Teaching internships are a great opportunity to get some international working experience and travel the world. Whilst you can travel off the beaten path and try to immerse yourself in the local culture as much as possible, it’s never quite the same as living and working in the country. Thailand is an Asian gem, and if you are a traveller at heart, you’ve probably dreamed of exploring it one day.
One of the great things about Thailand is that the living cost is fairly low. In off peak seasons you could stay in a nice hotel in Bangkok for $10 a night! However, whether you want to see the capital, or explore the entire country, you still need healthy travel budget, unless you are willing to work and travel.
TEFL internships offer you that great opportunity to work and earn local and see the country for what it really is. You can make friends with your work colleagues, have dinner with local families, commute, do local grocery shopping, live local – simply put, it’s the ultimate way to travel like a local.
3 Reasons Why TEFL Internships Show You the Real Thailand
1. You become a valuable member of the community
There are many opportunities to teach English abroad in Thailand. You could work in a public school, in a private language academy or in a local University. If you are looking for a shorter commitment you can teach English in summer camps.
Each of these teaching jobs give you the opportunity to become a member of the community in Thailand – a temporary local. You will have a home, a job, work colleagues, a local supermarket, maybe a bar or restaurant you love to eat at for lunch or at the weekends. You pay taxes (do ensure that everything about your employment is legal!), and most importantly, you make a difference.
If you work in public schools, you will be shaping the future of young learners, giving them the opportunity to speak the international language and make the world their oyster. You could also work with local professionals, as part of an academy or by giving private lessons. Either way, you are doing more than just visiting the famous sites – you are bringing value to Thailand.
2. You Become a Better Traveller
When you take yourself out of your comfort zone and move to a new country to live and work, your travel perspective changes. Whilst in the past you might have been keen to try the best foods, see all the famous monuments and find a few secret places, after living and teaching abroad, your perspective will broaden. This is valid for any type of job, but especially for teaching internships. When you work so close with the locals, you understand their traditions, the systems and most importantly, the people. Some restaurants may serve the best Thai food, but imagine learning how to cook traditional food from a local grandmother.
The other great benefits of teaching English in Thailand is that you have the chance to become that temporary local and be perceived as one, at least to some extent. As you will have local colleagues and make new friends, you can find out the ‘real’ best restaurants in town and maybe even go to local birthday parties.
3. You Can Learn the Language
Some TEFL internships include free Thai language classes. However, even if you have to take a language course on your free time or learn from a book, you are guaranteed to improve your language skills. It’s not a requirement to speak the local language, as the schools would expect you to carry out the classes in English only. However, some experienced TEFL teachers do mention that speaking a few words could help you to engage your students.
If you work in a public school in Thailand, you could be working with large classes of young learners, for up to 50 students. In Bangkok the schools are more modern, but in the rural parts of Thailand you can expect to encounter very poor facilities. Therefore, sometimes speaking a few words in the local language can help you become a better teacher, and a better learner, as a traveller looking to discover the real Thailand.
What to Expect
The local currency is Thai Bath, and $1 will give you approximately 33 THB. In terms of salaries, it depends on the institution you work for. Public schools are known to offer lower salaries, but you get the perks of long school holidays and only a few hours of classroom per week.
You can earn significantly more at private schools and universities. For the latter, you also need a degree diploma in addition to your TEFL certificate from one of the accredited TEFL courses.
Salaries for teaching internships vary from $500 -$100 (15 000 TBH – 30 000 TBH). You can earn more on the side if you give private lessons. However, even the lowest salary can help you live comfortably, as the cost of living in Thailand is very low.
In terms of visa requirements, you can enter Thailand with a Non Immigrant B Visa and as you start work your employer can help you apply for a work permit.
If you want to travel like a local to Thailand, start today with one of the accredited TEFL courses at Premier TEFL. This will teach you everything you need to know about teaching English abroad. You can also check TEFL Jobs here, and get an idea of what you will be doing and earning on teaching internships in Thailand.