What to expect when 'accommodation is included'

What to expect when 'accommodation is included'

If you accept a job in rural Thailand and accommodation is included, the house will likely be "Thai style" and not maintained well.

When I first started teaching, my school had prepared a house for myself and other foreigners (Oh yeah, expect to be sharing the accommodation with other teachers unless you have a family).

This meant that they had installed air-con in each bedroom, upgraded from a squat toilet to a western flush toilet, installed a shower head (rather than just a bucket shower), they'd also painted it and added some cheap curtains and beds. The English department had put in a lot of work themselves during the holidays etc to try and make me feel welcome, and they were so proud of the standard to which they'd increased the house.

Their pride in it, and how much effort they'd put in, was one of the main reasons I decided to stay in it, even though I'd have preferred to have stayed in an apartment in the town nearby instead (That and I couldn't ride a motorcycle at the time, so transport would have been an issue).

As the shower still didn't have a heater at all, so was cold (And despite Thailand being quite hot, the water can still be a shock to the system early in the morning), and due to everyone in the town/school all using water in the mornings, the shower had no water pressure in the mornings anyway (But was fine in the evenings). Likewise, there wasn't any wifi access from the school (although in subsequent years they extended their network to include my house, the school's wifi was crap though), and no company would install broadband for me because I was too far outta town.

Also there was of course lots of long grass outside the house, which was filled with scorpions & snakes, I never had one come into the house but other teachers who lived there after (and at other houses in the school) did.

The school included power/water with the free house, although then wanted to start charging us for anything over 500 THB a month once they realized that foreigners used air-con a lot more than Thai people do.

That was quite a few years ago, since then there has been a new director. As a result, there have been general maintenance issues with the house that have gone unresolved because the director refuses to spend money on maintaining the house (literally "If he doesn't like it, he can leave" situation when the head of the English department asked on behalf of the teacher staying there).

Oh and also, if you live on the school grounds, there are certain expectations of you. These to a certain extent apply in general when living in a small countryside town, but more so if you're at the school since you're more visible. Things like, you shouldn't be noticeably drinking/drunk on a regular basis, bring back different women to your house and in general you should be a good role model. This isn't a hard thing to abide by, and most teachers wouldn't even need to be told, so aren't, but it's something which the school will expect from you.


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