FB IMG 1607834848911

TEMPORARY ACCOMMODATION FOR NEW TEACHERS ARRIVING IN THAILAND

We are not affiliated to any of the accomodation suggested, but we can recommend Witchuwan Apartel on Rachada Soi 3 in Bangkok. Ideally located half a kilometer behind Fortune Mall and subway station MRT Param 9, which is connected to the Airport Rail Link and Makasan Airlink Station. At Makasan station you can opt to flag down a taxi all the way to Witchuwan Apartel costing around 3 US$. All taxis are metered - point at the meter in case the driver forgets or refuses to turn it on! Take a taxi from the main road without crossing the busy Asoke road, or you can choose to take the subway at MRT Subway Station Petchburi to your destination MRT subway station Param 9. Your station is just one stop from MRT Petchburi subway station. If you decide on taking the subway train from Petchburi station to Param 9 station, cross the road via the overhead pedestrian bridge conveniently connected to MRT subway station Petchburi. With heavy luggage it is recommended to take a taxi.  

Witchuwan Apartel is in a non touristy Thai area. The cost of most basic necessities that you may need upon your arrrival in Bangkok are therefore inexpensive. The location is especially attractive for teachers who haven't found an employer yet as Wichuwan Apartel is located in central Bangkok 500 meters from the nearest subway station MRT Param 9. There is a huge swimming pool, a bar, and a gym on the rooftop of this apartment/hotel. Room rates are low (550-750 Baht a night). There are 100 apartment complexes in that same area, making it extremely convenient to move to even cheaper or better accommodation. You can pay daily, weekly or monthly at Witchuwan Apartel. We suggest you pay for your first two nights there, then decide if this place is for you long term or not. There is WIFI but it is shared. The free internet speed "may" not suit digital nomads seeking super high speed internet. Having said this, you can easily pick up a high speed internet package that includes a SIM for your phone and use it as a hotspot. Your passport is needed to purchase a Thai SIM card in any of the 7/11 convenience stores nearby.

Alternatively, if you do not wish the hassle of taking a taxi or getting on yet another subway train, you can simply exit Makkasan Airlink Station and walk for a few minutes towards Petchburi road to the FX Hotel Metrolink Makkasan, which is just around the corner on the right. This hotel is a little bit pricier than witchuwan, but still very affordable.

Map of Bangkok Metro and Subway System BTS and MRT

FAQ FINDING AN APARTMENT

Will it be easy for me to find myself an apartment that suits my budget?

Very easy. If you're in a hotel and new to Thailand, ask the receptionist to write down in Thai that you're looking for an apartment with aircon maximum of let's say 3,500 Baht in a particular area wifi included. Next, go down to a queue of motocycle taxis in your preferred neighborhood and show them the paper. Within minutes you're on your way to an apartment costing 3.500 Baht. Don't forget to negotiate the fee in advance with the motorcycle taxi driver. Visiting 5-6 places will cost you approximately 300 Baht. Alternatively, if it's a small area, simply walk around and ask. All apartment buildings look pretty much the same and are super easy to spot.

Is there a deposit required?

Yes. Say your apartment cost 3,500 Baht. The deposit will likely be 7,000 Baht. So, rent 3,500 Baht plus the deposit 7,000 Baht is 10,500 Baht, to be paid upon moving in. Note that some landlords require a 3-month deposit. And, bear in mind that some Thai landlords are not exactly honest, and may decide to pocket your deposit when moving out. Thai landlords are often rich and well connected, the best strategy to follow when a landlord gets greedy is to simply forget and move on. 

How much do apartments cost?

The cost of an apartment ranges somewhere between 2,000 Baht and 15,000 baht per month depending on amenities and location. Apartments costing 2,000 Baht are mostly rented by low income families. There won't be internet nor will you find aircon, furniture, or security.

Any apartment rental websites KruTeacher can recommend?

Yes. Follow this link.

FB IMG 1607836591944

YOUR FIRST FEW WEEKS IN THAILAND - FINDING WORK  

First things first; you have say US$ 3,000 with you. Obviously you do not want to spend it all during the first month, you're on a tight budget after all. After resting for a day or three, maybe even a week in your short-term accommodation, it is time to find cheaper accommodation and a teaching job. This was made so much easier since the advent of the internet. And yes, we know, you do want to explore the city, and yes you may even want to visit the famous night spots in Bangkok.

The advice is to first of all find cheaper accommodation costing not over 7,000 Baht a month. This means you either ask your current landlord to switch you to a monthly contract or find an apartment in your preferred neighborhood and start renting monthly as described in the short "finding accommodation FAQ" above. Secondly, land that first teaching job while at the same time keeping your eyes on your daily spendings. For example, food and toiletries will set you back to around 250 Baht a day. Rent, water, electricity and internet, that's another 300 Baht a day. Transportation 100 Baht a day. Miscellaneous items and expenses another 100 Baht a day. That's 750 Baht (20 US$) spent per day. Let's face it, US$ 3,000 isn't very much, but if spent wisely, you can easily survive 3 to 4 months in Thailand - the  time needed to find a teaching job.

The next step after finding accommodation is to land your first teaching gig. This won't be too difficult for degreed native English speakers, but it can prove to be a challenge for non native speakers, whose mother tongue isn't English. Visit the usual teaching jobs sites and seek advice in Facebook groups. Half of the schools do not have their vacancies listed anywhere on the web, this does not mean they aren't looking to recruit. A teacher may have had an emergency and had to fly home, a newly appointed teacher decided to take the job at X school instead of Y school. So yes, do send out as many unsolicited job applications to schools. Email addresses can be found on this very site in "English Teaching Jobs" and "Subject Teaching Jobs" and in this Facebook group. Applying unsolicited has the benefit of showing a potential employer that you are interested enough in their school to take the initiative to contact them. For schools, hiring someone who applies unsolicited can save them the hassle and expense of posting a job, reviewing applications and conducting interviews. 

A different approach some teachers take to seeking teaching work is to dress smart and get a motorcycle taxi driver to take them around schools in their chosen neighborhood. Others choose to walk around the area and drop off their Cvs - as the saying goes: "whatever floats your boat"!

Don't be fussy! Especially if you dont have much teaching experience under your belt or are a non native speaker. Take the job when you're offered one. A Thai school semester lasts for approximately four months and a half i.e. you can always leave for a better school after your first semester. It's crucial to get started with some money coming in, not to mention the networking opportunities that open up when sharing a teacher's office with veteran Thailand based foreign teachers.

Extremely important is to come to Thailand when schools are actively recruiting in March or at the very latest in April for a mid May start. Mid May is the start of the Thai school year. Or, in August or at the very latest September for a mid October start. Do not come in the months of November, December, January and February as it would be very difficult to find employment then, unless of course you're a highly qualified licensed and experienced native speaking teacher, then there are job opportunities for you all year round. In fact, International schools start recruiting in November or December for a January start and again in July and August for a September start. More information on working at an international school in Thailand on here. As for finding work in a language school, the majority of them recruiting new teachers from February till end November. 

Unfortunately, most language centers in Thailand do not entertain applications from non native speakers, with the exception of Scandinavian teachers, teachers hailing from the Netherlands with near native speaker-like fluency of the English language, or native Chinese speaking teachers. Non native speakers who possess a degree are very employable at Thai schools, though, particularly the ones capable of teaching subjects at the secondary level e.g. Math, Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics; they are in demand with especially private bilingual and international schools. The provinces and the outskirts of Bangkok and other big Thai cities are slightly less popular for native speakers, thus applying for jobs there wouldn't be such a bad idea either. As for Chiang Mai province, it remains a popular destination for teachers and as such KruTeacher does not recommend non native speaking teachers to fly out there looking for work as the competition for jobs there will be stiff.

Last, the weather. It can be very hot and extremely humid in Thailand. Do not go for an interview unshowered, this is so important. Thais have extremely sensitive noses, the last thing you want is the school choosing another teacher simply because they did find you unhygienic. Use a deodorant if needed. Don't forget to wear a short or long sleeved quality shirt, preferably a light colored one, slacks and a new pair of nicely polished shoes. Women should wear a shirt and a skirt. Do not walk into the school dressed up like a backpacker - business attire is the norm. Looking like a cheap charlie, donning jeans, sport shoes, a cheap or a worn out T-shirt will definitely not get you a job in Thailand. Piercings and tatoos are frowned upon, cover them up! Tip: great quality slacks and shirts can be bought at GQ men's wear outlets found in most Thai department stores - perfect for the tropical climate in South East Asia, reasonably priced and chic too! 

FB IMG 1607834996358 

RECOMMENDED BY KRUTEACHER

Most first and second tier international schools. They offer by far the best work conditions to their teachers, who are often experienced and highly qualified. Read more here.

We can recommend one of Thailand's most reputable teacher recruitment agencies Teachers for Thailand to teachers who want a job ready waiting for them; they do Skype interviews, airport pick-up, help with accommodation and assist with work permits. They only recruit degreed native speakers, though. There are many teacher recruitment agencies in Thailand, some are legit, many aren't. Always ask for the agency's license and registration number prior to commiting yourself to the job. Avoid agencies that don't pay for sick days, public holidays, or visa trips. Some agencies offer short four months contracts. These types of contracts often come with little or no benefits and are perhaps more suitable for backpackers who want to earn just enough to fund  an extra month or two travelling around Thailand.

KruTeacher recommends newbies to join Thailand's most popular discussion forum where members can ask questions and/or share and exchange information on the teaching scene in Thailand. 

Recommended for teachers and students alike is a website by Thailand teacher/blogger Mr. Richard Barrow for learning English called The English Room. Richard created this website as an e-learning project for students at Sriwittayapaknam School in Samut Prakan. Students at this school, including kindergarten, go up to the computer room and use the website at least once a week. Richard allows free access for students from Thailand and around the world to use the website for free. There is no annoying advertising and so safe for children to use by themselves. New quizzes are being added all the time. One of the ways Sriwittayapaknam School use The English Room website is to prepare their students for the Primary 6 O-Net national English exams. Their Primary 4 and 5 students take this exam unofficially to see how prepared they are. Primary 4 students at Sriwittayapaknam School are averaging 72% (some as high as 97%) and Primary 5 students are averaging around 83% (some 100%). The national average for 2018's O-NET exam was very low at 35%. KruTeacher and Richard Barrow hope more students and teachers use this free website, then Thailand can get that national average up!

New Banner

POPULAR BOOKSTORES 

The best bookstores for buying ESL and subjects textbooks in English are D.K. Today, they own several branches throughout the greater Bangkok area. Best second is probably Chulalongkorn's university bookstore located on their Siam Square campus behind the British Council building. And the third best is probably Kinokuniya, a Japanese chain bookstore based inside the huge Paragon mall. One can visit them all in a matter of hours - D.K. Chula, Kinokunya all have branches at Siam Square (BTS skystrain station Siam Square).

TEACHING LICENSES

FB IMG 1607835029016

THAI HOLIDAYS

If you love holidays, you will most certainly love Thailand. Thailand has numerous holidays ideal for travelling and discovering the country.
This blog by Tom Korat Malson on holidays in Thailand is well worth reading!

LIST OF HOLIDAYS IN THAILAND FOR 2024

1 Jan Monday New Year's Day National holiday
13 Jan Saturday National Children's Day Observance
16 Jan Tuesday Teachers' Day Observance
10 Feb Saturday Lunar New Year's Day Observance
11 Feb Sunday Second Day of Lunar New Year Observance
12 Feb Monday Third Day of Lunar New Year Observance
14 Feb Wednesday Valentine's Day Observance
24 Feb Saturday Makha Bucha National holiday
26 Feb Monday Day off for Makha Bucha National holiday
20 Mar Wednesday March Equinox Season
6 Apr Saturday Chakri Day National holiday
8 Apr Monday Day off for Chakri Day National holiday
13 Apr Saturday Songkran National holiday
14 Apr Sunday Songkran National holiday
15 Apr Monday Songkran National holiday
16 Apr Tuesday Songkran Observed National holiday
1 May Wednesday Labor Day Bank holiday
4 May Saturday Coronation Day National holiday
6 May Monday Day off for Coronation Day National holiday
6 May Monday Royal Ploughing Ceremony Day (Tentative Date) Government Holiday
3 Jun Monday Queen Suthida's Birthday National holiday
21 Jun Friday June Solstice Season
20 Jul Saturday Buddhist Lent Day National holiday
22 Jul Monday Day off for Buddhist Lent Day National holiday
28 Jul Sunday King Vajiralongkorn's Birthday National holiday
29 Jul Monday Day off for King Vajiralongkorn's Birthday National holiday
12 Aug Monday The Queen's Birthday National holiday
22 Sep Sunday September Equinox Season
13 Oct Sunday Anniversary of the Death of King Bhumibol National holiday
14 Oct Monday Day off for Anniversary of the Death of King Bhumibol National holiday
23 Oct Wednesday Chulalongkorn Day National holiday
31 Oct Thursday Halloween Observance
5 Dec Thursday King Bhumibol's Birthday/Father's Day National holiday
10 Dec Tuesday Constitution Day National holiday
21 Dec Saturday December Solstice Season
24 Dec Tuesday Christmas Eve Observance
25 Dec Wednesday Christmas Day Observance
30 Dec Monday New Year Special Public Holiday National holiday
31 Dec Tuesday New Year's Eve National holiday
 
The dates above may be modified as official changes are announced. Holiday Calendar courtesy of  https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/thailand/2024