Q1. Where did you move to and when?
I moved to China in April 2023.
Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?
I worked there for two years at a primary school in Chiang Mai Province.
Q3. What was your main reason for moving?
I moved to earn more money and to escape the pollution, which seems to be becoming more and more of a problem. I also thought Chiang Mai was getting too expensive for a teacher on a 30K salary. When you are budgeting for 700 baht a day after paying rent and bills, you have to watch the pennies.
Q4. What are the advantages of working where you are now compared to Thailand?
The school I work at is run very professionally and the company cares about keeping its teaching staff. I'm often asked if I'm doing OK and if I have any problems that need talking over. I don't think the school in Thailand once said that to me in two years. As long as students didn't complain, I was deemed to be doing an OK job. Oh, and I also earn almost three times what I did in Thailand so there's ample opportunity to put money away for a rainy day.
Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?
I miss getting on my motorcycle and riding off into the surrounding countryside but where I am in China is every bit as scenic. I also miss the Chiang Mai coffee shop scene I guess.
Q6. Would you advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand or where you are now?
By all means come and work in Thailand because you'll have a great experience, but don't stay more than a couple of years as a low-paid English teacher. It's just too much of a month-to-month struggle. If you are thinking of staying for the long-term, then get better qualified!
Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?
I'd certainly come back for a holiday but it's very low on my list of priorities when it comes to teaching. I can't see teacher salaries improving any time soon, especially in towns and cities outside Bangkok.
Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?
Go to Thailand for a year or two and have a wonderful time. Choose your foreign friends wisely because there are an awful lot of trapped expats with plenty to moan about, believe me. Just don't contemplate a long-term teaching career in Thailand unless you can get in at a top international school.