So I'm a first-timer looking to spend a year in China or Thailand teaching English from the States. I've been looking at gigs advertised in both countries and came up with a few questions regarding Thai schools-
Do Thai schools generally provide airfare (overseas), room/board, Thai language classes, and help with Visa and or is that up to you ?
Is the general salary provided (averaging 30 000 baht/mo from what i've seen) reasonable to live on and not scrounge ?
Plus, as a univ. graduate in Psychology with a summer of official teaching experience, is 30,000 baht reasonable ?
Also, is there anything else I should expect/look out for, in terms of schools, etc. ?
I'm not in Thailand or teaching, I'm sure someone will come along shortly and can give you more infomation.
You can get by with 30,000 Baht a month, it's not much, you'll have to budget it carefully for rent, meals, transportation, clothing, emergency and your weekend night out if needed.
Good luck in your search and welcome to the forum.
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Bitter disappointment awaits to those who expect first world standards in the third world.
^ Ah come on ref_fuse don't rain on his parade. I know you don't like encouraging newbies to discover this shangi-la we call Thailand, but we can't keep it a secret forever!
If Lonely Planet didn't have the one lined entry about Kashmir saying " Don't go there " Then I would not have gone there for 3 months realising that I was one of the first Westerners to go to their war zone in over 10 years. But it was good, the machine gun fire used to send me to sleep.
Just being real ....Mate ...Thailand is a military dictatorship and China is heaps worse.
If you want to challenge the world's most powerful factions, you're going to get attacked in all sorts of ways. That's the nature - the essence - of power: it is capable of exacting a cost for defying it.--Glenn Greenwald
Whatever you do here, you will mostly do on your own, a lot like life. In other words, don't expect too much help from your school or anybody else.
In BKK, 30,000 is NOT enough to live any kind of enjoyable life. Maybe ten years ago, but not now.
30k is low in Bangkok, but it is certainly manageable (depending on your lifestyle). I was pulling in around 45k in Bangkok, and only spend around 25k a month and that is with a condo that cost me 11k a month. I have a Mrs and don't really go out much though, you could easily blow a ton more money if you like to party or you don't know how to save money.
One fast example: My first two months in Thailand I was spending like 4-5k a month on Taxi's. Then once I nailed down bus routes, mini buses, and all that good stuff.... my travel expenses dropped down to like 400-500 baht per month.
Basically what you spend depends on your personality and tolerances. If your a simple guy, then you don't need much. If your chasing beer and hookers, then you are gonna need a bigger budget.
Remy, just try to keep in mind that you have little idea of these cultures. Being treated like a kid, broken promises and a whole lot of other things go on here. Have to adjust to it.
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No. And I doubt you'd want to live in an apartment that a school would provide anyway.room/board
LOLThai language classes
They will usually pay for the visa itself, but you will have to pay airfare and hotels to the country where you get the visa.and help with Visa
Completely depends on your lifestyle and where you live. If you want to live in Phuket, then forget it. Bangkok is doable but difficult. After awhile you'll find cheap ways to live. Go to markets to buy food (it's MUCH cheaper), stay away from taxis, don't turn on the A/C, drink beer at home, etc.Is the general salary provided (averaging 30 000 baht/mo from what i've seen) reasonable to live on and not scrounge ?
Probably, although a TEFL would be good too. My first job in Thailand they didn't care about my teaching credential -- all they cared about was my degree and my TEFL certificate.Plus, as a univ. graduate in Psychology with a summer of official teaching experience, is 30,000 baht reasonable ?
i was 25 when i first worked in bkk worked hard, but had a blast too. you woulda too!!
Remy... my 2-cents is:
you can live off of 30k baht. can be done. you will need to be savvy about using air conditioner in your apt and behavior like that. just being cautious and conservative and you will be ok. if you can hold your own as a teacher, youll find in time, opportunities to teach privately for somtimes good pay (locally).
saving money is a problem, and really, you need to go to east asia to bank money. one of the unique things about teaching in thailand is that a lot of schools let teachers adapt and be creative in the classroom. that isnt always a carte blanche for lesson design, but nonetheless, you can use new ideas, experiment and grow. you may not have a lot of resources, but if you wanted to develop yourself, grow as a teacher, thailand provides pedagogical contexts that are fun and manageable (only in university do you have classes with 80 students), not many rowdy students.
give it a whirl. depending on your taste, i dont know you-- but personally, id work in a regular elementary/high school/university than a language academy. the perk of the academy is the commitment is purely business. you dont want to run out and cancel classes on any type of school if you left- thats no good. but working in a regular school is more commitment. when you sign up to be a grade 3 teacher, for example, you need to get in there for the long haul for those kids. teachers who come to work at a school and stay for 2 months disrupt the learning process. its nice to have the foreign teachers, but when the kids get 3 english teachers per year, learning for the kids becomes a bit impersonal and dry.
that happened to me, and i understand sometimes a job situation doesnt work out and you need to leave before a years time. but there are teachers that come here with no intention of staying past whenever its convienient. stick it out- at least a year.
30K is a low salary. You'll need to be very careful with your spending. Don't expect to save much. I would look at this as an opportunity to learn how to become a better teacher. Work hard in the classroom and have a blast in your free time. As long as you're not spending more than you're earning, you should be ok. Just keep your life in balance. After you have a year under your belt, you can look for higher paying positions. Schools tend to like it if you have teaching experience in Thailand (or Asia).
You'll be fine. It will be a great experience for you and I wish you the best of luck!!