I posted my newbie plan a while back and got some very decent feedback on it, but as my departure date grows closer, more questions have arisen. So I turn to you guys yet again
My goal with these questions is to figure out which things I need to worry about now, and which worries I can save for later. Thus, if you figure I've missed something which I should look into, please let me know!
My hope is to land an English teaching job in Phuket. The reason for me choosing this particular area is because my girlfriend lives there, and my initial impression of the place (which, I know, can be deceiving) is quite good. However, I've heard that jobs should be somewhat hard to come by, and somewhat underpaid too, so if Phuket does not work out I will try somewhere else in Thailand.
I do have a few things against me, though; first of all, I am from Denmark, so technically I am not a native speaker. I did, however, write my bachelor's thesis in English (language, not area - my BA is in arts, philosophy/communication), and the majority of my university courses have been taken in English as well. I should hope this counts for something in a potential job-interview situation. I also heard from several people that Scandinavians are thought of by Thai people as being very capable in English.
This leads me to my first two questions:
- Will my nationality be an issue for employers looking to hire Native English Speakers?
Note: I am white (with a big nose, yay), a good dresser, good-looking, good at shaving and good at job interviews. This is supposed to count for something?!
- The TOEIC requirement: from what I gather, I need a TOEIC score of at least 600 due to me being Danish - is this an MoE/TCT requirement, and is it strictly enforced? In other words, is there no dodging this if I want to be employed legally?
Then there is the whole mandatory Culture Course thing; my understanding is that one only needs to complete this after the first two years of employment. Is this correct, or is it something I need to worry about now?
I plan on taking my TEFL course in Thailand. Last time I was there, I spoke to some people who told me that TEFL certificates from Bangkok are held in higher esteem than those from Phuket; is this true, and if so, would taking my TEFL course in Bangkok increase my chances of landing a job in Phuket?
In the same vein, if any of you have personal experience with TEFL providers in the Phuket area, I'd very much like to hear where to go and where not to go.
Another potential problem: I have no teaching experience. I did work for two years in an after-school care centre where one of my duties was to help the kids with their homework. Would this count for something? Should I get a letter of recommendation from my employer?
Finally, does landing a job in Phuket with my qualifications seem possible at all, assuming I meet the official requirements? How about landing a job anywhere in Thailand? Do you have any suggestions as to how I could increase my attractiveness to potential employers?
I do have some money saved up, and paying for additional courses would not be an issue. Living the first few months without a job would not be either. Seeing as how I don't drink and don't have expensive hobbies, my goal is simply to make a living - nothing fancy. What should my expectations be, salary-wise and in general?
I think this should be it for now. I hope I've not asked too many questions, and that you would be willing to help answering them.
Thanks for your time, and for the wonderful resource this forum is
The worst job in Thailand must be the man who has to sit down with a blue marker pen and mark a number two on the two-baht coins to stop people thinking they are one-baht coins.
I can't help you with many of the questions but I'm pretty sure the qualification rather than the place you did it is what counts. The CELTA (which can be done in Phuket) is probably the most globally accepted certificate, is hard work and you would need to teach a number of classes which would be observed by your trainer. This will clearly be better than a course that included no observed teaching. The CELTA is a little more expensive though and I'm sure there are other good courses that also include having your classes observed by an experienced trainer.
Also, I'm pretty sure that doing a course in Phuket would help you find out more about the job market there. Your trainers will be teachers there and will know many other teachers there and will probably be able to help.
Thanks so much for your replies, they were very helpful and comforting
I've been looking into things and set my sights on the CELTA course offered by IH Bangkok, held in Phuket. I've placed an order on some grammar books to help me do the pre-interview tasks. Any experiences/opinions of this course provider?
Also, my question regarding the TOEIC-score is still unanswered. If anyone could help out here it would be awesome!
Once again, thanks for your help.