This is my first post so I'd like to introduce myself a little but I have a few very specific questions as well.
I'm 23, have an Oxford Seminars TEFL degree and will (by the time I plan to move to Thailand) have 6 months teaching experience with intermediate adults in the U.S. I hope to move to Bangkok for 1-3 years (or more if I'm sucked in) to teach, explore, and learn about the Thai culture. In a nutshell, I'm young and I want to live somewhere exciting.
I looked around on the forum for a while and did not find any posts which directly answered my questions so here I am... If there are any posts I overlooked please let me know.
I have been trying to find a job over the internet for a few months with no luck. I have heard from several people and sources that the best way to get a teaching job is to simply buy a ticket and job search once you land. As a result of the lack of e-mail responses I've received and general impatience I've decided to try this method. At first I was considering flying over in mid-December (about the 14th as my current teaching semester lasts until the 12th) to try to catch a few schools who lost some teachers after the fall semester, but due to the flooding and my own desire to have as much saved up as possible I was hoping to postpone this until mid-January (say the 11th/12th or 18th/19th). Is this a good plan? If not, what is the ideal time to head over? I've read that jobs are available year-round but the jobs outside of the peak hiring seasons are mostly night-time or other part-time jobs that I would not be able to support myself on, is this true?
I need a livable salary (as in food, rent, and a small emergency savings) for a safety net because although I do intend to come over with a decent savings account built up, I need to have that for absolute emergencies as I am a Type 1 diabetic. In fact, if anyone knows the current price of Novolog U-100 (or something similar) insulin at your average pharmacy, I would greatly appreciate that information (last I read it was about $55 US per vial, so I plan on bringing one year's supply with me).
I would also like to ask if you all can verify for me that I can buy a one-way ticket and obtain a tourist visa from the Thai embassy before departing without having to worry about running into trouble at the airport. I've heard it is easiest to do this and obtain a work visa after being employed, is that so?
Thank you in advance for helping me with these questions and again, if I have overlooked relevant posts please direct me to them.
Hi Nick and welcome to the forum. As for your question on when to arrive, normally December / January are a good time to arrive, then you can travel a bit in Thailand, then either start teaching summer school in March, or job prospect for the new school year in May.
BUT, most of Bangkok is now either flooded, about to flood, evacuated or inaccessible. It will take months, if not longer to clean things up. So far, Suvarnabhumi Airport is still operational, but, once you're there, it would be difficult to access other parts of Bangkok.
Chack out any updates on Bangkok flood latest news, Thai flood, Flood Map, Thailand news, Breaking news, Stock market - The Nation
As far as contacting schools, it's far better to arrive first, take a look around, THEN either call them or go in person with your CV / resume. Thais avoid e-mail like the plague but they do respond well to face to face meetings. If you apply at a language school, the Director of Studies would be western and a native speaker.
As for the insulin, you could contact any of the hospitals. There are many private hospitals in Thailand and they're good. Most services and prescriptions cost far less than in the west, or in North America at least. since you'll be brining a year's supply with you, you'll be OK contacting any hospital that you come across or live near once you have aplace.
As for teh visa stuff, I left Thailand almost four years ago, so unfortunately I can't help you there, but I'm sure someone who can will come along soon.
Speak to your GP before you come and get him to issue you say 6 months worth, its expensive here and Thai's really do know fuck all about Diabetes
really be nice to the doctor
Serial Wolf Bagger
Unless you really have plenty of money to float for a good few months, I would leave off coming til the end of Feb... that would give you a good month to get settled, start applying for jobs, then another month to see a bit of Thailand, Sonkran, etc...
Alot of airlines won't let you on the plane without an onward ticket. Some people get around it by booking a cheap flight from bangkok to cambodia, or somewhere.
I have only once flown out on a 1 way ticket, and that was because I had gone back to UK for a holiday, but the tickets were changed last minute so I had to change airlines. They didn't want to let me on, but I explained it away and it was fine.
If at all possible try to get a multiple entry Non-B visa, though you really need a letter from a school, offering you a job. Failing that, get yourself a double (can you even get a triple maybe??) tourist visa.
OP, you didn't mention a BA/BS degree. ???
If you don't have one, why not wait there until you do? More choices for work here, usually.
Make sure you bring all meds in original containers and have a prescription for all of them.
If you use syringes, you might have a problem with a years worth. You can get them here.
Not sure if that brand/type of insulin is readily available here.
You can arrive with a tourist visa, and shouldn't have a problem with airlines.
Once you find a job, then you can figure out what's next. No such thing as a work visa.
The vocab/terminology for visas/immigration is important to learn so you can ask good questions instead of questions that beg other questions.
I'd suggest finding a job prior to settling in. If it were me just starting out now, I wouldn't limit my job search to Bangkok.
If you can find a job with a place that is eligible for Thai Social Security, such as a government school, you'll have health coverage at a reasonable price, without any pre-existing exclusions. That would take care of your medications.
If you have no degree then you'll probably be working illegally anyway which brings about all kinds of other issues, including likelihood of lower pay and conditions as well as having to look over your shoulder and knowing if you piss anyone off here you're a sitting duck (there's some Thai culture for ya).
I tried to fly to Thailand with a one way ticket in january this year and the airline(Qantas) would not let me board the flight. I wouldn't take the risk if I was you.
As a previous poster said, buy an onward flight from BKK to Phnom Penh with Bangkok Airways, then cancel it when you arrive in thailand (its easy to cancel over the phone, the number is on the website and, you will get about 75% of your money paid back on to your credit card, simples)
All the best
Thank you for all the responses!
Sorry about that, I simply forgot. I do have a Bachelor's degree, more specifically I have a double major (as opposed to dual degree) BS-Psychology/BA-Philosophy. In addition to this I have the 6 months ESL teaching I mentioned before, 6 months teaching adolescents in a pre-juvenile detention classroom setting, 6 months teaching college freshman life skills and a few other odd-jobs where I controlled and directed large groups of students. Most of these don't look so great on my resume but I can talk them up an awful lot in an interview (which is how I got the current job as an ESL teacher in D.C.)OP, you didn't mention a BA/BS degree. ???
It seems that people have differing opinions on being able to enter with just a tourist visa and no return ticket so does everyone agree that this:
is a feasible option?As a previous poster said, buy an onward flight from BKK to Phnom Penh with Bangkok Airways, then cancel it when you arrive in thailand (its easy to cancel over the phone, the number is on the website and, you will get about 75% of your money paid back on to your credit card, simples)
Is a work permit (as Fleabag mentioned) what I'm looking for then? Can I obtain that before arriving?Once you find a job, then you can figure out what's next. No such thing as a work visa.
I have done quite a bit of research concerning health insurance coverage in Thailand and have not found ANYTHING that will cover a pre-existing condition. Particularly the very common BUPA which I believe most government schools offer. Every policy in every scenario I've looked at (including travel insurance from companies based in the U.S. etc.) excludes all pre-existing conditions, though I did find that if I stay on my father's insurance I can get Endocrinologist appointments covered, but not prescription costs, which are the most expensive. If what you say is true and I missed this, I would VERY MUCH like to know about it, so please, if you have any idea where I can look up this information, coverage plan, job descriptions, or anything of the sort, send it my way and I will be forever grateful.If you can find a job with a place that is eligible for Thai Social Security, such as a government school, you'll have health coverage at a reasonable price, without any pre-existing exclusions. That would take care of your medications.
I read on the forum somewhere that some jobs are available year round but they're random, unfortunately I don't remember where on the forum I read this. I also was talking to someone who lived in Thailand for about 9 months and told me pretty much exactly what I wrote. Though he's kind of a shady guy so I wouldn't be surprised if his information isn't too reliable.Where did you read that? It's way off.
Are you saying that I won't have a problem finding a job to support myself on?
and along those lines...
As for your question on when to arrive, normally December / January are a good time to arrive, then you can travel a bit in Thailand, then either start teaching summer school in March, or job prospect for the new school year in May.Unless you really have plenty of money to float for a good few months, I would leave off coming til the end of Feb... that would give you a good month to get settled, start applying for jobs, then another month to see a bit of Thailand, Sonkran, etc...What I am hoping to do is find a job within 2 weeks of landing (or have made considerable progress). I would like to spend week 1 finding a residence and discovering some of the area (I have a Thai friend who will be moving back to Bangkok in December so I'm hoping to get some help from him here) and then spend week 2 onwards job searching full time. What I'm really wondering is if in a month or so I will have been able to find a job that will either be able to keep me employed and supported for the duration of my stay or find a temporary job which will support me until the new school year in May. Honestly, it doesn't even have to be teaching, I just figured that would be the way to go.Slightly off there. Depending on YOU... maybe you can get enough language school work to support yourself but it probably would be tough for someone just flown in.
Long story short I planned to arrive last May and it kept getting pushed back, I REALLY do not want to wait even longer than I already have.
Any and all information is greatly appreciated, thanks again!
I am aware of the flooding situation in Bangkok and realize it is going to make moving more difficult. I originally thought it would mean less teachers would be around, but I realize now that there will be less jobs around I am going to hope that they flood waters recede soon and Bangkok is back up and running soon, but as I would like the majority of my stay in Thailand to be in Bangkok I don't know what else to do besides hope and pray. I'd consider a job in another area of Thailand but I simply don't want to be stuck in a contract that I can't get out of. I deliberately chose Bangkok because If something ever happened with my medical situation I would be in a large enough city/travel hub to find some help, or at the very worst travel back home. To be completely honest, I thought December/January was enough time for schools to start hiring again, but you all would know much better than I would.
I hope for everyone in Bangkok and those hoping to return that the flood waters will recede soon.
Best to find accommodation AFTER the job or you could be onto a commuting nightmare.
Work Permit comes only once you're on the right visa...
Most of us come in on a tourist visa. Once we have a job offer we can take the necessary paperwork to immigration and convert that to a non-Immingrant B visa which means we are now officially here on business. Once you have the non-Imm B visa you qualify for a Work Permit and then, if you are qualified with a degree, you are 100% legal.
It took my school 5 months to sort my Work Permit because they didn't know what they were doing. Thus I was technically working illegally for that time. This Is Thailand.
"I have done quite a bit of research concerning health insurance coverage in Thailand and have not found ANYTHING that will cover a pre-existing condition. Particularly the very common BUPA which I believe most government schools offer."
I don't know where you got the idea that most government schools offer BUPA Insurance. It's not true.
Thai Social Security is not a private insurance company. It's a government agency.
Google "Thai Social Security" and you'll find lots of info.
They do not exclude pre-existing conditions.
With any kind of visa, including a tourist visa, you shouldn't have a problem with the airlines. It's only when you don't have a visa and would be getting a visa exempt entry that you would have a problem.
First of all, you will not have a problem with getting a basic job with the BA and your experience.
If possible you want a job that will get you in the government social security system. As someone else pointed out, no pre-existing conditions exclusion. That is if you want the possibility that you will be able to get insurance for the diabetes. Many EP (English Program Schools) are government run. As are the Rajabahts (teaching colleges).
As for the diabetes, the good private hospitals have websites. Send the questions to them. Recomend the Bangkok Hospitals, Bumrungrad, a bit cheaper will be St Louis, Bangkok Christian, or Phayathai II once you get here, but the first two answer their emails better. The Bangkok Hospital chain is all over the country so that can be a plus.
The best place to ask health questions is post a question for Sheryl over on thaivisa (just add the dot com). She was a nurse and has many in country contacts and knows a lot about best doctors for certain conditions etc and can get you the price of medications as well as pointing you to the best doctor for your condition.
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
Does anyone else have a story about not being allowed on the plane with a one way ticket? I was planning to have a Non-B visa before arriving. Will they let you on the plan without an onward ticket if you have that?
The brave do not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.