Are you a teacher who once taught in Thailand but decided to seek out pastures new? Has the grass been greener on the other side? Maybe you swapped Thailand for the financial lure of Japan or Korea? Read about those who have left Thailand, and their reasons for moving...

Submit your own Great Escape


Chris

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I first visited Thailand in 2008 and fell in love with the country. On the same two month trip, I also visited Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. I decided Thailand was the superior of the four. Since I had been an English teacher in USA for ten years and I was frustrated with public education in America, I thought it would be nice to experience teaching in Thailand. I returned to Thailand a second time in July 2009 for two months and interviewed at several schools. I returned to the states with my mind made up to get my affairs in order and return a third time to Thailand to try teaching there. I arrived in Thailand for the third time in February 2010 and found a job and got my work permit.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I worked in Thailand for 14 months.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

My main reason for moving was that I had a motorcycle accident that left me badly injured. I learned the hard way that traffic laws and roads and safety, etc. in Thailand are extremely inferior compared to the USA. I would have left after 14 months of teaching in Thailand anyway because schools are not well administered there. I also was unhappy with the daily drama of working in the foreign languages department with my unhappy colleagues. The students act as if they understand basic English when in fact they do not, and they are easily bored with any teacher who tries to actually teach them to speak, read, and/or write English. I also might as well add that the salary is far too low for the amount of work that is expected of teachers. Though the Thais seemed to feel that we foreign teachers are overpaid, they do not take into account many financial facts.

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

Much higher pay, good air conditioning, better regulated government (read: less corrupt), better social programs, etc. It is also nice to be around people who can speak English.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss the beautiful islands and beaches, the mountains, the temples, the physical and cultural geography, the delicious food, and the gorgeous, friendly, and available women. Not to mention all the wonderful massages.

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

No, I would not advise a new teacher to seek work in Thailand. I would advise a new teacher to acquire teaching experience in a better developed country in order to learn appropriate teaching methods and gain positive experiences. Thailand is not a well educated country, and its schools reflect this.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I would love to return to Thailand one day, but not to teach. The best reason to come to Thailand is to have an excellent holiday.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

In conclusion, Thailand is an excellent country to visit for a nice long vacation, but I would not want to live and/or work there.


Alan

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Back to a place that isn't full of people who don't want you there. I moved back to the UK 2 years ago.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

10 years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I got sick of Thais and Thai politics and the whole loss of face thing. I also got tired of many of the expats I came into contact with. My work was great though and I got paid over 60,000 baht a month, which was a decent wage.

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

Decent food, real friends, a nice place to live, articulate and intelligent conversation, women who actually care about your personality more than your wallet, no coups and airport closures, the list goes on and on.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

My work and my students

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

Work in the west and take holidays in Thailand.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

No

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Be careful in Thailand, life is cheap there!


John Fowler

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I went to China In 2009. 30th of October to be exact.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I taught in Thailand for about 3 years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I got fed up. Burnt out. Too many hours. Large noisy classes and I just had enough of the lifestyle. Oh, and it all went downhill after the split with my girlfriend. haha.

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

I've got a nice 3-bedroom house with a kitchen. I also work fewer hours for a similar salary. And I get a teaching assistant.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss the lifestyle and the Thai smiles. I miss the fun students (but not the large classes) I miss the food and I miss the buzz of Chiang Mai. If I could have the Chinese working conditions and the Thai lifestyle. WOW! that would be a great combination.

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

Do your homework and ask as many questions as possible. Check the exact position of where you are working. Maybe I'm stupid, but I just trust what people say. I've had employers tell me I would be working in a city, only to drop me off in some tiny village in the middle of nowhere.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes. If I can get suitable employment. I have gained more expereience in China now. I even make songs and sing for the younger ones (I never did that in Thailand) Also I have gained experience at college and university level.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

China is better for the working conditions (from my experience). The culture and Chinese habits take some getting used to though. It's not Thailand! but it's getting there.


Ronald

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved to UAE about 6 years ago for the salary and stayed there one year. I then moved to China for two years, Afghanistan and then back to China. I have been here in China (Same university as I was at four years ago) and love it.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I worked in Surat, Bangkok, Khon Kaen and Chiang Rai for a total of about 7 years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

All the main problems people list i.e., salary, the Thai BS that you have to put up with and the low quality of education. I must say that trying to save money in Thailand is difficult and owning a car and home is difficult with the red tape and low salaries. I also think that a salary of 40,000 baht/ month along with Thai teacher jealousy is a big pain.

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

Quality of education, salary, housing, flights, paid holidays (Three months) the RMB and the freedom from Thai bosses. Thailand is a great place to go if you want to start out and work for peanuts and accomplish nothing. It is for losers. The only step down is Cambodia. I have worked in 11 different countries and Thailand is the worst. I love the country and own a home there with a wife and kids but would have to see some big changes in order to come back to work.

I love Thailand as a place to live and I speak/read/write Thai but I am an educator and the skools just don't do it for me. I have worked at small countryside MEP's to universities but the quality is just not there and the incompetent/corrupt school admin/faculty/staff are hard to put up with.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Everything including the food, lifestyle, weather, beauty and corruption. Where else can you pay 10$ for a seeding ticket and have the co say "Thanks" after you bribe him? What other country can you have a student bring you gifts when they break up for a holiday?

I do not miss mandatory summer camps, meeting parents so they see my "white" face or the "class" system of Thailand. Thais are totally incapable of accepting the idea of human equality - as with most places - but they are some of the worst in the world. I also dislike the gender inequality in the Thailand workplace.

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

I advise everyone to stop working and show that if Thailand wants real educators, then they need to pay for them or hire non-native speakers for 20,000 baht /month. Let them suffer for a while and see how fast salaries and benefits go up. Any native speaker who works there supports their ability to take advantage of young or desperate teachers.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I go home twice a year for two months at a time - June 26 to Sept 1 and Dec 29 to March 1. Love my time there! I love driving by the old schools and seeing the new farangs standing outside at 8 a.m. getting rained on or baked in the sun!

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand is terrible and as long as you support the Thai system they are going to do what they want. Lets all have a general strike for one term and show them what native speakers require to come and STAY there.


Garry Brown

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Went to S.W.U.F.E. University Mianyang China in February 2008

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

Three years at various schools and towns

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Tired of the B.S.associated with working, but loved the country. China offered all permits etc. and better facilities. Salary was about the same.

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

Not a relevant question for me now as I am in Australia. I needed surgery and wanted it performed at home just in case. But the deal was better in China, mainly in the attitude of the students. As mentioned before, the salary was similar, however the package included accommodation, some meals, air fares, permits etc. all paid for you. The disadvantage was the freedom.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The lifestyle is far better than China, the comradeship and 'sanuk' is unmatched elsewhere.

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

Thailand is great for the younger teachers who can adapt to everything better. I am getting older now and seek the comfort of proper lodgings and not a one room flat. China provided a great apartment at no cost.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes Sir, I am counting the days, I love Thailand and will be there soon.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Although I once swore that I would never teach in Thailand again, I now feel more at ease and hope that I can get a part time job 'up country' somewhere.


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 261 total

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