Teaching English abroad is interesting. You get to experience a world different from the one you live in. You will discover that this planet is a home to different beautiful sceneries, cultures, and peoples. English is a language used universally and teaching it can earn you a ticket to an adventure of a lifetime.
If you are planning on moving to Asia and teaching English in Thailand, or you are already there but do not know where to start, this is the guide for you. Below are five basic tips for moving to Thailand to teach English abroad:
Work on the papers.
Thailand is a home not only to locals but, as a matter of fact, it is now becoming a home to expatriates. It has opened its doors to foreign workers granted that you have a valid visa and a work permit.
You should secure and obtain a proper visa from a Royal Thai Embassy or Royal Thai Consulate prior to your arrival in Thailand. There are 57 countries who can enter under the provisions of the Visa Exemption Rule (VER), however, if you are planning to stay longer than 30 days, a visa is required to be able to work and stay in the kingdom legally.
If you haven’t landed on a teaching job yet and you think everything else is complicated, you can check out this informative article on how to get a teaching job in Thailand (and in other countries, too). It will help you build your personal brand, connect you to potential employers, get you hired and the best thing is they also provide assistance in making sure that you relocate without hassle.
Learn the language.
If the papers are all good to go, one must always remember that Thailand is not an English-speaking country. They have slowly moved to globalization by incorporating English in their educational system, but locals mainly speak their own language and dialects. That’s why you’re there to teach English!
While it’s not a requirement to speak Thai in order to teach English in Thailand, it’s helpful to learn some basic Thai words. There are numerous numbers of websites online that can help you in this matter. There are Youtube videos and channels that you can listen and watch, just in case you are the visual and the auditory type of learner.
Your time will be easier if you learn how to ask directions in their own language, as well as ask basic questions about time, date, place, price, and never forget to learn their own version of magic words such as please, thank you, and you’re welcome.
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Remember the law.
Each country holds different laws, and you should make sure that you remember and uphold it. There are three laws that matter significantly to all foreigners living in Thailand.
First, Thai people have a high regard to their monarchy. No matter who you are and what your occupation is in Thailand, never pass any judgment against their constitution. This also includes portraits and images of the royalties.
Second, never be involved in any road accident. Even if it was not your fault, foreigners are automatically held responsible. They believe that the accident would have not happened if you had not been in Thailand.
Third, always check tax procedures. And the reason why is found in number 4.
Find the best accommodation options.
If you are planning to move to Thailand long term and want to consider buying property, it is nice to know what are the best options available for foreigners like you who are taking on a beautiful and exciting adventure.
There is a property tax required to be paid annually, and most of the time, the owners or landlords are the ones responsible for paying that. Unfortunately, there are some landlords that expect their tenants to pay this. So you should always check the tax procedures before signing any lease. The best option is to have your landlord pay for the property tax since that is their responsibility. It is more convenient for you as someone who is not a local, and it saves you money, too.
It is a completely different country with a different culture and a different lifestyle. Live the moment. Fall in love with Thailand. They offer very beautiful tourist destinations. Since you will be staying for a long time, plan your weekends. Visit their beaches and temples. Enjoy the climate. Be amazed that it will not cost you a fortune to live a healthy and fun life in the borders of this wondrous country.
Moving out of your comfort zone is always a scary idea, but as the cliche goes, life starts at the end of your comfort zone. Live your life. Move to a different country. As long as you are armed with a degree and a wide knowledge in the English language, you can visit beautiful countries like Thailand and live there. If you do not know where to start, consider taking a TEFL certification course and teaching English in Thailand. They can help you make your Thailand dreams come to life.
Words by Dimitris Vlachos of Movinhand.