Teach and Travel in Thailand: TEFL Internship

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About

Ready to visit the land of smiles? Start teaching English in Thailand on our 2 months teaching internship. This fantastic opportunity will take you to beautiful Kanchanaburi to embark on an amazing teach and travel adventure.

You'll start with an exciting orientation in Ayutthaya, which acts a great location to familiarize yourself with your new stunning surroundings whilst you get to know your fellow TEFL travelers.

Once you're settled in, you'll start 7 weeks of hands-on teaching experience in Kanchanaburi where you'll work in small local towns and villages. The children here may never have experienced a native-English speaking teacher before, so the impact on your students will be invaluable.

After you complete your amazing internship you'll have the chance to visit the exotic island of Koh Samet where you can celebrate on the beach with all the other your fellow teaching travelers on the program.

Questions & Answers

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Reviews

7.44 Rating
based on 9 reviews
  • Growth 7.2
  • Support 5.9
  • Fun 8.2
  • Housing 8.2
  • Safety 7.2
Showing 1 - 8 of 9
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Elizabeth
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a lifetime opportunity!

This experience truly was once in a lifetime!
As a college leaver looking for travel and unique experiences, I came across this internship. I had no previous teaching experience nor was I planning on going into teaching as a career. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and would definitely now use the qualification I have gained to teach again in other countries.
The initial induction when you arrive informed you of where you would be teaching, with whom and other useful information including Thai phrases, dress codes and useful contacts. I was placed at a school with another intern, where we lived on the school grounds in a traditional Thai home, a 10 minute cycle from the next school where 2 other interns were teaching. Our timetable consisted of teaching all ages at the school, some with assistance from the English teacher there and some without. Planning the lessons and insuring they were interactive was a vital part as the children's focus was easily lost in younger years due to the lack of Thai spoken by us. All the teachers and students were so welcoming and loved every second we were there. On weekends we could travel around so did this in small groups from the internship program, visiting places such as Bangkok, Pattaya, Kanchanaburi and many others. Finally, the last week was spent on an island relaxing with the other interns and was definitely the cherry on top of the whole experience. Would 100% recommend, the children are genuinely a treat to teach and no previous teaching experience was needed!

Default avatar
Ana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TEFL teaching in Thailand

I thoroughly enjoyed teaching and living in Thailand. I met some amazing people along the way and it is definitely something I would recommend to anyone! When I wasn’t teaching during the week, the weekends were spent travelling the country. I loved the culture, the food and the whole experience was amazing! Teaching the kids was the best, it is classroom training you can’t get anywhere else and the 120 hour TEFL course was the perfect set up for working abroad. Can’t fault it!

Default avatar
Jennifer
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience!

I spent six amazing weeks teaching English to Thai teenagers in the Kanchanaburi province and it totally transformed my perspective on many things in life. Even at the age of 27 I found that I learned a lot about myself, made new friends and realised what my priorities on returning to the UK would be. I totally recommend this programme to anyone who wants to trial teaching English before committing to a 12 month contract - it's a fantastic opportunity to gain practical experience in a supportive environment. I also recommend to anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the 'real' Thailand. For anyone who's priority is to travel Thailand, I wouldn't consider this programme unless you plan to travel afterwards. This is a teaching programme and you should be taking the time to deliver engaging and effective lessons. You do have weekends and public holidays off to explore, but you are expected to remain on campus during school time and you should be looking for ways to get involved with the community and make a difference to the students. My tip is that the more you put in, the more you'll get out of it!

I taught in a secondary school and absolutely loved teaching teenagers. You can have a lot of interesting chat and fun with them! One of my favourite memories was being ambushed by my class of 17 year olds in the evening. They pleaded for me and my co-teacher to go with them to the next town and sing songs at the market. We jumped on board and found ourselves singing pop songs to raise money for less fortunate children in Thailand. I was so inspired by the students and glad to be part of the social action.

In advance of the internship I received excellent support from the i-to-i TEFL team. I also felt very prepared after completing the online TEFL course and an additional classroom practical course. The in country partners were also fantastic. They delivered a comprehensive orientation including trips that introduced us to Thai culture and food. Throughout my stay they made sure that I was safe and happy.

Finally, the Kanchanaburi province is a great place to be. I was only 30 minutes from Kanchanaburi town where there was a great backpacker scene and plenty to see and do. I was also a very cheap, two hour mini bus ride from Bangkok. After the programme I joined the organised trip to Koh Samet island. It was a beautiful and a fantastic way to relax after teaching.

What would you improve about this program?
More clarity from the schools on what the students have learned from previous interns (to avoid repetition), and on what topics would be most useful for interns to teach.
Default avatar
Jamie
3/10
No, I don't recommend this program

AWFUL COMPANY DONT GO NEAR

From the very beginning you get ripped off (scammed in my opinion). You get charged an application fee to sign up to the initial internship with I-to-I, thinking oh this isn't too bad? Wrong. 6 months later I still feel like I’m paying for everything myself.

You get introduced to the Thai company that are running the internship. They pay you a low monthly salary in my opinion. As well as this, your contract is on an hourly rate so if you miss any classes due to public holidays, you are obliged to work these on your days off (Saturday's) otherwise you lose your pay.

If you go to Thailand without an agency, there’s a chance you’ll get higher pay (a whole lot more, and sometimes more with a degree).

Speaking of degrees, the partner organization takes your ORIGINAL degree certificate and transcripts so I found it difficult to leave the internship. As well as demanding a lot of fines and charges if you do leave them.

In terms of communication they do not care, we have went weeks without receiving email replies from them.

When asking why we get underpaid, I felt we received a disrespectful answer.

They pay for our accommodation but we pay for bills. And the landlords go to any cost to keep your accommodation deposit.

Upon arriving you’ll have to pay out of pocket for for visas and work permits. We did not receive our visas to stay in Thailand until December after being there for two months, and we had to pay overcharges as a result. (They also pulled us from school for this, so we were deducted pay from school). As well as this we did not receive our work permits until February -- a week before the internship finished.

The schools themselves, we did not get allocated a school until almost a month of being in Thailand. I was moved from place to place by the partner organization with no permanent job. I moved from Bangkok to surin and then got moved all the way down south after some miscommunication and told I was working up north. It wasn't until the end of November (after having to use my own savings to survive as I was depending on a promised job) that I was allocated a school. For the selection process, there was 8 of us and we had to line up in front of 200 Thai teachers as they all analysed our appearances and bidded on who they wanted at their schools. We were then sent to each school after the partner organization told them we were all qualified and experienced teachers from England! When specifically the internship said that we did not have to be qualified to do the internship. So all the schools assumed we were amazing enough to run our own English courses.

I did not receive pay slips. I got underpaid each month. They do not reply to emails. Proceed with caution.

We did not receive a finish date and upon asking about a finish date since December we were ignored.

We were also told by I-to-I and the partner organization to not book flights home on the 31st of March when the internship ended. So everyone booked a few days later. We then asked about our visas, and the partner organization told us they would only pay for our visas until the 31st.

We worked 7am-16:30pm every day. But only got payed on the hours that the teachers actually signed our lessons for. It is advertised as a 5 month internship but we only got paid for 4 month, and one of those months was only half a month worth of pay.

You could go to Thailand, go to any school with a degree of any kind and be on a comfortable monthly salary and pay for a nice apartment with a bit of a spending cushion.

Beware and proceed with caution.

Response from i-to-i TEFL

Hi Jamie, we are very sorry to hear that you feel this way about your Paid Thailand TEFL Internship and hope that we can resolve this as best we can.

Firstly, the application fee covers your accommodation, TEFL course (if you weren't already qualified), support from i-to-i and all the work that our in-country partners do. This includes assessing your application, supporting you throughout the internship, finding and placing you in a school, helping organise your visa and work permit and conducting your orientation - just to explain why this is charged.

Secondly, the money earned is a living allowance rather than a salary as is the case with most internships, TEFL or otherwise. Internships are generally paid lower than permanent positions as they form training in your field of qualification and help you gain experience for a future permanent position. For this reason, you would likely earn a higher wage if you were to get a permanent job in Thailand, rather than taking part in an internship but the internship is intended to give you teaching experience and a taste of TEFL life before you make the decision to apply for full-time roles.

Regarding the pay conditions (hourly rate, working back public holidays), these are laid out by the schools and the Thai government. We appreciate that this may be different to other countries and cultures but unfortunately, it isn't something that we have any control over and we can only comply to the law in Thailand.

If you wanted to leave the internship early, this would cause issues with the school as this would mean that they would need to advertise for and hire a replacement teacher part way through the term. This can also damage the relationship between the school and our partners as they rely on them to provide teachers who are willing to stay for the full term. In addition, the partners would need to keep your degree certificate on file for the entirety of your internship for the authorities to verify you and ensure that you could stay in the country if this was ever under question.

In terms of landlords, this again is something that we have limited control over. Our partners do their best to place our interns in accommodation which is clean, comfortable and in a good location, within walking distance of their schools. Private landlords are not working with us or our partners, they expect rent to be paid every month (from our partners) and can withhold deposits if they believe that damage has been done to the property. Our partners will help out with this as much as they can if any interns feel that this is being unfairly charged.

Regarding you being moved around schools, this does appear to have been a communication issue between the schools and our partners and we can only apologise on behalf of them. You are correct in saying that you don't need experience to partake in the internship so it shouldn't have been claimed that you were experienced, apologies again if this was the case. However, during the internship, the school you are placed in will expect you to hold your own lessons and this is what the TEFL training course is designed to prepare you for.

Furthermore, quick and informative communication is something that we pride ourselves in here at i-to-i and our Customer Team will do their best to respond to emails within 2 working days of receipt. They are also immediately contactable by phone during (UK) office hours. Apologies if our partners were not as quick with their responses, this is something that has since been improved upon.

As of May 2017, we have changed the partners that we work with in Thailand but we are still running a Paid Thailand TEFL Internship successfully and we have taken on board all of the feedback given by previous interns to improve on it as best we can.

We really appreciate you taking your time to raise this feedback and we sincerely hope that this reply has gone some way to explaining the issues presented.

Kind regards,

The i-to-i team

Default avatar
Celeste
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience!

Hi!
My experience with my Thai Internship and GES Thailand was a wonderful experience. I was able to meet new people, great traveling, and an overall memorable time. The GES team were wonderful with helping me with my paper work, teaching, and living arrangements. They were very nice and helpful with everything I needed.The Orientation was a big help as well because I got to meet other interns and make life long friends and it also helped me learn Thai culture, language. A lot of my questions and concerns were answered as well. After Orientation, we had about 2 weeks to travel and explore before school started which was perfect to get a hold of my surroundings. Overall, I feel that I have grown as a person with this part of my life.I had such a great experience with this internship that I stayed to teach in Thailand and I am very happy with my choices and decision to stay. I would definitely recommend this Internship!!

What would you improve about this program?
For the Orientation, I would focus a longer class time on the language. That would be helpful.
Default avatar
Sarah
4/10
No, I don't recommend this program

DISGRACE

I have been in Thailand since the 11th of October and still have received no placement. I have been moved twice (one of which was a two day journey). Four weeks later and I am still waiting for someone to contact me in relation to my placement. So far I have been moved twice, with no guarantee of a secure placement. I received a call from the company the night before last asking me to go to Singburi, where I was supposed to be forwarded the details of the school/accommodation etc. and starting in a kindergarten there today. Yet I have received no information whatsoever.
At this stage, I am extremely concerned with the lack of understanding I and the other interns have received from the staff at i-to-i. I 100% agree with all the complaints noted above

Response from i-to-i TEFL

Hi Sarah, we're very sorry to hear that you had a negative experience on our Thailand TEFL Experience. The issues regarding your placement appear to have been down to miscommunication between the schools and our partner company over in Thailand and we can only apologise on behalf of them.

Our partners and our own support team work hard to ensure that our teachers are placed in suitable schools as soon as possible but there are some factors that are out of our control such as last minute decisions made by schools. Our partners will always try and resolve these as best they can and they carefully select schools that are more reliable than others to prevent complications arising but unfortunately, some outcomes are unforeseen.

Since 2015, we have made significant changes and improvements to our Thailand TEFL Experience and we now receive consistently positive feedback for this program.

I hope that your overall experience was a positive one and that you have since gone on to continue your TEFL career successfully.

Kind Regards,
The i-to-i Team

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Chloe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best summer adventure

I had a wonderful experience which allowed me to explore a new country, get valuable teaching experience and a recognised TEFL qualification. Plenty of information is provided before and during the trip making this new experience an exciting adventure rather than a terrifying trip. The week days were spent teaching in an environment where you had freedom to plan your lessons how you want but access to ideas and help from the teachers in the school if needed. This was reassuring as I had no teaching experience before this. The weekends were spent exploring and travelling with like minded people and the last week was an island break on Koh Samet. We went to the full moon party, temples, museums, famous landmarks and an elephant sanctuary just to name a few things. It was something I had never thought of doing until I had seen it online but it was the best decision I've made and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Default avatar
Josh
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing trip for first year Uni student

What an incredible trip. I personally think that this type of thing is so much better than just travelling around SE Asia. Getting to know real Thai culture, living in a community, having a base at the school in-between the crazy weekends around Thailand, made this trip so much better! As someone that can be particularly shy and had never travelled like this before, I was surprised how quickly you get into it, with no worries or issues. Teaching is a huge learning curve and can really be enjoyable if you give it your all. Kids were great and teachers so so welcoming. Needless to say that I met some amazing people and hope to keep in contact with a few of them for the rest of my life. Surreal experience and something that cannot be summed up easily.

What would you improve about this program?
Letting people know that the schools are quite far away from each other, weeks can be quite solitary. I had the best partner, but I know some people felt a bit claustrophobic at times.