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Should I stay or Should I go?


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Ok, I have a friend who is going to Thailand to teach English as a foreign language.

I want to go and have been thinking about it for a few weeks now, the hold back is I am tied up to my flat for 2 months beyond the leaving point for the internship that it makes sense to join, the flat can be worked around though I am sure. My heart is saying to do it because I know I will regret this opportunity if I don't do it in the years to come and my head worries about others around me and how my decisions effects them, my flat mate will have to move back in with his parents, etc. I have to be selfish at the same time though but I really don't know.... Has anyone been to Thailand? What would you do?


I think the key term I have used is "I want", maybe that is my answer right there?

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If you have only been thinking about it for a few weeks, have you really thought it through? or do you just want to go because your friend is? If you really want to do this, there will be another intern session that you can plan for and it will be better timing. Also, is there any guarantee that they will accept you if you go now? surely your friend has been trained or has certain qualifications. a friend of mine wanted to do that, but in a different country than that, and had to take tests and then they met a quota already, etc. You can't just "go" on a whim. You also have to have a passport and papers and VISAs lined up. Its not a spur of the moment thing. I understand that this is a dream, but it is a recent dream, and yes, as adults we need to think sometimes about how our decisions have a chain reaction

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Well, I can see that you don't have a clue as to what is involved in doing what you say is your dream. You don't just go to a country and hope that they hire you as a teacher. My daughter is teaching English in South Korea. She had a job secured before she left. She had a ton of red tape to go through. She has a masters degree in English and she took a course specific to teaching ESL. In spite of this, it took about a month before she was offered a job through a recruiter. I have sent her tons of stuff from the USA because it was so much cheaper to buy here and send there, even though she could buy the item there. You need to research the cost of living in Thailand. Once there she found that the calibre of these schools that teach English varied considerably. ....chi

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Very negative response and assumptions.

This opportunity has been something in the mind since October last year but something I have given serious thought and research the last few weeks. As part of the course you pay for you have training, you are given a teaching placement, your living accommodation is arranged, your visas are assisted in being dealt with and you have a monthly allowance given to you as a wage. I have obviously done my research and this is not something done on a whim. There are still places available that is the first thing I have checked Iam also fully aware that I might be placed in a different area to my friend, the fact they're in the country is a bonus but not the deciding factor.

I have worked in education for over a decade and feel like I am in a job that I am bored with and I need a fresh challenge, it has come at the right time for me personally.

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Well, I can see that you don't have a clue as to what is involved in doing what you say is your dream. You don't just go to a country and hope that they hire you as a teacher.


I've actually done that and it worked out quite well - but yes, it was a risk.


I haven't worked in Thailand but have spent some time there travelling and know a few people who have worked there. Personally I'd love to live there for a while and food wise I think you can get by relatively cheaply, but I don't know about rent and I suggest that would depend greatly on where in the country you are.


If I were you, I'd go. It sounds like the set up you have is pretty good and well organised. If you research TEFL sites on the internet, there are various boards for people who teach English abroad where they exchange information about working and living conditions in different countries. I did TEFL abroad for three years (Middle East) and absolutely loved it. It's a great opportunity to do something different and it's also very interesting work.

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This is not true for all countries. There is a HUGE difference between South Korea and Thailand or South East Asia in relation to expectations, red tape and how jobs are obtained. The advice I've recieved from many people who have done the 'Teaching English' abroad in South East Asia is that most of the hiring is done in person. For instance, in Cambodia the advice given is that you rock up in Cambodia and approach schools. Because these countries are poorer and the teaching there is less structured you don't get the same pay and benefits as what you do in South Korea.


By all accounts everything I've read is that Thailand is very low cost and you can live quite well, however you will have virtually no funds saved up because the pay is quite low.

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I know Thailand quite well through my travels, and also know about the teaching game in Asia. For one you need to know where in Thailand you will be living? Second what school, what age group you are teaching and most of all how much you are getting paid baht a month? I'd check out dave's esl cafe on the net if you haven't already, from memory it's a good resource. Thailand is quite westernized from the rest of Asia, they are use to foreigners.


Personally I say go, but I wouldn't choose Thailand with out knowing a few things.

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I taught in Japan for a year on the JET Programme. If you have a degree in any subject they will consider your application, regardless of teaching experience. Japan, like South Korea, has a very formal approach to hiring staff. From initial application to starting can take anything from 6 months to a year.


Less developed countries (though by no means third-world) like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia are a lot less strict about qualifications etc, but usually require seeing you in person before giving you the job. If you aren't really concerned with making money, there are even more options available to you. Check out this website: it is a list of homestays and opportunities worldwide. I selected Cambodia at random to show you what's on offer.


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As for living in Thailand, it can be done on the cheap. This link should prove useful, providing info on living costs in Chiang Mai:

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Hope any of this helps, although sorry for no direct answer to your question!

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Hi Jonty,


Yes! The JET Programme is amazing, look it up. I was only 22 when I did it and thought I had hit the jackpot:


return airfares paid for

most of your apartment paid for

great salary


For example, the 2 weeks I was paid for Christmas vacation basically paid for me to go to Thailand and lie on a beach.


I brought home a few thousand pounds but could have brought home way more if I didn't drink so much and have a good time.

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