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Teach English in Thailand in 10 Days

Nov 5, 2007
If are a native English speaker with a college degree in ANY subject you can easily find work teaching in Bangkok within 10 days, just follow the steps below.

Before You Leave:

There are several things you'll want to have in order before you leave to make your job search easier once you arrive in Thailand.

1. Make several copies of your college degree and pack them along with the original in a protective case.

2. Some employers in Thailand will ask for University transcripts so get several copies to bring along with you.

3. Create a resume specific to teaching abroad before you leave. Make sure it emphasizes any teaching, training or travel experience that you have. Save your resume to either CD or flash drive before you go so you can print it at an internet shop in Bangkok.

4. Most employers will ask for references so make sure to get 2-3 letters of reference from employers, co-workers or teachers.

5. Send contact emails to the big English schools in Bangkok before you leave. You should summarize your qualifications, let them know when you're arriving in Thailand and ask for an interview.

6. Pack 2-3 nice outfits for interviewing. This means suit and tie for men and business attire for women, either skirt or pants is fine, but I think a skirt is viewed more positively by the Thai's.

Day 1: Arrival in Thailand

Hopefully you booked a hotel before you arrived, but if not don't worry. There are hundreds of hotels in Bangkok with prices starting under $10 a night. Do some internet research before you go or simply head right to Khao San Road when you arrive.

Day 2: Get Your Bearings

Sleep in late and let your body start to adjust. No job searching today, instead just wander about and start to take in your new surroundings. Back at your room unpack your resume, transcripts, degree etc. Unpack one set of interview clothes. If they are wrinkled take them to the hotel or guest house laundry and get them ironed. Have a good dinner and get to bed early.

Day 3: Get a Mobile Phone

You'll need a number for prospective employers to call you at. Don't give them the number to your hotel or guest house and ask them to leave a message. This is both unprofessional and unreliable. Many messages will go astray or be delivered late. Mobile phones are cheap and easily available in Bangkok. Go to one of the large shopping centers such as Central Pinklao (close to Khao San Road) or Mah Boon Krong - MBK (close to Silom, take the BTS and get off at the National Stadium station) and you'll find many shops selling both new and used mobile phones. Expect to pay 2000 baht (around $60) or upwards for a decent phone. Try to buy new if you can afford it. You can get used phones cheaper, but I don't recommend it. The used phones will generally only last anywhere from 2 months to 2 days and there is no return policy. Save yourself some hassle and buy new, it's still inexpensive.

Day 4: Hit the Computer

Get your resume CD (or the flash drive) and head out to one of the internet cafes. Open your resume and add your new phone number to it and then print out 20 copies. The cheaper internet cafes will charge just 5 baht a copy. Keep your resumes in a thick folder to keep them safe and unwrinkled.

Next, fire up the browser and head over to TEFL Asia where you'll find one of the best lists of available teaching jobs in Thailand. Take a look through and copy any that seem promising to you. Send an email to each of the promising one's and paste your resume directly into the body of the email rather than attaching a file. In the email tell the school that you're in Bangkok and are looking to start immediately. Ask them to review your resume and ask for an interview. Close the letter with your phone number and email address.

By now you could probably use a break to clear your head, stretch your legs and get something to eat. Head out to get some great and cheap Thai food.

Now back to the internet cafe and fire up your browser again to visit Dave's ESL Cafe. This site isn't specific to teaching English in Thailand, but there are usually some Thai jobs listed. Browse through the list and send emails to any of the jobs that look good to you. Just like before, tell the school that you are in Bangkok and are looking to start immediately. Ask them to review your resume and ask for an interview. Close the letter with your phone number and email address.

Finally, send follow up emails to the big English schools that you contacted previously, if you haven't heard back from them yet. Refer to the previous email and let them know that you are now in Bangkok and ready to start working immediately. Close the letter with your phone number and ask for an interview again.

Day 5: Hit the Pavement

Time to actually get yourself out there in front of some employers, so put on your business clothes, grab your resumes, diploma and transcript copies and copies of your reference letters and get moving. The first place you want to go is a photo shop to get some passport type photos. Most of the schools in Bangkok will ask for a photo as part of your application package. You can find numerous photo shops around the Khao San Road area where you can get passport sized photos for around 100 baht for four. Get 12 or more.

Next go check your email since you might have responses from yesterday's inquiries. Immediately call and/or email any schools that have shown an interest to schedule an interview. Make sure to get directions to the school.

The rest of your day will be spent visiting schools. It's not the most efficient way of conducting a job search due to the traffic in Bangkok, but it is good to get some face to face exposure and practice interviewing. The top thing to keep in mind when interviewing is to smile and show enthusiasm.

When looking for walk-in interviews the best place to start is Siam Square because of the large number of English schools. Get a taxi and tell the driver "Siam Square". He'll get you there and once you arrive take some time to walk around. You'll find that there are branches for Siam Computer, ECC, The British Council, English First and Go Chula in or around the Siam Square area. Visit them all and drop off a resume and get an appointment if possible.

After you're done at Siam Square get on the BTS and take it to the Ratchidamri station. Once you arrive at Ratchidamri station walk south towards Lumpini Park about 5 minutes to get to AUA, which is one of the larger and most well known English schools in Bangkok. Drop off a resume and try to schedule an interview.

Don't be discouraged if nothing happens. Remember, the purpose of walk-ins is to grow more comfortable talking to employers.

You've very likely had a long, hot and tiring day. Head back to your hotel and take a long relaxing shower and go get some dinner. Head back to bed early because your next day should be just as busy.

Day 6: Searching The Bangkok Post and The Nation

After you have breakfast head straight to a coffee shop or bookstore and pick up copies of The Bangkok Post and The Nation. These are the top two English language newspapers in Bangkok and are a decent source of job ads, although not as good as they have been in the past. Scan through the classifieds circling any promising looking advertisements. Immediately call those with a phone number to schedule an interview. Make sure to mention that you meet their qualifications and are looking for work immediately.

Now go to the internet cafe to check for any email responses to the inquires you've been sending out. Respond to them immediately by phone if possible and schedule an interview. Also, send emails to contacts from The Bangkok Post and The Nation that did not have phone numbers listed or couldn't be reached by phone.

By now you should have a good sized list of interviews scheduled so you'll spend the rest of the day heading off to interviews. Remember to dress your best, smile, be enthusiastic and polite.

Day 7: More Interviews

After a good breakfast check you email again and call to schedule more interviews with any schools that have responded. You should still have a decent list of interviews and the rest of today will be another interview day.

Day 8: Relax

You've had three very busy days so unless you have a very promising interview scheduled take the day off and relax. Sleep late, get a massage, do some sightseeing, but relax. Do check your email and follow up with inquiries, but try to take it easy today.
Day 9 & 10: Interviews and Contracts

Both days start by checking your email and responding to any inquires. By this time you should have at least one job offer, but do not accept the first offer. Make sure you examine the contract first carefully.

Check your prospective school at TEFLWatch before you accept a position. TEFLWatch has a pretty good list of Bangkok schools with comments from current and past teachers about the working conditions.

Ask questions about the contract and the job. How many hours a week are you required to teach (anything over 25 is too much)? Will the school sponsor a work visa (they should)? Will the school help you to find an apartment? What is the pay (less than 35,000 baht a month is too low)? If you can talk to other teachers at the school and see if they are satisfied with the job. Are they treated well? Are they paid on time? Once you are satisfied go ahead and sign the contract.

By following the steps above anyone with a college degree can easily find a job teaching English in Thailand in 10 days or less. Keep in mind that TESL/ESL jobs in Thailand do not pay very well by western standards, but the cost of living in Thailand is quite low. If you are able to live simply you will be able to cover your expenses and save a few hundred dollars a month. And there are a huge number of jobs available for English teachers. With a nice appearance and some organizations finding a job and becoming an English teacher in Thailand in 10 days is virtually assured.
About the Author
Find out where to get a job teaching English in Asia from the job listings provided. Or check out all of the listings to find an ESL/TEFL job at Teach Overseas - TEFL Jobs
Get more information about teaching in Thailand and other Thailand related articles at Thailand Musings
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