are recruited abroad by an internetional company.

  3. #3
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    there are soooo many people hoping to find teaching jobs here in Chiang Mai now that if you would like to land a decent job, you need to have a bachelor's degree at least (I don't know how associates degree compares to that), preferably in English, education, psychology, or something not completely unrelated, plus teaching experience. it's much easier to find a job in Bangkok.
    I know a few foreigners who are not teachers, but Richard is right, they work for multinational companies and only got their placements after having done a very successful training for the Thai employees.
    enrolling at an English-language college could be a possibility if he is still short of a degree, fees are much lower than in the US.

  4. #4
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    I have only completed one semester and it is my longterm goal, but I have neither the finances nor the opportunity to continue with the way my career is going at the moment. I am really passionate about teaching, if i had my choice I would love to teach High School Literature or Middle school english, so when I heard of this opportunity to test myself I decided it was just what I needed. It would be unfortunate to complete my college courses only to figure out I'm not cut out for teaching.

    Thanks for the heads up about foreign jobs though. Maybe we can figure something out before we make the trip.

    But along the lines of Chiang Mai teaching positions... does this mean it will be difficult to secure a good paying job (current situation dictating enough to support two people haha) with just a TEFL certificate? Or are there any other cities that are comparable to Chiang Mai that we could migrate to after course completion? Everything I have read of Chiang Mai, economically, geographically and culturally sounds absolutely amazing and I would love to settle there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaawnHo
    does this mean it will be difficult to secure a good paying job
    Don't expect to get rich by working in Thailand. Try Korea or Japan for that. Expect to get from 10,000 to 40,000 baht per month. If you have a degree in education and teaching experience then you will be able to make more money. International schools pay the most. But, you must be qualified. Next down the food chain are the bilingual schools and language schools. Then finally, private and government schools that pay the least.

    Some schools will give you a place to stay for free while you are teaching with them. This will save you a lot of money. However, they might not agree if your boyfriend is not teaching too.

  6. #6
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    my experience around here shows that you are expected to have any kind of bachelor's degree and a TEFL certificate at least to be considered as an applicant. I had colleagues aged 18-20 with a high-school degree, but they worked as assistants and got Thai salaries (5-7 thousand baht), which is only enough to get by if you cut down on luxuries like western food and going out. of course it's still possible to find a part-time position at a language school or teach one on one, but officially you cannot get a work permit without presenting a proper diploma. Chiang Mai is very competitive in this respect. I have no idea about other cities, but I'm sure the diploma requirement (master's or bachelor's) holds everywhere.

  7. #7
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    Like Betti says, if you don't have the proper qualifications, your best bet are the small schools out in the countryside. However, they won't be able to pay you so much. Depends on whether you want the experience or the money. When you are starting out, it isn't easy to get both.

  8. #8
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    Ever thought of getting your self some fake qualifications, I have herd of some people becoming quite successful using these. In the UK there was a doctor, who worked in a hospital for 4 years, all his qualifications were fake, he even used to advise other doctors and dish out prescriptions, of course he had read a lot of books, most people thought he was better than the qualified doctors, but when he got court he was thrown out of the hospital, and pay a fine, but that OK he came out with quite a good profit.

  9. #9
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    Most teachers will probably have to work with other teachers and academic professionals. Every discipline has its own specialized subject-matter, norms, and jargon. You might be able to fool the general public with bogus credentials, but insiders will not be fooled.
    Life is learning. If you stop learning, you might as well be dead.

  10. #10
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    fake diplomas are widely available, but.... I'm told a guy submitted a fake diploma at my school a few months ago, but he got caught when applying for a work permit (you need to present original diplomas, not just copies or transcripts, and apparently they do check with your university back home!), and was immediately expelled from Thailand by the immigration office.

    Paul, I'm really disappointed that you came up with this suggestion.

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