How I landed a teaching job in Thailand

How I landed a teaching job in Thailand

I had wanted to work as an English teacher outside Europe for quite some time. And after I had finished my round the world trip I finally decided to make it happen.

Finding, or I should say, getting an ESL (English as a second language) job outside Europe wasn’t an easy task. For one thing, I am not a native English speaker, the much preferred kind of teacher worldwide. For another thing, I do not have a TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language) certificate. On top of that, I was looking for a job while being in my home country. The odds were against me.

My friend Milan decided to see me off. The very same friend who was the first to welcome me back after my year long trip
It was probably the first time ever I booked a long distance flight ticket just a few days before flying. EgyptAir it is!
After having arrived in Bangkok I had to take a skytrain to the city centre

It took two months before it finally happened. Two months of browsing job postings, writing emails, sending CVs and cover letters, shooting self-introduction and demo class videos, doing research, asking friends and acquaintances for advice. And when it finally did happen, it happened quite unexpectedly and super-fast.

As much as I wanted to find a teaching job in a Spanish speaking country, more specifically in either Central or South America, it wasn’t meant to happen yet.

Mango sticky ricky = a sweet treat on my first evening in Bangkok

I applied for jobs in over 20 countries and territories such as China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Morocco, Oman, Qatar,  Bahrain, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, Mexico, Reunion, but also European countries like Spain and Malta. I must have sent over a hundred applications. I managed to have interviews for jobs in China, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Thailand. Most of them were for jobs in China. And I got offers from all the countries apart from Hong Kong.

I was considering all the options. There was a point when I was ready to start applying for a work permit for China. But I thought better of it. I think my gut feeling told me not to go there. It just didn’t feel right. And the likelihood of working legally in other countries like Indonesia and India was low to zero. Vietnam and Thailand seemed the best options. And I eventually decided to go for Thailand. Why? It really seemed like the best option when it comes to legal employment. It was a safe bet if you will.

My MediaKids Academy welcome pack
My MediaKids Academy welcome pack
Meet Teacher Alesh
The area and school I am assigned to
My name card at the training centre

Like I’ve written it happened extremely fast. And unexpectedly. I wasn’t getting any responses from Thailand for a long time. But after two months I was finally going to have an interview. The interview was scheduled for Wednesday November 16th at 9 am. I had a doctor’s appointment just before that. And actually my phone started ringing just when it was my turn to see the doctor. No way! They were calling me early. So I picked up the phone and had the interview.

Taking Bangkok city buses is one of my favorite pastimes
On a bus from Bangkok to Dan Khun Thot town

The following day, on Thursday, I got a job offer. And after considering my options, just Vietnam and Thailand at that time, I decided to accept it. And I booked a flight ticket. For Monday the following week. That’s right, I was going to fly to Thailand just 5 days after the interview. So I basically only had three and a half days, weekend included, to arrange everything. I couldn’t really believe it was happening until I came to Thailand. It all seemed as if I was plugged into the Matrix. The reason why I had to fly so soon was that I was going to attend a training to be held from October 25 and I was going to start work on November 1.

And so here I am. In Thailand. I successfully completed the orientation training and started working. I am based in a small town called Dan Khun Thot located in the Nakhon Ratchasima province, in the Isaan region (Northeastern Thailand). Stay tuned for more stories from Thailand.

My new home in Thailand
My new home in Thailand
I arrived in Bangkok with two bags but my belongings multiplied there

2 Replies to “How I landed a teaching job in Thailand”

  1. Welcome to Thailand! I’ve been teaching here for 15 years, it’s a great place, and also a great place to do great train trips from. I’ve just returned from crossing Myanmar, Bangkok – Kanchanaburi – Dawei – Yangon – Gokteik, by train and am already planning a 5 day Bangkok – Tumpat – Singapore journey. Sounds like you enjoy train travel as much as I do! Enjoy Korat..

    1. Thank you so much! 15 years! What a period of time! Amazing! And congratulations. I am just at the very beginning. Nice to hear about your past train adventures and future plans too! I have gone to Singapore, although it was not via Tumpat, great nevertheless. And I will want to go to southern Myanmar one of those days. All the best!

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