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?

Japan in 2012

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

8 years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Dealing with Bangkok taxi drivers was causing traumatic psychological stress. That along with low pay for qualified teachers, ridiculous Thai culture course requirements, unfriendly customs, political instability and rising costs led me to consider other options.

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

Lots more pay but living costs can be high. The Japanese know how to make a line and are not taught to rip off and steal from foreigners at every opportunity, so you can let your guard down for the most part when shopping. Public transportation is very good and employers will pay for your transport to and from work. Culture in Japan is much more polite and unselfish, especially where money is concerned, but the English level in Thailand is much better than in Japan.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I met some amazing people in Thailand, both Thai and farang so I think that's the one thing I miss the most. Thai food is also amazing and I would really love to down a bowl of 30 baht street gra pao right now. I also miss how you can travel around the country for very cheap and see some amazing beautiful places like Krabi for example.

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

For a new English teacher trying to start a career in ESL, I would recommend moving to Korea and doing an MA in TESOL online while working for a school there. They pay for both your apartment and airfare, and cost of living in Korea is incredibly cheap. They will also take anyone with a bachelors degree. After you get an MA in TESOL, and a couple of papers published, move to Japan and land a sweet university teaching position teaching 12 hours a week and making 60-70k usd a year with 3 months of paid vacation. Then just use that fat wad of cash and that paid vacation to hang out in Thailand a couple times a year if you want.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Probably not to live but I will definitely visit again.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand can be a great experience but its a dead end unless you have good qualifications to work for a real international school, that is to say a school with an international accreditation that pays a western rate of salary.


Brian

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Ireland in February 2013

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

7 years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Thais are never going to be able to speak English. It's a complete joke. If it wasnt so tragic, it would be funny. Very nice people though - but with no work ethic.

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

My Thai wife and I are actually both unemployed but we have a much higher quality of life than we did in Thailand. Our son can go to nursery school and he's much happier.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The weather, good looking women and the students smiling faces - but not thai teachers that are so bad, they deserve to be punished for their lack of interest in their students education and well-being.

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

Come to Thailand for a year if you're looking for a good laugh and are not that interested in achieving anything. If you stay here for a long time with no second income you will definitely regret it unless you are happy enough living from month to month and never starting a family.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Of course I'll probably come every year for a holiday and even maybe retire here. It's a great place to live but a terrible place to educate.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

I can't believe no one is willing to stand up and call a spade a spade. The Thai education system is so ridiculous. it's a disgrace. Anyone who thinks their students are making progress are either deluded or retarded. It's a double standard - If a Thai can answer a few questions, their English is good but if a European answered the same questions, his English would be considered poor.


Rachel

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved to South Korea a month ago to work for the EPIK program.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I worked for 3 wonderful years in Thailand!

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Even though I loved Thailand I wanted to try living and working in a new country and of course the huge pay increase was very tempting!

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

I live in Seoul so getting around is so easy and it's very hi-tech. The pay is almost double what I earned in Thailand.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss everything about Thailand but in particularl the 'mae pen lai' attiude. Koreans are a much more serious people and you have to be early to be on time. I miss the Thai people, the weather and the beaches! Also Thailand's sense of vibrant fun.

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

Yes, definitely! I think Thailand is a wonderful place to work! The lifestyle is great and all the long weekends make for lots of fun. The children are adorable too! I really think it's a great place to start teaching :)

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes! I want to return to teach after this year in South Korea. I really didn't think I'd miss Thailand so much!

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

As a British girl I think I have a slightly different and more positive viewpoint on Thailand than some of the previous commentators. I think if you're a girl especially, Thailand is a wonderful place to work and the kindness of the Thai people will stay with you for a long time after you leave! You only get out of the experience the amount of time and effort you put in!


Johnny

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

China in 2008 then in October 2012 I went back to the great white north AKA Canada

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

Over 9 years

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I was bored of the "mai pen lie" attitude - or it's OK, despite the fact that the adminstration doesn't give a crap, I had cool students but not enough to be happy

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

There is a high unemployment rate in Canada but employment is possible. And you will end up finding a better job with better money. And of course you are mercifully free of that red tape that Thailand loves so much. Can you imagine a country that loves its paperwork more than Thailand? What a waste of trees!

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss my wife most of all. I hope she learns that Thailand does not hold a better life for her and I hope one day she will bring herself to Canada. It wasn't my choice for her to stay but that's the way it is I guess.

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

Working as a teacher in China is better for many reasons. A vast majority of my students and a lot of strangers just wanted to practice their spoken English. As a teacher. you'll often get free campus housing, your flight refunded at the end of the year and a proper medical exam

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I doubt it, Cuba is just a 3-hour plan ride away. It's got sun and beaches a-plenty.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Teaching in Thailand was fun at times and I meet a lot of great guys. However, long term Thailand and teaching is not a great combination.


Joe

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I went back to Kent England in 2012 after the Thai floods

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

Over 4 years in the central provinces

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Frustration at teaching and living in Thailand. I found the language and cultural barrier too much.

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

Having more flexibility over job options and more of a long-term outlook. I found that everything is temporary in Thailand, people and jobs come and go. I also didn't like always being treated like a foreigner.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Thai food and people (especially the female variety). The Thai culture is very laid-back, which suits my personality.

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

Yes, its a fun place to learn the trade and there is a good respect for teachers out there. The wages are enough to travel with.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes, to visit - and maybe even retire

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand is lovely, I could have stayed there longer if things had worked out differently


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 330 total

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