Hi all! My name is Hilary. I'm 24 years old, currently living in Atlanta, GA. I graduated college 2 yrs ago with a BA in English/Creative Writing and have suffering through lame desk jobs and itching to travel ever since. Now it's all happening! I'm moving to Thailand! My boyfriend and I bought one-way tickets and will be flying to Bangkok on July 8.
Our plan is pretty much this: go to Thailand, then figure it out. However, we both have some money saved up so we're prepared to take a little time to find jobs. We also just got TEFL degrees so we're qualified (at least on paper) to teach English.
Other than that, we're pretty much winging it. But I've heard from a good number of people (and the newbie FAQs on Ajarn.com in particular) that it really is best to wait until you get to Thailand to find a job. Which is cool with me because I'd like some time to get a feel for the country and explore our options before signing on to anything.
We are particularly interested in Chiang Mai, simply because we've heard such amazing things about it, and I like the idea of being in a sizable city that isn't Bangkok. I know (I know!) it's one of the more competitive areas to find jobs since everyone wants to live there, but can it be done? You gotta start somewhere, right? Are there other similar cities with more job opps that you'd recommend checking out?
We've also been told that we should get 60-day tourist visas so we were going to go to the Thai Consulate here to try to get those, but I was wondering how crucial they are (given that you get that free 30-day visa upon entering the country, which can be renewed automatically by just leaving and re-entering the country, right)?
ANY advice about visas, finding jobs, or anything else would be much appreciated, as would kind words of encouragement.
Thanks! Excited to be here!
Oh boy I can't wait to read the responses to this one.
Are you and your boyfriend polyamorous by any chance?
Hi Georgia Hilary.
You have made a wise decision to get the 60 day visa.
"Take this, brother; may it serve you well."
When it comes to tuk tuks or motorcycle taxis, tell them where you want to go and then tell them the price that you want to pay(preferably in Thai.) Asking them how much it costs, especially in English, can increase the price by 100-200%.
Seems like a good plan to me. CM is one of the best cities IMO. They have a high pressure inversion problem and a low wage reality but score high in most other criteria. The people are more courteous than other parts of Thailand and I found them to be very good motorists by comparison. Y'all should do just fine.
Get your visas before traveling as it will make things much much easier, you should be able to get a double tourist visa in the US which can be good for 6 months. When you arrive you will get 60 days and this can be extended in Bangkok before it expires for another 30 days, after that you just need to pop over a border to activate the second part of the visa.
Chiang Mai is expensive and has low wages from what I know because it is such a nice place, I would try n find a good job somewhere and visit there on holiday. You need to remember that in general you get 3-4 months holiday a year whilst teaching so it's not like you will never be there.
Daniel Bedingfield claimed that his new album is what it would sound like if Sting, Stevie Wonder and Micheal Jackson were in a basement together - I haven't got the album so I'll have to imagine the sound of a blind bloke and a Geordie kicking the shit out of a pedophile.
I've started my own blog. It's not very good -
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Thanks for all the info so far! Not polyamorous now but I'll let you know if anything changes. A couple new questions: currently in the process of filling out my tourist visa app. It asks for length of stay- should I just put 60 days even though I plan on staying there much longer? Is 60 the max you can put on a tourist visa without raising eyebrows or should I put 90 (or more) in order to get those extensions? Also it asks for a reference person in Thailand.. can this just be anyone I know who's living in Thailand? i.e. the guy who runs the hostel we're staying at when we first get there?
You can change your status from tourist to non-b PROVIDED you have more than 21 days remaining on your allowed period of stay so a 60-day visa gives you breathing space.
Also, be aware that they won't let you board the flight (in the US) going to Thailand on a one-way ticket unless you can show onward or return passage from Thailand (visa waiver restriction).
Bring your original degree(s) and official university transcripts. Get a state level police check as well (just in case you are asked for one). It is a requirement even though it is not usually asked for. Better employers will ask for it as well.
Changmai is a bit of an underpaid, over competitive market but if you head 100km in any direction the odds of finding work quickly go up to ~100%.
You have a TEFL degree or just a 30-day (or less) certificate?
is CM tougher to find a job then Bangkok would you guys say?
Welcome to the board hilary... Tell us a little more about yourself...
This is it... The apocalypse.
At the risk of sounding like the pedantic ass that I am, if you claimed a TEFL degree (BA. TEFL / BA. TESOL) on your resume and attached a scan of a generic on-line TEFL cert. (BTW - 20 hours of observing a class is NOT an observed practicum) to your application then you probably wouldn't make it to the interview stage.
Go east 100km or so from CM and the jobs will fall into your lap.
Did that 20 hours of practicum include any teaching by you? It's easy enough to observe someone else, but having your own teaching chops scrutinized is another thing altogether. If you did have a chance to get up in front of a class and observers, how did it go?
Last edited by Bangkok Phil; 14th June 2012 at 07:19.