Submit your own Great Escape


Graham

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved to teach in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2023, so I've been here about half a year.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I taught at a school in Khorat for two years and then its partner school in Bangkok for a further two years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I simply needed a change of scenery and felt as if life had got a bit too routine. I'd heard good things about teaching in Vietnam from a couple of ex-colleagues and they invited me over to join them. It wasn't a step into the complete unknown though because I had been to Vietnam a couple of times before. However, as we all know, living and working somewhere is entirely different to being a tourist.

Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?

I'm kind of in the honeymoon period so I'm still enjoying the change. Hanoi tends to be a bit cheaper than Bangkok in terms of everyday expenses like food and transportation, plus the school pays for my accommodation. I didn't have that luxury when I worked in Thailand. It's a lovely apartment as well.

Unlike my teaching gigs in Thailand, we have a lot of tech at our disposal in Vietnam and we use martboards, cool apps, and online tools to make lessons more engaging and fun. The school here is dialed in to help teachers grow, it encourages sharing and innovation, and has more resources. Not that the students really need 'entertaining' because they are far more motivated to learn than Thai students. That said, they aren't as much 'fun'.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Firstly, I made decent money in my job back in Europe so I have considerable savings behind me. I say this because if you can work in Thailand and not have to worry about money, you can focus purely on all the wonderful things Thailand has to offer and not get hung up on costs. I had an amazing four years there, I made some great friends, travelled around the country as much as I could and despite its downsides, I have so many positive and happy memories.

Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?

Everyone's situation is different. I'd advise anyone to teach for a year and see if they like it. Thailand is not for everyone and I worked with many teachers who tried to live a 60K a month lifestyle on a 35K salary. That's never going to work. Always live within your means.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Oh for sure! Thailand is where my heart is. As the days go by in Vietnam, I see more and more why Thailand has so much appeal.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

It's been said before in these surveys, but the teachers who fare the best in Thailand are the ones who go with the flow and don't let setbacks get to them. Your life in Thailand will be very different to the life you left behind. You have to embrace it.

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