Bangkok, or Krung Thep in Thai, is home to over 8 million people, and you can become friends with all of them if you complete your TEFL course there. Alright, that’s false because that is a whole bunch of people. It is guaranteed, however, that while completing your certification you will meet many new pals. The friendliness of Thai people is just one reason to get your bum on a plane right now. This metropolitan city holds breathtaking Buddhist temples, nearby beaches, exotic food, and is the heart of the country.

However, there is a growing need for English as the city continues to expand. See if getting your TEFL certificate here is right for you.

When it comes to deciding which type of TEFL course to take, Bangkok has many options. Before choosing which type, you must decide what you want to get out of the program and what your future plans are so that you can get the most out of your experience. Is it necessary for you to have a guaranteed job when you finish? Is your wish to stay and teach in Thailand afterwards, or move to a different country to do so? Do you want more hours of teaching practice in the classroom? These questions will help determine what type of program you want!

120-hr TEFL Courses:

120 hour TEFL courses are popular offerings. They exceed the recommended minimum of hours and typically last 4-6 weeks. They include classes about various theories and how to teach, as well as hands-on practice in the classroom. This is very important because many of the speed bumps that teachers experience due to cultural differences will be ironed out during your practice time. This course is a great option because it doesn’t rush students through material or hands-on practice. Chichester College even offers excursions for students to observe other teachers.

TEFL + Teach Courses:

TEFL + Teach, as the name suggests, is a two part course. It includes the TEFL course (which has the same content as the common 120-hr course) and guarantees ESL placement in Thailand afterwards.

With Teach English ESL, for example, the guaranteed teaching contract is 5 months, with a set monthly salary, and even an opportunity to get a raise. If teaching in Thailand is your goal, earning your certificate in Bangkok will give you an extreme advantage later on. It will further prepare you for teaching by helping you learn about the Thai culture, all while studying and practicing in a Thai classroom.

140-hr TEFL Courses:

The 140 hour option provides everything that the 120 hour does, but with additional hours of teaching practice. Why would this be beneficial, you ask? Well, these hours are observed and assessed by the teachers in your course, which gives you more opportunities to learn and grow as a teacher. Extra hours of practice will make you a stronger, more confident instructor. Not to mention, you’ll learn even more about how Thai classrooms work.

When and Where to Look:

TEFL courses are offered all around Bangkok. Programs typically begin at the start of each month. You may request more information about individual programs through their websites. Applications are also available online. It is recommended to apply 1-2 months prior to the start date.

Qualifications:

The prerequisites for getting TEFL certified in Bangkok are pretty standard. For obvious reasons, being fluent in English is necessary. However, not all programs require a native status. Previous teaching experience is not required, although they will also ask for a certain level of education. This varies between a high school degree and a Bachelor’s degree.

Due to new visa regulations, you must enter on a tourist visa and then convert it to an educational visa or non-immigrant B visa later on. If you choose to continue teaching upon course completion, most programs have assistance in renewing the visas.

Post-TEFL Options:

After you’re done, it’s most likely job hunting time! For guidance, ask your directors or fellow students in your program for advice on jobs. They could point you in the right direction, or give you insider tips about the process. Who knows, maybe they’ve heard of an opening through the grapevine!

The Thai school year is May through March, with hiring occurring year round. You have options to teach at public or private schools, as well as universities. Ajarn is a great service that focuses on TEFL jobs in Thailand. Although many positions are available, it’s recommended that you begin searching prior to finishing your certification to get a head start.

Cost of Living:

The cost of living in Bangkok can vary depending on what type of lifestyle you prefer. Generally, food and transportation are inexpensive, compared to the U.S. A meal can cost $2-4 and a movie ticket around $6.

Housing wise, a one bedroom apartment in the city center will cost you around $660, more expensive than a three bedroom flat outside of the city. Some programs will include housing, but not all -- so be sure to check. Most will also require you to pay for your own airfare to Bangkok, food, and any social activities. See what is included in order to properly budget before arrival.

Contributed by Katie McMullen

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