Teach English in Thailand with CIEE

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The CIEE Teach in Thailand program places individuals just like you in paid semester or year positions teaching English at primary, secondary, or universities in locations all across the beautiful country. Anywhere you teach in Thailand, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Thai culture, eat delicious Thai food, travel on your time off, and boost your resume with international work experience!

From deciding where you would like to teach abroad, to preparing to return to your home country after your time abroad, CIEE will be there to support you. In addition to finding a job for you in Thailand, you will be provided complete pre-departure support including an online course to help you prepare for your adventure in Thailand. You will be given visa guidance, and CIEE will even pay the fee to process your visa! Our 24/7 support and in-country orientation will ensure that you are supported throughout your entire program with CIEE Teach Abroad.

A CIEE TEFL Certification will give you the tools you need to succeed at being a teacher starting on your first day. Learn more about CIEE’s TEFL Certification Courses.

Questions & Answers

Unfortunately due to the nature of this particular program you must sign up for either 6 months or a year. But there are plenty of other volunteer organizations that would be happy to have you come volunteer for two weeks!
Yes, you need a bachelors degree in any field.


based on 57 reviews
  • Benefits 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.6
  • Facilities 8.6
  • Safety 9.6
Showing 1 - 15 of 57
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First Time Teaching

CIEE is very well organized, and the resources they provide are very useful. This was my first time teaching, and I felt that the orientation prepared me well for the classroom despite my experience. CIEE's orientation was also a great place to meet fellow teachers and make friends.

The year's worth of travel insurance was also a great value and provided some great piece of mind (mostly for my mother).

My experience in Thailand was life changing and perspective changing- if I could do it again, I would do it all the same through CIEE.

Yes, I recommend this program
One dumb farang

CIEE and OEG - Don't teach in Thailand without them!

More updates pending recovery.

While I generally feel safe walking among the locals as well as the school I was placed at, operating a motor vehicle, particularly a motorcycle, on local roads is NOT an activity to be taken lightly in this part of the world! Be sure your vehicle registration, taxes, and insurance are up to date. Be sure you are licensed in your home country and Thailand for the class of vehicle you wish to operate. Be sure whatever travel medical insurance plans you have are up to date. Spending time in hospitals in any part of the world doesn't make for the most enjoyable experiences of your travels.

Communication difficulties will abound, even between the most educated of individuals. You'll need the patience of Job in order to get through them at times.

How can this program be improved?
CIEE and OEG are great organizations, but the overall experience will depend greatly on where you are placed!

OEG should require participating schools to attend remedial training about western culture to help schools understand crazy farang and their attitude problems if they don't require this of participating schools already.

Participants who are to become teachers in the program will be expected to participate in the available cross-cultural training available to them at the beginning of the program.

While I understand I'm a 'foreigner' and should not expect the locals to adapt their way of life to match my personal expectations, it seems to me that if foreigners are being asked to uproot themselves from what is quite literally, the opposite side of the world and we are being asked to instruct on aspects of our culture, such as language, and we will need to rely our host schools for support on nearly everything, then in order for the relationships to be successful, the cultural exchange will need to be two-way.

That being said, we could take cultural training and even live in another country for the rest of our lives and we will still 'not get it' at times.
Response from CIEE Teach Abroad

Hi Olaf,

We’re sorry to hear that you’ve had some strange or unpleasant experiences at your placement. Teaching abroad definitely has its share of awkward or embarrassing moments (for people on both sides of the cultural divide), challenging situations, and sometimes even health risks. In the grand scheme of things we’re very glad that you’re OK, and that your CIEE emergency medical insurance was helpful after your motorbike accident. We hope that you’re healing well! Your CIEE coordinator will be sending you a message shortly to see if there’s anything else we can do to assist.

Best wishes,
CIEE Teach Abroad

Yes, I recommend this program

Once in a life time experience in Thailand!

My year teaching in Thailand was the best cultural experience I've ever had! I made so many incredible friendships with Thai teachers and locals within my community. I was able to travel to many places in Thailand and SE Asia. Some of my favorite moments were: making colorful bamboo lanterns with my students for a Thai water festival, scuba diving in Koh Tao, trying different Thai flavors at local markets, jumping into gushing waterfalls, and hanging out with elephants in the northern province of Chiang Mai!

The CIEE support network was very helpful as I adjusted to life in Thailand. From teaching tips to travel ideas, they covered it all. For future participants, don't be afraid to make the move to SE Asia. There are plenty of resources to assist you in the transition.

Not only did this experience allow me to see another part of the world that I've never explored before, but also to truly make a difference. Teaching English as a Foreign Language is creating a brighter future for children through language education. Connecting the world through English! If you want to do something impactful and rewarding then teach abroad. You won't be disappointed!

How can this program be improved?
Overall, I was very satisfied with CIEE's Teach in Thailand Program. One thing that would improve the program is to create an organized event for year long participants. A fun event for the participants to meet again and share stories about their semester in their respective province. A location for this would be central and accessible. Bangkok or Chiang Mai. The event would be cultural and/or interactive. Emails and a Facebook group would raise awareness.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Living Your Best Life

My experience in Thailand through CIEE has been nothing short of extraordinary. I have had a unique placement experience...I was placed in a remote mountainous village up north in Thailand, about three hours from the city of Chiang Mai, and the village is actually majority Chinese rather than Thai, although most students and adults in the community speak Thai as well. The three other foreign English teachers, all from the U.S. and Canada, share two comfortable houses on school grounds (two to a house), so we have no commute! Village life is quiet and simple, allowing me the time I never had before to pursue all of my creative hobbies--yoga, writing/blogging, painting, reading, etc. The village is absolutely picturesque. I've never taken so many panoramic photos in my life. We eat lunch and dinner in the village every night (we've become regulars at a few spots!) and are just a short motorbike ride away from the nearest 711 or Tesco Lotus Express. We go to Chiang Mai, or other northern cities, basically every weekend. It's the perfect balance of work-hard, play-hard. We have a couple long weekends during the semester where we've been able to take longer trips...we're planning a long weekend in Pai in July, and another long weekend to Krabi in August. I personally feel this is the absolute best way to travel...you get paid so well, so I have not had to touch my savings since coming here ONCE! You have a home base to return to every Sunday, making your traveling experience unique and even more memorable than if you were just straight backpacking. The friends I met through OEG's orientation are lifelong friendships and we all meet up as much as we can in different parts of Thailand! This is the perfect experience for all purposes - if you're looking to start fresh, start over, take some type of sobatical from your home country - the laid back, but still structured and accounable vibe here is perfect for resetting. If you are looking to transition from one career to education, like I am, I have been getting many many messages on LinkedIn from charter school recruiters since gaining experience here, and it is such an immersive, hit-the-ground-running introduction to a teaching career!

Yes, I recommend this program
Ryan Bunyon

Do you have what it takes to survive teaching in Thailand?

Whether you are an experienced teacher and/or traveler or a complete newbie to both, you will need to ask yourself three essential questions to determine the answer to the burning question from above^
Are you willing to get comfortable with being uncomfortable?
Do you have confidence in your ability to communicate with others?
Do you possess the skills necessary to inspire, educate, and connect with Thai students ranging from ages 12-18?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Teaching in Thailand will be as interesting, beautiful, and rewarding of an experience as all of the former/ current teachers you've already talked to say it has been for them.
Honestly, the most important aspect(s) of teaching abroad is your personal ability to: handle adversity, make decisions, make adjustments, and at times improvise as well as go with the flow. As long as you are willing to "get comfortable with being uncomfortable" the rest will all fall into place.

For example, if you are having mixed feelings about your ability to communicate with an entire community of Thai speaking people ie. (School administrators, students, faculty, housing director, local food vendors, etc.) you just need to remember that basic communication is always an option, this includes communication through body language and hand singles/gestures. In my experiences, Thai people are very patient and very understanding, so maintaining a positive attitude coupled with a simple smile goes a long way towards communicating a message.

As far as "the rest falling into place", CIEE does a thorough job with facilitating documents and paperwork needed for pre-departure while OEG does an excellent job running a five day long orientation upon your arrival to Bangkok. I could not be happier with how the orientation process went. The orientation group I was apart of was fortunate to have a somewhat small number of teachers (21) which allowed for more 1 on 1 attention than normal from orientation leaders (Kristen, Derik, and Fluke) as well as a unique opportunity for our group to get to know each other on a more personal level. Whether you are a professional teacher or have no experience at all, orientation covered everything and anything a newcomer to Thailand would want to know. Topics covered included: Introduction to Thai Language, Thai Culture / Culture in the classroom, Classroom Management, Lesson Planning, Thai Food/ Money, Thai education system, Health, Safety, & Security in Thailand.

The biggest adjustment I have had to make so far, as expected, is the newness of everything. Everyday so far I have experienced something I have never seen or heard or understood before, which is both scary and exciting/intriguing all at the same time. At times it can be overwhelming, but I am lucky enough to have a great support system of family, friends, and girlfriend back home as well as a group of new found friends from orientation and school, right here, spread across Thailand.

For more insight follow my personal blog @ rythai.wordpress.com

Yes, I recommend this program
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Amazing Experience!!!!

I had such an amazing experience teaching in Thailand. The chance to travel, get to know a whole new part of the world, and a new culture, while also getting to know my crazy, awesome students was really life changing. And CIEE made it so much easier by doing a lot of the hard parts for me: job placement, housing, visa. Having them to handle the intimidating parts, and knowing someone was there if I had any problems, removed a lot of the stress for me and let me focus on falling in love with Thailand and controlling a wild class of 12 year olds!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Best Decision of My Life.

This experience has already become everything I could have dreamed of and more. I did a lot of research before coming to Thailand and was looking forward to it, but it has already surpassed all expectation for experience and adventure. I am a certified ESE, Elementary, ESOL teacher in the United States and graduated with my undergrad this past year. I have always dreamt of having the opportunity to live and teach abroad and this program was the answer to all I could have wanted. The program provides the best support from even before the day you arrive, and the staff treats you like one big family. The location of my placement has been perfect as well, since I am in the mountain area of the northeast region and an avid lover of the outdoors. Every day here I am reminded of another reason why I am glad I made this decision and traveled over 9,000 miles to do something I thought I could originally only dream of. Thankful for this experience and the continued adventures to come! Thank you. :-)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Mary Lane

Every Day is an Adventure of a Lifetime

I moved to Thailand to learn more about perspectives and cultures in order to increase social consciousness and global awareness. Although that was my original goal upon moving from the United States, my experience became so much more. From understanding new cultures, to constantly exploring new destinations that create laughter and adventure; living in Thailand has been an experience of a lifetime. I never understood my personal happiness could sustain itself as much as it has. In America, I pursued, and directed, non-profits for the better part of a decade. Although I loved helping people, I consistently felt like I was fighting against a system that was built to fail. I was constantly drained, and I never wanted to go beyond my comfort zone since life felt so incredibly tiresome on a daily basis. However, since I moved to Thailand to teach English to Primary students, I learned that life is more than fulfilling - it can be exemplary. Instead of constantly being the captain of a sinking ship, I have been able to help each student on a daily basis in different ways. Sure, teaching English to students who do not naturally understand your language can be hard, and like most experiences in life there are good days and bad days. But it also invigorating, and every day is a new day with new offerings if you are just willing to accept them. Plus, being able to travel to islands, beaches, jungles, elephant sanctuaries, ancient ruins, waterfalls, and so many more places is a huge incentive. As long as you are willing to embrace the culture and learn new ways of living, you cannot say "No" to an opportunity like this.

How can this program be improved?
Being able to visit, and be supported, in your local province during orientation with fellow khru farang could be a huge benefit. Also, being able to visit the school with people from CIEE before you are thrown in to the trenches could ease the transition. Orientation is so Americanized that moving to your new province is always a huge shock and overwhelming after the first week of arriving to Thailand, especially since you begin teaching almost immediately. Maybe orientation could be longer in order to achieve this proposition. Just a thought!
Yes, I recommend this program
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It is an amazing experience with the ability to come and travel around Asia. I am still teaching and love every minute of it. I would do this again if I could and would recommend this trip to anyone.

This trip has changed how I look at the world and has taught me how to travel a lot better/cheaper. I would recommend this experience because being able to see how other countries live you are able to better your life.

How can this program be improved?
It could have a little more transparency with where our money is going to.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Experiencing Over-the-Top Kindness

When I got the travel bug, I wanted to just pick up and go. But I had zero idea where to start, and was overwhelmed by all the options...it's a big world out there, after all! I didn't know the first thing about visas, or even where I wanted to travel. I knew I wanted to see tons of new places, but I also didn't want to just bop around aimlessly. I wanted some type of home-base...and I wanted to be able to say, "I LIVED in _____," not just, "I've been there."

CIEE held my hand through my entire journey of deciding where to go--they answered all of my bizarre hypothetical concerns with such tranquility and professionalism, that it made me feel like I could go anywhere and be happy. But they also helped me clarify what I wanted for myself.

Once I made the decision to teach for one semester in Thailand, CIEE guided me throughout the visa process...the resources they provided me were incredibly detailed without being overwhelming, and I've NEVER experienced such incredible customer service...they were always a phone call or quick email away, and always had an answer for me. They kept me sane throughout the whole process.

When I touched down in Thailand, orientation was the perfect way to meet the new people who later would become my close friends and travel buddies, explore Bangkok, and ready myself for the unpredictability of the classroom.

I was placed in a VERY small village three hours north of Chiang Mai. It has been the most incredible experience. I live with three other teachers--two Americans and one Canadian--on the school campus. We are the only foreigners in the village, so the entire population knows who we are and are quick to offer warm smiles and say, "Hello, Teacher!" whenever we're out and about.

We've been blown away by the hospitality and generosity our director, co-teachers, and fellow villagers have shown us. The first weekend we arrived, our director personally drove us (on a Saturday!) to the nearest supermarkets and superstores so we could get things for our house. Our co-teachers are fountains of knowledge about life in Thailand....they often offer to personally drive us to the bus station when we want to travel on the weekends, and are always giving us fresh fruit from their gardens!

Teaching abroad, I've discovered, is the PERFECT way to live in a country and travel. During the week, we kick back and relax in the village. I've been cranking through books, laughing the night away with the other English teachers, and watching so many sunsets over the mountains from our school soccer fields. And then on the weekends, we meet up with the other teachers we met at orientation throughout Thailand. It's great, because we're all getting to see each other's placements, and subsequently seeing all this wonderful country has to offer. It's the perfect hybrid of having a home-base, but also living the backpacker lifestyle.

I think the most heart-warming connection we've made is with a woman in our village, Mei. We eat at her restaurant every day...sometimes for lunch AND dinner (yep, her home cooking is that good). As we've gotten to know her (shoutout to Google Translate!), she's become like a mother to us. One night after eating dinner there (as usual), she took us along with her on her monthly grocery shopping trip. She bought us soft drinks, donuts - literally took us on an outing! She pointed out all the spices and sauces she uses to make her dishes, and now, when we come for dinner, she shows us how to make the dishes we order.

It's this type of unprovoked, over-the-top, unnecessary kindness we've received from Thai people that continually blows me away. I am so grateful to have landed here. My eyes have been opened to the fact that working a corporate 9-5 job is not the only option. I've discovered so many avenues for future travel, compensation, and education, and I intend to explore them all.

Most of all, this experience has made me want to pay it forward...to show anyone who walks into my life the same unprovoked, over-the-top kindness that the people in our village have shown us. I think our purpose on earth as human beings is to make our fellow man feel at home, and I've met so many people here who seem to know instinctively how to do just that.

I'm so grateful for this experience, and grateful to CIEE for leading me here!

Yes, I recommend this program
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A Great Time Across the Sea.

The beauty of CIEE is that when you are trying to make preparations to go to a new land where you can't read or speak the language they really try their hardest to make you feel comfortable. While everything may not go as perfectly as you think they should. CIEE does its best to come close. They give you foreign language classes, they bring in cultural guides and as part of the contract with CIEE you are GUARANTEED living arrangements. It is a good deal in all.

Yes, I recommend this program
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So far I have had the best experience going through CIEE/OEG. They have been supportive from the beginning and through my time in Thailand. The orientation they provided was meaningful and gave us the opportunity to meet some amazing people! I love where I was placed in the East and I still receive emails even after I have already been placed and teaching. Although the program was expensive, it was worth every dollar because they really do help you throughout every step of the way. I LOVE Thailand and I am so glad I did this!

How can this program be improved?
The orientation week should be longer or have more free time to explore Bangkok and meet more people. I think they should also have the school provide a list of what is and what is not okay because EVERY school varies drastically. Also, I started teaching on a Thursday and it was very stressful not being able to settle into my new town/ set up my apartment. My first few days were very long days because I was at school until 4:30 and then had to go around the city (that I wasn't familiar with) to shop for my apartment.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Everyone Should Experience Teaching in Thailand!

I applied to the Teach in Thailand program in February 2018 and started in May 2018. I will be in Thailand for a whole year and would definitely recommend doing this via CIEE. While it might appear quite costly to begin with, you soon discover it is worth it in comparison with other companies.

CIEE will ensure that your accommodation is provided, placement is arranged and communicate all steps of the process, both pre-arrival and when you get there. Airport transfers were also arranged when I arrived. Furthermore, you have the opportunity to participate in a week long orientation program where you get to learn more about Thai culture, experience some TEFL training, take a cultural trip and meet fellow people on the program. It's all extremely valuable and a great way for connecting with people so that you can travel on weekends or holidays. CIEE are in close partnership with OEG (Overseas Ed Group) whose contact details we have and can reach out to for support at any point during our stay.

I was very fortunate to be placed in a great school in Bangkok and I really do love the secondary level children that I teach. There are some really beautiful things to see here along with great food and culture. The people are very friendly and will go out of their way to help you, and ensure you are looked after! I haven't had much opportunity to travel at the moment but I have plans to visit Chiang Mai, Koh Samet, Ayutthaya, Erawan Falls and more!

Things to note before you consider applying:

- This is a real job. I cannot stress this enough. You will be expected to be in school teaching every day and you should take it seriously. For the majority of people, there will be plenty of time for travel as there are longer breaks in October and April, as well as national holidays/weekends throughout the year. It is worth noting however that holidays will vary from school to school and you will find out your own specific arrangements once you arrive at your placement. For example, some schools get Christian holidays whereas others do not. Some have shorter breaks etc.
- Come with an open mind and do not expect things to always go to plan. You will often find arrangements change but that's just part of the culture here - everything is done with minimum stress levels and no matter what happens, it will always work out.
- Finally, while Thailand is quite cheap in comparison with the likes of the US or UK - you should quickly learn not to compare prices with back home. The salary you receive will be in line with Thai salaries and therefore you will just need to be considerate of that in your spending. Having said that, it's relatively easy to eat what you want and do some travelling with the money we earn.

I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone considering it. Thailand has such a rich culture and is so different to anything you will ever do anywhere else. It offers great teaching experience, especially if you are a beginner, and helps you to find yourself as a person a lot more! There's plenty of opportunity to make friends as there is a huge expat community here but it also requires some effort from you to maintain those relationships! You will never feel lonely, just hot (all the time) and be full of smiles.

How can this program be improved?
I think one of the most challenging aspects is knowing what you need to know about your placement before you get there. Every single school placement is different and you will not really find out how it works until you arrive. This includes things like accommodation, salary, holidays, classes, additional costs, transport arrangements etc. While CIEE tries to provide as much information as they can in relation to this, it would be great if the schools could do more to communicate this in advance, where possible. It's easy to appreciate however that with so many different schools and varying arrangements, this can be quite challenging!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Take the Leap!

I can honestly say that teaching in Thailand has been one of the best experiences of my life and I don't believe I would have ever done it without CIEE. I had always wanted to work and live aboard, but I had no idea where to even begin. However, after discovering CIEE through a recommendation from a friend, the idea of living abroad was suddenly much less daunting! It may seem a bit costly, but it is definitely worth it. The staff (Kerry in particular) is amazing and always ready and willing to help you with anything. The orientation was very helpful and fun. Plus, the program in Thailand has the added benefit of partnering with a Thai company, OEG, so you will have in-country support while you are here as well. It has been a great experience thus far.

I absolutely love teaching in Thailand. My students have been my favorite part about this whole experience. They have such a positive energy that even on "bad days" I can't help but smile in class. Their joy and eagerness to learn is quite contagious! I would highly recommend taking the leap and applying.

Some advice before applying:
DO RESEARCH! Thailand is much different than the US. Read up on things like the culture, the weather, and the food before coming. It will greatly help you in the long run.
Be flexible. Thailand will probably not be anything like what you are used to, but if you approach the journey with an open mind and embrace the differences, you will definitely love it here.
Take your job teaching seriously. You were hired to be a teacher, so teach! It is incredibly rewarding to teach here in Thailand, the students are often so eager to learn. So please don't view this as a "paid vacation."

I have been in Thailand now for almost a year and it is going to be very, VERY hard to leave. I am actually considering extending my stay! The experiences you will get to have by becoming part of your school and town's community are unprecedented. I have made so many great friends here, traveled to so many great places, and seen so many things I thought I would never see. Overall, Thailand is a wonderful and breathtaking country and I am so grateful for the time I have been able to spend here.

How can this program be improved?
I know it would be quite difficult to achieve, but I think it would be a good idea to be able to tell participants more detailed information about their placement. A great deal of my stress before coming to Thailand was due to not knowing anything specific about my school.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Teaching in the Village

Teaching in Phu Sang, Phayao is a wonderful experience living in a small town with nice people. It is very rural, and so traveling two hours to Chiang Rai is required to get much western food or supplies. The people are very nice here, and the housing is average for the area: No AC but a decent living space that one can cook in. The students are riotous characters and it's a challenge but also a joy to deliver lessons to them.

Yes, I recommend this program


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About CIEE Teach Abroad

CIEE offers paid teaching positions in Chile, China, Czech Republic, Morocco, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, and Vietnam, and volunteer programs in Spain and Portugal, for university graduates looking to teach English abroad and immerse themselves in...