Have you ever considered going to teach English in Asia?
I did, and I chose Thailand. What a perfect choice it was. I am currently teaching at a Shane English School in Pattaya which is in Chon Buri province in Thailand. Pattaya is only two hours south of Bangkok so it is really accessible. Over the course of a few posts, I am going to be giving you insights and tips on living and teaching in Thailand. Although most of my experiences will be from Bangkok and Pattaya, they will be relevant to help travellers and future teachers in most areas of Thailand.
Or you could find out more about our job opportunities here: Teach English in Thailand
When choosing which area to live and teach in there are a few things to consider. These are personal considerations and will depend on what type of person you are and what your hobbies are. If you are a beach bum like me and love to be poolside, then one of the coastal cities or towns would be best for you. It is also good to remember that although island lifestyle is appealing, the teaching jobs on the islands are few and far between. They also have lower salaries and the teaching environment can be very rural. The great thing about Thailand is that many of the main cities on the mainland have amazing picturesque beaches, too. So look into schools in Pattaya, Sattahip, Chon Buri and Hua Hin.
Big City Life
If you see yourself as more of a cosmopolitan person who is afraid to leave behind your big city life then have no fear, Bangkok is here. And it is incredible. Bangkok offers a real big city lifestyle, with enormous shopping malls and food courts you have ever seen and has this amazing buzz of a busy city, you will never be out of things to do. There are nightclubs, bars, restaurants, markets, massage parlours and more. I could go on about Bangkok forever because there are so many different areas and new things happening you would never have time to do it all. This is a place for an on-the-go person. If you are looking for some chill time in Bangkok, however, they have the beautiful Lumpini Park, which is home to a number of Komodo dragons, a must see. Like most cities around the world, living in Bangkok is slightly more expensive than other smaller places around Thailand, so this is something to consider when making your decision.
Some teacher may prefer moving away from the hustle bustle of Bangkok to a slower, quieter side of Thailand, like the mountainous north of Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai has a very different pace of living to most other places in Thailand. Here you won’t have your pristine beaches, but you will have amazing jungles and mountains around the corner for you to explore. Although Chaing Mai covers a large area, it is a calmer and slower pace compared to the touristy beachside cities and Bangkok. There is a range of teaching jobs available in Chaing Mai, and I have been told the cost of living is much less than other areas. So this may be an option if you wish to save on your trip and are happy with a quieter lifestyle. I personally like to visit Chiang Mai as a holiday retreat as it is a quick flight from Bangkok, but I enjoy my beachside lifestyle too much to move.
I am loving Pattaya, I chose it because it is close enough to Bangkok to go for day trips or overnight, my apartment is 300m from the beach, and because there are a lot of westerners here, the city accommodates for that. In Pattaya, you have access to everything you would need back home, even British newspapers at the local supermarkets. The area is geared towards expats, which is great as there are times when you need those home comforts and it’s good to know you can get them. Working for Shane English School is also great they currently have branches in Pattaya, Sattahip and Chon Buri area. The schools are well equipped and staff are very accommodating. Working for a school with a few branches is great as there is a nice network of teachers you are able to meet and socialise with. You also have Thai teaching assistants who help run the class and are super friendly and helpful, even if you need assistance with things outside of school such as finding an authentic, inexpensive Thai food spot.
You can learn more about Pattaya here: The Ultimate Guide to Living in Pattaya as an ESL Teacher
There are many factors to weigh up, but making the decision to move to Thailand is a very exciting one, and should not be a stressful one. This is why I am going to tell you everything you need to know about moving to Thailand. I will cover topics such as finding an apartment, cost of living, eating in versus street food, and teaching schedules versus free time, plus much more. (You can sign up for the Saxoncourt newsletter to get all these articles and more.)
And if there are any topics you would like me to cover or if you have a question on moving to Thailand I may be able to help with, feel free to reach out on Twitter @The_Curious_T. I am happy to give you advice. If you are interested in finding out more about positions at Shane English Schools have a look at their website for any new position available.
Want more articles like this? Make sure to check out Saxoncourt’s teach abroad blog.
About the Author
Tatum Condon a 27-year-old South African girl with an Irish family. Her dream growing up was to be a mechanical engineer for Formula One’s Team McLaren. Any sport which is in water, she does it. Even if the water is frozen, count her in. She is currently teaching and living in the land of smiles, Thailand, while sharing stories of my life adventures and experiences. She hopes you enjoy.