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


Gary

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.


Steve

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Abuja, capital of Nigeria. Moved in 2008.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

6 years. To be absolutely honest I loved every minute of it. Maybe I was lucky in that I worked in well managed Thai schools.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Better salary and benefits. Like most folk here I started life as a 'Tefler'. I ended up enjoying teaching so much that I took 2 years out to do my PGCE and NQT back in the UK. Ended up back in Thailand at a 'proper' international school. My decision to move to Nigeria was because of the opportunity to be a Deputy Head Teacher at a brand new British curriculum school. Apparently no one else wanted the job!!!

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

There is only the one advantage..........my salary is far greater, I have a company BMW, free housing and utilities, medical etc etc. Thats all though. The corruption in Nigeria has to be seen to be believed. It makes Thailand look like a novice in this respect.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Everything! My (Thai) wife and son are with me here and despite the fact that they are like a fish out of water.......they have stuck with it. Bless them!
Posters here talk about how bad Thailand is etc.........how dangerous etc. Give me a break! Ever worked in Africa??
I used to complain about the internet speeds in Thailand..............until using the internet in Nigeria. Can you imagine paying the Thai baht equivalent of 4000 a month just to receive speeds of 15-20 Kbs on a good day?

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

To work in Thailand? Yes of course...............I know that lots of posters say its ok to come in your 20's .....I actually came here in my late 30's. Never regretted it. Met and married a wonderful lass and now have a son. Despite all the difficulties in Nigeria they never once complain. Thailand gave me the opportunity to be where I am now. Thailand is what you want to make it. I personally would not advise coming to Nigeria unless you are absolutely certain that you are here for 2-3 years just to make some serious good money. Life can be dangerous here. We NEVER go out at night.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Oh sure!! The thing about Nigeria is just to bank lots of dosh. We will be back at the start of the new year, ready for challenges new!

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand is what you make it. For every poster who gives a bad report on life, the school, the rip-offs etc............there are lots more who think that this is wonderful. They just don't see the need to post it. I mean..........how many people would go online just to say, "Hi.......just wanna let you know my school is great, Thai staff are supportive and the students are actually pretty good?"


Cel

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

To South Korea in 2007.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

For about two and a half years.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Several reasons: to earn and save more money, see another part of Asia, and get away from the pollution in Bangkok. Another reason was that Thailand was in a post coup period, and I wanted to get away from the political mess. I figured that it would take the Thais a year to sort things out. It's still going on in 2010Last, I did not want to be in Thailand when a certain Thai exits stage right. The mother of all Thai chaos.

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

I am able to save each month what I was earning as a salary in Thailand. There are four seasons in a year, I got tired of every day feeling like summer in Thailand. I think that Korea is beautiful in the Spring and Fall. I get a free two-bedroom apartment, with my rent and most of my utilities paid for. I just pay for my cable and food. All other expenses, my employer bears the cost. Fast internet service, hiking, fresh air, and an inexpensive, clean, and extensive subway system that covers Seoul and a lot of the surrounding areas.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Thai food and my few good friends there.

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

If they just want to spend a year or two and take it easy, go to Thailand and have fun. After that, get back to the real world and earn and save some money for the future. If they want to make money, come to Korea. The public schools pay more than schools in Thailand. Part time work is available that allows you to save more. I live off my part time work and save my full time salary.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I would say maybe, when I am ready to retire. Other countries in Asia make it much easier for retirees now though. I will have to take a close look and see which would be better for me. For vacations, Thailand is great.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Nothing else comes to mind.


Kanadian

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Just arrived back in the land of tea. Yes that's Jiangxi Province China

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I worked in Thailand for a few years and after the lack of school support, I felt Thai schools were becoming a liability.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Thai students are lazy, the educational system failed them, nobody wants to change the educational system, ask a simple question to a Thai college student eg "what's your name" he replies in Thai. But his comment in Thai was I've been learning English for 10 years.. NO NO that's impossible !

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

I can take my lowest student at my college in Jiangxi and he can teach Thai teachers English.. God I love it when I can have an intelligent conversation with a college student who can actually hold his own.. cool !

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Good beaches and friends.

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

Thailand will always attract uneducated "English teachers". However those who have a degree should never teach in Thailand. You will waste your energy.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Only if the plane flies over the country.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

What a waste of time and energy. I know many foreign teachers who are very good at their job, and all have gone with no intent of returning.


Scott

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Vietnam, but have accepted a contract to move to China this summer

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

10 years or so

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Career advancement and higher wages

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

I have accepted a position as a professor, US wages, summers off, research support. This just isn’t available in Thailand, I wish it were.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

So much, I really do love Thailand and will still spend time here and maintain a home here. I guess like most, I have a love hate relationship with the country.

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

It depends, what is right for me might not be right for someone else. What was right for me at a different point in my life is not the best option now.
In making a very broad generalization, Thailand is a great place to teach English for a 20-something without spectacular prospects to spend a few years enjoying life and getting some international experience. It is also a great place for those changing careers into teaching later in life.

However Thailand does not offer a large number of opportunities for those seeking advancement and a professional career. I am not saying professional “success” can not be found in Thailand, but there are limited opportunities for foreigners, at least as far as paid work goes for those wanting a career outside of being an English teacher. Thailand is what it is and has the opportunities it has, if this fits your career plans and opportunities than it is a great place to live.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Oh yes, I will maintain a home here and expect to spend my summers here "researching" and doing other stuff. Right now I expect to retire in Thailand.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Working in Thailand has been a great experience, but so has working in Vietnam and Japan and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life in China.
I am not sure it makes much sense to compare one place with another, instead it is better to enjoy what each location has to offer. My advice is to take all advice, including mine, with a grain of salt and realize the “right” place to work is an individual matter based on personal preferences, opportunities and career plans.


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 257 total

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