Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to China in June 2023
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I was there for two years and worked at both a government school in Central Thailand and also as a corporate teacher on a local industrial estate (but that was only a couple of evenings a week)
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I simply wanted to give another Asian country a go. When I left the UK in 2021 once the pandemic had eased off, I set myself a goal of working in four Asian countries in six years. I'm still not sure whether I got too comfortable in Thailand and should've moved on after a year but too late to stress over that now.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
I haven't been here all that long but the school is much more organised. The admin staff are really on the ball when it comes to letting you know about schedule changes and new course dates, etc. There is none of that flying by the seat of your pants, which becomes second nature in Thailand. I earn a better salary too and get a more than adequate housing allowance. It's not a great deal more than I was earning in Thailand too be honest but I do fewer teaching hours. I'm not quite so exhausted come Friday nights.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I miss the stress-free nature of life there. From Friday 4.00 pm to Monday 8.30 I could completely switch my mind off teaching and focus on enjoying the weekend.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
You will love Thailand if you are a 'go with the flow' kind of character. Start getting uptight about minor annoyances and you're in for a whole world of trouble. From admin not telling you about a classroom change and suddenly finding your 40 students are waiting for you in the next building, to having to sit through a two-hour meeting (mostly in Thai) that doesn't require your input and has no bearing on your job whatsoever. I could list twenty other scenarios that you'll need to simply grin and bear. But at the end of the day, the positives of living in Thailand far outnumber the negatives.
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
Not sure about that. I'm going to give China a year and then assess the situation and decide if maybe I want to stay for a further term or perhaps give Vietnam a try.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Thailand never struck me as a place to build a teaching career (or a future) unless you are super-qualified and pulling in the equivalent of a UK salary at least. It's a great place to experience life in a SE Asian country for a year or two and then move on.