6 Ways to Experience Thailand Like a Local

Thailand is home to many expatriates (people who live in a country outside of their own) who have come to work. The country is a great place to get a teaching job, as the Thai schools will assist you until you get relocated and settled. No matter what may bring you to Thailand, the best way to experience this amazing country is to see it through the eyes of a local.

Here are six simple ways you can do that:

Eat Like a Local

Thai cuisine is globally renowned, so we suggest you eat what the locals love. You can start with the tom yum gung, which is described by CNN Travel as a masterpiece. It is made of mushroom, shrimp, tomatoes, lemongrass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. It is flavorful, and you can get the best at Tom Yum Goong Banglamphu.

But to truly eat like a local, you must venture out of Bangkok. Thailand’s northern region serves some of the most delectable som tam, or spicy papaya salad. The Taling Chang food market just outside Bangkok, meanwhile, has some of the best Pad Thai and prawn dishes in the country. Here you’ll be eating authentic Thai food with the locals themselves.

Remember, if you’re unsure about eating at a certain restaurant or street cart, judge it by how many locals are there. If there’s a line of locals, it’s probably a safe and delicious choice!

Get Soaked during Songkran

Thailand is a country of festivals, and taking part in a couple of them is a great way to experience the country. But if you can only enjoy one let it be Songkran. This Buddhist celebration welcomes the Thai New Year and is observed throughout Thailand, usually in the month of April. Here the locals douse one another with water by having massive water fights. This is because water symbolizes a clean start. Needless to say you must take part in these water fights, and get soaking wet — just like a local would (but you can’t really avoid it even if you try!).

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Catch Some Muay Thai Action

An excerpt from Thailand Thailand: Traits and Treasures describes Muay Thai as the “most favorite martial arts of the Thai,” and being “in existence for almost as long as the Thai themselves.” The sport itself is rich in history, dating back to the Ayutthaya Period.

Catching some live Muay Thai action, therefore, is like watching years of Thai history and culture unfold in front of you. Most high-level Muay Thai matches are held at the Rajadamnern Stadium and Lumpinee Stadium. As you watch we suggest you soak in everything. That includes the Wai Kru, a ritualistic dance that marks the beginning of every fight. It is a big part of the Muay Thai experience, and is both exciting and enlightening.

If you really want to feel like a local you could also make some wagers on a fight. The overall experience is heightened by Thai bookmakers who offer prizes on the outcomes of the contests. If you are unsure who to follow, this is a good way to mingle with the locals and get some insider knowledge. Watching elite level martial arts, betting on fights, and having an enjoyable time is a very common thing to do on fight nights, but you should keep in mind that gambling is technically illegal in Thailand so take precautions!

Visit the Temples

experience thailand like a local

Thais are known for their spirituality. You can experience this by visiting Thailand’s temples, notably the historic golden temple of Wat Phra. It has for years been one of Thailand’s most spiritually significant venues. That’s because according to legend it was specifically built to house a bone from Buddha himself. You ought to visit Wat Pho, too, as it is the largest and oldest temple in Bangkok. You can even get a soothing massage here, as it is home to traditional Thai massage schools.

Explore Thonburi in a Hang Yao

The hang yao is Thailand’s version of Italy’s famed gondolas. It is a popular mode of transportation among the locals of Thonburi. Here they have hang yaos for rent, along with an expert navigator. While cruising the waters of Thonburi we suggest you start a conversation with the local manning the boat. It’s a great way to learn about Thai life and culture.

Watch Local Performers

experience thailand like a local

Thailand has its own version of Broadway in the Siam Niramit. This state-of-the-art theater in Bangkok hosts various stage productions, many of which feature local artists. Then there’s the Calypso Cabaret in Asiatique. Here you can watch top performers put on a burlesque show while you have dinner. Watching such shows, whether at Siam Niramit or the Calypso Cabaret, is an excellent way to experience the popular pastimes the locals love.

We hope this list will help you see Thailand in a different way. Living like a local will open up new doors and experiences, and give you a greater appreciation of Thailand.



7 Best Places for Teaching Abroad in Retirement

teach english abroad in retirement

Are you retired and looking to teach English abroad? If so, that’s amazing! Teaching English abroad is a great experience no matter when, what, or where, and it’s never too late. The over 50 crowd often asks the same question first, “Am I too old to teach abroad?” and the answer is always no!

The second question we hear is, “Will everyone else be young and spry?” And to this, the answer is that people of all ages and all walks of life choose to teach English abroad, so it’s likely you’ll meet lots of others around your age.

Lastly, many worry that some countries don’t accept teachers over a certain age, and it’s true. Namely, East Asian countries such as China, Korea and Japan make it rather difficult if not impossible to teach English in your retirement years, but the rest of the world is a lot less ageist. So to make it a bit easier, here is a list compiled of the best places for teaching abroad in retirement.

Teach English in Vietnam

best places for teaching abroad in retirement

For starters, one country that proves to be wonderful for those teaching abroad in retirement is Vietnam. The country hires English teachers all year ’round with a typical contract of 12 months, though it’s possible to find shorter contracts. Like some countries in Asia, Vietnam does have some age restrictions with retirement, but it’s possible to teach here in your retirement years.

Salary: $1,100- $1,700 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Vietnam — a nation diverse in history, adventure, and culture — is also in high demand for English teachers. Not only is it relatively easy to find a teaching job here, but it comes with the highest salaries in Southeast Asia, a low cost of living, a relaxed lifestyle and, culturally, both retirees and teachers are very well respected.

Teach English in Cambodia

best places for teaching abroad in retirement

Another country worth considering is Cambodia. Just south of Vietnam, the capital city of Phnom Penh, where most EFL jobs are found, is a tropical metropolitan with a very rich history. A few hours to the north lies the famed ancient temple city of Angkor Wat, and a couple hours to the south are some of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Cambodia hires teachers all year, with little restrictions for education, experience or age, making it a great place to be at any time!

Salary: $700-$1,000 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Like other countries in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is in high demand for English teachers. It’s relatively new to the scene in comparison to its wealthier neighbors (Thailand and Vietnam), so the industry isn’t as developed, making it perfect for the real adventurous among us. Not to mention, the cultural exploration and living history can provide you with memories to cherish long after your time abroad!

Teach English in the Czech Republic

reasons teach english in prague

Also on the list for best places to teach abroad in retirement: the Czech Republic, Europe. This country is filled with stunning medieval castles and other incredible architecture, with narrow cobbled streets and muted color against a beautiful countryside. The peak hiring seasons for EFL teachers are in September and January with a typical contract length ranging from 6-12 months. Plus, the Czech Republic doesn’t have age limit restrictions when it comes to working in retirement.

Salary: $700-1,000 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

The Czech Republic is an opportunity for you to teach abroad in Europe while also being able to cover living costs. With Prague being listed as one of the most affordable European cities, it’s no wonder so many foreign teachers call it home. Not to mention, European transit makes it possible for you to visit numerous countries during your time abroad without even buying another plane ticket. Not too shabby!

Teach English in Mexico

best places for teaching abroad in retirement

If you are in retirement and are looking to teach English abroad, then it is also a great idea to consider some countries in Latin America such as Mexico. Teaching English in Mexico will allow you to cover your costs of living with a monthly salary ranging from $500-$800 USD. It’s possible to find work all year ’round, and since Mexico is such a large, varied country, there’s really something to suit every desire. Plus, teaching in Mexico may be easier to maneuver considering it does not have age restrictions when it comes to teaching in retirement.

Salary: $500-$800 USD per month

Requirements: Bachelor’s degree & TEFL certification preferred.

Why should you go?

Mexico is in high demand for English teachers, and it’s one of the only countries in Latin America that provides working visas to EFL teachers. Plus, let’s not forget the beautiful landscapes, mesmerizing art from legends such as Frida Kahlo, delicious queso, and wonderful people you will meet if you choose to teach abroad here!

Teach English in Guatemala

best places teach abroad retirement

Another great option if you are interested in teaching in Latin America is Guatemala. While teaching English in Guatemala won’t make you rich, it will allow you to cover your cost of living. Jobs can be found year ’round with a typical contract length ranging from 6-12 months. Guatemala also does not have age restrictions when it comes to teaching in retirement.

Salary: $500-$600 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Besides the opportunity to see the infamous Antigua, hang around Lake Atitlan, or visit ancient Mayan Ruins, Guatemala is in high demand for English teachers. Guatemala has a rich culture, fascinating history, and is one of the cheapest places in the world to take Spanish classes, should you wish to learn the local language.

Teach English in Costa Rica

teach english in costa rica

Costa Rica’s pura vida/laidback lifestyle may just suit your fancy if teaching in retirement is the right choice for you. Beyond being a popular choice for many choosing to travel to Central America, this country will allow you to teach English abroad while also covering your living costs. Hiring is all year and typical contract length range rom 6-12 months. Again, there are no age restrictions.

Salary: $700-$900 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

Costa Rica is sure to impress with it’s numerous adventure opportunities from stunning beaches, swoon-worthy volcano peaks, mesmerizing jungles, and vibrant tropical rainforests! Plus, who can say no to some of the best coffee in the world?

Teach English in Peru

best places to visit peru

Aside from beautiful landscapes and historical landmarks, Peru provides many people in retirement a promising chance of teaching English as a foreign language. Typical contract lengths for teaching English in Peru range from 3, 6 and 12 months and there are no age restrictions.

Salary: $500-$1,000 USD per month

Requirements: TEFL certificate preferred

Why should you go?

If llamas and magic speak to you, Peru is a wonderful place to consider. Famous for its Incan citadel, Machu Picchu, but also home to the Andes mountains, wonderful sand hills, the Sacred Valley (where magic is believed to be found), and a world-class cuisine, there’s pretty much nothing not to love about Peru.

Overall, any of these countries would make for a wonderful experience if you are interested in teaching abroad in retirement. No matter what continent, country, or place you choose to teach in, you can make a positive impact during your time abroad. Not to mention, you are sure to make great memories, change a student’s life through the knowledge of learning a foreign language, all while immersing yourself in a foreign culture and land.


Words by Melody Lipford.

Is Teaching English in Peru Right for You?

teach english in lima peru

Teaching English abroad is a great option if you are looking for a way to not only travel, but also if you want the opportunity to make a difference through the lives of the students you will teach.

While teaching abroad can be a wonderful experience, it is also important to make sure that the place you choose to teach is the best decision. So before you take a TEFL course, sign a contract, hop on a plane, or start packing your suitcase, here are some things to consider so you can decide if teaching English in Peru is right for you.

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8 Considerations Before Teaching English in Peru

teach english in latin america

Peru is a nation filled with rich history, varied landscapes (rainforests, beaches, mountains, and more), ancient traditions, and beautiful people. Many believe there is magic to be found in Peru, and we aren’t going to disagree.

If you are ready to make a difference while exploring and learning a new culture and language, then maybe teaching English in Peru is the place for you! 

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8 Things to Consider Before Teaching English in Vietnam

teaching english in vietnam

Do you want to teach English in Vietnam? Are you ready to experience a new country and explore a new culture, all while making a difference teaching English? You are in the right place!

Beyond being a unique country filled with a rich history of art, culture, cuisine, and mesmerizing landscapes, you are sure to make a positive impact in the lives of those you encounter through teaching English in Vietnam.

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How to Find a Job Teaching English in Cambodia

From the various awe-inspiring ruins of Angkor Wat just outside Siem Reap to the hustle and bustle of the capital city, Phnom Penh, Cambodia has much to offer aspiring EFL teachers. If you’re wondering how to find a job teaching English in Cambodia, you’ll be delighted to know that obtaining English teaching jobs here is not as challenging as some of its Asian counterparts.

Cambodia is currently one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and English teaching jobs are on the rise along with it. It’s the perfect destination for any aspiring English teacher who wants to pioneer a special type of experience; one where you can be a backbone of an expat community and a role model figure in a country that will surely see its EFL teacher population begin to grow rapidly in the coming years. 

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Things You Should Know Before Teaching English in Costa Rica

teaching english in costa rica

Thinking about living the “pura vida” life? You are in for an incredible journey! 

Costa Rica is a beautiful country filled with breathtaking scenery, diverse wildlife, and kind-hearted people that will make you feel right at home.

As someone who has taught English in Costa Rica, I can vouch not only as a witness to the amazing views and delicious food, but also to the life-changing impact Costa Rica has on your personal development and the overall confidence you can gain from teaching English abroad.

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What to Consider Before Teaching English in Mexico 

teaching english in mexico

If teaching English in Mexico is on your radar, I couldn’t be happier for you.

The country is one of my all-time favorite countries in the 30+ I’ve visited, and for more reasons than one: the culture is friendly and inviting, the people are lovely, the food is one of the most unique and varied in the world, and it’s absolutely stunning, with a landscape to suit any desire. If you still need some convincing, here are 10 reasons why you should teach English in Mexico.

If you’re already sold, keep reading.

With such a large and varied country, it’s important to do your research before you go. There are many questions to consider, like “what are the teaching jobs in Mexico like?” and “how much money can I earn teaching English in Mexico?” to name a few.

I’ve done my best to provide you with answers to all of these start-up questions, so you can consider yourself fully informed to make the best decision for you. 

teaching english in mexico

Are you qualified to teach English in Mexico?

For starters, it’s always good to compare your qualifications with the country/ies you’re interested in teaching in. Mexico is a rare jewel in the teach abroad industry because it’s one of the countries that doesn’t require a bachelor’s degree, but you can still get a work permit to ensure you’re working legally, and for as long as you’re happily employed.

Another common requirement is TEFL certification. It may be possible to find a job if you’re not TEFL certified, but it’s becoming more and more difficult. The benefits of certification are plenty:

  1. You’ll demonstrate that you’re a serious teacher, not just a backpacker looking to make extra cash
  2. You’ll be more confident and fully prepared to step foot in the classroom, thus improving your experience and those of your students
  3. If you get certified through globalU, you’ll have guaranteed job placement in one of your top 5 chosen cities.
  4. You only ever have to take the course once, and it’s internationally recognized so you can teach around the world.

In short, you must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma and speak fluent English (non-native speakers are encouraged to apply).

Explore our TEFL Training Course in Guadalajara, Mexico with guaranteed job placement + incredible benefits.

What are the teaching jobs in Mexico like?

There are many kinds of schools to teach in while teaching English in Mexico. A TEFL certified teacher can find work in public schools, language institutes, universities or freelance.

While one-year contracts are the most common, many employers only ask that you commit to at least six months.


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An English teacher may work an average of 30-40 hours per week (teaching approximately 5-7 classes per day), though 25-30 hours is usually enough to support you. Your schedule will be arranged between you and the school.

You may find work in any of the following:

Public Schools

Perhaps the rarest option is to teach English in a public school in Mexico, but TEFL certified teachers can find work in elementary and high schools around the country. These positions will be contingent on the academic calendar (August through July) and will offer a Monday-Friday work schedule with all public and school holidays off (though usually not paid).

Private Language Institutes

Most teachers in Mexico work in language institutes where you’ll find decent salaries, flexible hours and year-round opportunity. Language institutes are usually open seven days per week, and allow the teacher to tailor his/her own schedule. Most students will be present during evenings and weekends since they’re studying English in addition to work or school, so you’ll want to keep that in mind. Language institutes offer the opportunity to work with all ages, or to specialize in one.

Universities

Often the most lucrative opportunities for teaching English in Mexico are in the universities. They typically require both a master’s degree and a TEFL certificate.

Freelance/Private Tutoring

It’s common for teachers who prefer to set their own schedules to earn a living by freelancing their teaching skills. Whether its teaching business professionals in their offices, or meeting with students one-on-one at a local café, teachers can often earn $12-$20 USD/hour and can do this full time, or in addition to another teaching opportunity.

Keep in mind that while the above mentioned employee options will typically include fringe benefits such as health care and opportunities for loans/credits from the government, they will also keep a part of your paycheck for taxes. Freelancing will not come with fringe benefits, yet it does mean you get to keep 100% of what you earn.

How do I get a work permit to teach English in Mexico?

If traveling from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Western Europe, you only need the standard tourist visa issued upon entry to Mexico, for starters.

A 30-day visa allows enough time to complete a TEFL training course or arrive already certified and search for a job, but you may also request a 60-, 90- or 180-day visa instead if you think you’ll need more time.

To obtain either one you will only need your passport. If in doubt please contact the nearest Mexican consulate.

Once an employer extends a job offer to you, you may apply for a working visa. The fee is approximately $3,600 Mexican pesos ($200 USD), and you’ll be responsible for paying for this to ensure you’re working legally. You can simply go to the local consulate to apply.

teaching english in mexico

How much money can I earn teaching English in Mexico?

A TEFL certified teacher in Mexico can expect to earn between $500 – $800 US dollars a month with their first job. This is enough to live on in most places in Mexico. Compare the cost of living here.

How can I supplement my teaching salary in Mexico?

As with teaching English abroad anywhere these days, there is ample opportunity to supplement your teaching salary with private tutoring and teaching English online. In Mexico, private tutoring is relatively easy to arrange with a little advertising, and you can expect to charge between $8-15 USD per hour.

There are a growing number of online teaching opportunities these days, and many offer flexible enough hours that you can do it in addition to your onsite job, either early in the morning or in the evening.

What should I pack for teaching?

Make sure you bring the latest copy of your C.V./resume, your birth certificate or a notarized copy and a copy of any degrees/certificates you may have.

You’ll also want to have your own laptop computer for lesson planning, etc.

You will be expected to dress professionally when teaching, so be prepared with proper clothing (sandals, shorts, torn items, T-shirts, low collar blouses, short skirts, tennis shoes or sneakers are not acceptable).

10 Incredible Reasons to Teach English in Mexico

reasons to teach english mexico

There’s nothing not to love about the friendly, inviting, rich, vibrant culture of Mexico.

It’s the birthplace of mariachi and tequila — two things that, when put together, I’m pretty sure spell “a good time” — and it’s a country with some of the most gorgeous deserts, relaxing beaches, magical villages (really, it’s a thing), volcanoes and mountains, spicy peppers and all the tacos you can imagine.

Is there anybody who doesn’t love tacos?

That’s what I’m saying!

It’s hands-down one of my favorite countries in the world — one in which I’ve spent a lot of time — and unfortunately when I started looking into teaching English abroad, I didn’t realize I could even do it in Mexico. But you can!

And here are 10 incredible reasons to teach English in Mexico:

reasons to teach english in mexico

You can get TEFL certified onsite in Guadalajara

Guadalajara is one of the largest cities in Mexico, which means it has everything you’re looking for in a city experience.

The TEFL course is located in the historic district, right next door to one of the oldest language institutes in the country (where you’ll do your teaching practicum, by the way), and within walking distance to some of the best restaurants and bakeries. You’ll get a quality introduction to what it’s like to live in Mexico, and then you can decide to stay or go.  

It’s a big country, with jobs in every corner!

One of the beautiful perks of the TEFL course in Mexico is that it comes with guaranteed job placement…anywhere in Mexico! You can choose your top 5 favorite locations, and the placement team will do their best to find you a job in one of those. Mexico is huge, and you’ll surely find a location and a climate that suits you.

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teaching english in mexico

The people are incredible

I’ve never met a more welcoming, friendly and open people in all of my travels than I have in Mexico. They welcome foreigners from all over the world without judgment and within no time  you’ll be invited into their homes, or to their hometowns for a fiesta or to the bar for a night of beer and tequila. You’ll make friends for a lifetime, and gain a truly unique insider experience into their culture and traditions.

You can learn or perfect your Spanish

Remember that Spanish you studied in high school but haven’t touched since? It’ll come back to you in no time if you want to improve your skills.

You’ll learn Spanish just by living and teaching in Mexico, because immersive experiences are the best way to force yourself to actually learn.

Of course, if you want to go the extra mile you can take Spanish language classes as well, which will only speed up the learning experience. Did I mention that you’ll get a free week of lessons included in your TEFL course tuition? Yep. Believe it.

The food is world renowned

There’s hardly a pocket of the world that doesn’t have at least a high-end restaurant touching on Mexican cuisine. It’s unique for it’s spices and combinations in a way that stands out from the rest of Latin America.

While true Mexican food differs greatly from what you’re used to in the American Mexican restaurants (still delicious), I think you’ll find it tastes better, and leaves you feeling better, too.

Try the mole dishes, or the famed pozole! And of course, tacos! Psst… it’s worth seeking out fresh-made tortillas whenever you can.

You get to learn how to dance salsa…

Want to dance the night away with your newfound friends, and your new skills? As part of the TEFL course in Mexico, you’ll get free salsa dance classes so you can impress that guy or gal you’ve had your eye on in the course…

….and drink tequila (but you already know that 😉 )

Might I suggest adding mezcal to your palate? It’s a unique and pleasant experience your mouth will love.

You can explore the magic villages

The Mexican government has declared 111 pueblos magicos, or magic villages, around the country, and each are spectacular.

The goal was to promote rich cultural heritage and history of Mexico by recognizing towns that were once overlooked (and when you see them now, you’ll wonder why). Some are recognized for their architecture, others for their food, and still others for their natural wonders, but each is worth a visit if you stay long enough! Here’s a guide to exploring them.

It’s easy to get a visa

This is a nod back to the welcoming, friendly, non-judgmental people: it’s easy even for non-native speakers to get a visa and work permit, making it an easy choice for you if you don’t want to jump through all the bureaucratic hoops some countries require, or don’t want to pay the fortune required of others.

You simply enter Mexico on a 30, 60 or 90-day tourist visa and once your employer extends a job offer, you can go to the consulate and apply for a working visa (this costs about $200 USD).

You’ll gain international recognition

Since you’ll earn an internationally accredited TEFL certification and gain your first 6+ months of experience, you’ll essentially earn your passport to the world. With those two things on your resume, you open up thousands of doors around the globe for teaching opportunities far and wide.

Why stop now?

If you’re ready to get started on your teaching adventure in Mexico, start here.

How Teaching English In Korea Changed My Life… The Not-So-Cheesy Story

teach english korea

Teaching English in Korea changed my life.

It’s true. Cheesy, but true. But I’ll try to save you from all that Cheddar, all that stringy Moz, and tell you an unsentimental version of my time abroad.

Hi. I’m Steve. In 2012 I graduated from the University of Missouri, had no idea what to do with my life, and hopped on a plane to South Korea.  

Does that story sound a bit familiar to you?

It should. If you’ve ever met an ESL teacher abroad, especially in East Asia, that’s one of their basic character traits. And let’s be honest, it’s not as terribly irresponsible as so many folks like to claim.

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