Q1. Where did you move to and when?
My family and I moved to Japan in March ... about 6 months ago. I had spent about 9 years living in Japan off and on over a twenty eight year period before moving to Thailand. It was an easy transition for me.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I lived in Thailand for 3 years and worked the last 2 years. I taught P5 at a private bilingual school.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
My main reason for leaving was my new job provided free annual tuition to the tune of $22,000 a year for my daughter to attend middle school. They also provide a $50,000 a year housing stipend and $10,000 a year cost of living allowance. All on top of my salary.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
For me saving a lot more money is the primary advantage. Other things include not having to worry about a coup or what's going to happen when the king isn't around anymore. As far as transportation goes, the trains and bus system are first class. And if you can get a license to drive, the Japanese are far superior drivers to the Thai.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I miss the students most of all and I miss the friends I made. I'm from the USA and it was an awesome experience having friends from Australia, England, France, Philippines and a few other countries. I don't miss much about Thailand beyond that.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
I'm not a teacher anymore but I would probably recommend teaching in Thailand over Japan. It's far too expensive to live and enjoy yourself in Japan on a teacher's salary compared to Thailand. But if you're a properly credentialed teacher from the USA then the teaching jobs at schools like the one my daughter attends here in Japan are a far better deal.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
No immediate plans to return for anything other than a holiday. I bought land in three different places in Thailand and have a house in two of the locations. They're in the wife's name and I'm not too concerned about them. But, it's possible we might though.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
If it's possible you are much better off to get the proper teaching credentials from your home country before embarking on a teaching career in foreign lands, unless you absolutely know TEFLing is just going to be a 1-3 year adventure.