Hi everyone! I was planning on making the move last year, but decided to stay a bit longer in USA and save more money. My name is John and I'm currently 24 years old.
I'll be moving to Bangkok and sharing an apartment with my girlfriend. She is Thai and I've been dating her almost 4 years now. She was in the US with me for 3 years and has returned to Thailand since last year. She currently teaches English herself and does some administration at the Language@Click school (has anyone heard of it?)
I'm trying to get a few things straightened out. I will have to get a certification and start teaching soon so I can earn money and live!:
- TEFL or CELTA? I'm sure this is asked a lot and I've read a few of the posts about this, but still don't really have a clear idea. The TEFL looks more attractive to me since there are 6 week classes instead of rushed 4 week classes, and from what I've seen, it's a few hundred dollars cheaper than a CELTA. My girlfriend is saying the CELTA is better and worth the extra money, but that's just what one of her employees said. I asked her why it's better and she doesn't know. It looks like the websites for these schools are pretty dated and confusing.
- I need: passport, college transcripts unopened, and my diploma, correct? (yes I have a bachelors degree)
- Anything i should look out for while trying to obtain a work permit? Sometimes I hear it's simple and easy to find a job that offer these, but other times I hear it's time consuming, expensive, and difficult to find schools that offer this. I'm hoping the certification, whether it's CELTA or TEFL, will help with getting this permit.
- I will be living and probably working right downtown in Bangkok, but I was hoping that eventually I can live in a less hectic part of the city. I guess it's just a matter of luck and searching for those jobs, but any recommendations or tips?
- One of the reasons I'd like to take a 6 week cert. class is so I can have some more time to try and learn some Thai. What is everyone's experience with picking up the language? I'm finding it very hard to learn from my girlfriend over the long distance calling card... I will definitely learn it somehow though. Any tips on this?
Hmm, I thought I had more questions and mysteries, but maybe this is enough. I hope these aren't too repetitive. Thank you!
Welcome to the board zorgitron.
- Your GF is correct. The Celta is a better qual over-all. Fork out the extra cash and get one.
- Correct, you also need a visa and insurance.
- A Celta will help you get a job, not a WP. A WP is all down to your employer. However, being young and qualified puts you in the best situation to get a decent job and a decent job will get you a WP.... eventually.
- Have you been to Thailand before? Bangkok is a big place... there isnt really a down-town in the traditional sense... it is just sprawl.
- The language will come if you apply yourself and practice. There are a lot of free materials online. A good starting point is to build your vocab. A few words a day and you get places fast.
- How much money will you land with?
This is it... The apocalypse.
CELTA is king as far as brand name recognition goes but any TEFL that gives you 120 hours with 6 hours of observed and critiqued practicum with real students is adequate. It is NOT necessary for your visa or work permit. It is NOT a legal requirement to work in Thailand.
- TEFL or CELTA? CELTA, is the best known worldwide and you won't have any problems with it being recognised.
- I need: passport, college transcripts unopened, and my diploma. Money too.
- Anything i should look out for while trying to obtain a work permit? Your employer will take care of the administrative side of this for you. You'll likely only have to turn up to governmental offices to queue and fill out paperwork.
- I will be living and probably working right downtown in Bangkok, but I was hoping that eventually I can live in a less hectic part of the city. I guess it's just a matter of luck and searching for those jobs, but any recommendations or tips? Live close to work, or near a convenient transport link to where you work, eg. MRT, BTS or minivan route.
- One of the reasons I'd like to take a 6 week cert. class is so I can have some more time to try and learn some Thai. What is everyone's experience with picking up the language? I'm finding it very hard to learn from my girlfriend over the long distance calling card... I will definitely learn it somehow though. Any tips on this? Take a class once you arrive.
I visited Thailand in February of this year. I was only in Bangkok for a week and I liked it. I was in Chiangmai for 2 weeks though. I just liked Thailand in general and it was really cool seeing my girlfriend in her home country.
What is this about a visa and insurance? I thought you get a travelers visa upon arrival. What is the insurance for? Is that another huge expense?
I have tried a few and have found learning the alphabet first is enormously helpful.
It is just possible that hollow is in the "protection" business but I suspect he is referring to medical and accident insurance.
The State does not cover your healthcare here; if you have an accident or fall ill then you pay for it.
The good news is that everyone and their dog is selling insurance. Siam Commercial Bank are a trusted organization and they provide some good plans if you bank with them, but there are certainly others.
So I guess I better find out how to get this visa pretty quick then. I only have a month!
In 2010, I got three, two month tourist visas before I came. With this you can stay 2 months, extend 1month, travel out of country and repeat two more times. This gives you a total of 9 months with only two visa runs. Depending on what your plans are getting 1,2 or 3, two month visas before you arrive could save a lot of stress.
Contact your local Thai consulate.
Get a 60-day, double entry tourist visa.
Get a plane ticket and travel insurance (usually costs about $1 per day of stay (as a tourist)).
Fly to Thailand.
Find a job.
Get the paperwork done for a non-b (work permitted) visa. Job offer / contract required to get the visa.
Get a work permit (arranged by the employer).
Extend your visa to 1 year.
Extend your work permit.
Enjoy your 1st year figuring out which way is up.
Find a better job.
Move and repeat the procedure above OR stay with current employer and extend your visa for another year.
Ah, now I'm scrambling to get into a CELTA school. What kind of people plan things 6 weeks in advance? Been too busy fighting the chaos of life! Trying to get into the ECC School, but it doesn't look like their Bangkok branch has any openings for October and doesn't have any more until March 2013... it does look like there are openings in Chiangmai though, for October.
Other very general advice from a guy that moved to Thailand when he was 23 - decide on a long term plan very early on. Staying more than 18 months teaching English in Thailand is going to be a black hole for your CV if you ever want to return to work in the West. If your first job doesn't lead to a better position or if you're not pulling in decent money by then, move on. To do otherwise is setting yourself up for some very difficult years in your late 20s and early 30s.
Do you have coke?
As in get a promotion to a better job so your CV looks better or what? I wouldn't mind staying for two years in thailand or moving to another country like south korea, but I don't want holes in my CV.
with the lower cost of living, unless you are drawn to the bright lights of Nana Plaza or try to live the expat executive life, can easily save much, much more.