The TEFL Life: A TEFL blog

a story about bad grammar and non-existent punctuation and my TEFL adventures

Where to teach?

In Thailand, as in most countries, there are a range of teaching situations for you to choose from or that you might find yourself in. Here’s a rundown of the most common:

Primary/High School

I didn’t find much difference between the private and the high schools in terms of pay of contact hours. Classes in government schools, though, can be quite big – up to 40, whereas in a private school you can expect about 25. You might or might not have a teaching assistant and if you do s/he might or might not be decent.


Don’t get confused when you see really old students wearing school uniforms. University students have to wear a general uniform too, though it seems they are allowed some leeway in terms of interpretation. As far as I can tell, working at one of the universities would be an amazing job but I’m pretty sure you have to be pretty damn qualified for that. When I was there in 2003, when I was 21, I didn’t quite crack the nod. The universities are generally good, so I might consider going back there for a post now if I could get it.

Language Schools

Just like in most countries of this world, in Thailand (mostly Bangkok and Chiangmai) you will EF and IH and other big names, as well as lots of smaller schools. In language schools you are paid hourly and your may work shifts of afterschool hours. In general, language schools are a great supportive environment so a great place to start for a new teacher. Chances are also that there will be more foreign (farang) teachers here than in a Thai school or university.

Summer Camps

Thais love to play games and have fun, so it’s no surprise e a lot of (wealthier) kids grow up going to English summer camp. Summer camps can be held on weekends or during the holidays. If your full-time job allows it, it’s a great way to supplement your income. They are usually held outside the city, at a beach or in a nature reserve. Staff are given transport, accommodation and all food is provided so while the pay may not be amazing, you essentially do not spend money while you are working. On the flip side, it can be exhausting. Be prepared to sing songs, play games  and be on your best behaviour 24 hours a day. You won’t need to work all that time but even if you are not teaching or leading an activity, you still be expected to be “on duty”. A lot of fun and you can see some amazing places you probably won’t see otherwise.


2 comments on “Where to teach?

  1. clagamba80362
    April 24, 2016

    Hey! I see you taught in Thailand, I just got my TEFL and want to do it in Thailand but I’m worried about meeting people and friends how’d did it work out for you how do you make friends ?

  2. Kirsten C
    April 25, 2016


    I totally fell in love with Thailand so I would recommend it to everyone and anyone 🙂 but especially for newer teachers.

    Thailand is a really easy place to live and it’s very tourist-friendly so it’s easy to get around and talk to people. I found it quite easy to make friends because there are so many other TEFL teachers there and tourists/travellers, so if you find the popular areas to hang out you’ll definitely meet people.

    And of course there’s a whole country of locals wanting to be your friends!

    So I wouldn’t worry at all about going there. Do some research on the visa requirements because I think things have changed since I last worked there, but other than that, it’s just exciting times ! 🙂

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2015 by in Thailand, travel and tagged , .
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