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


Wanderer

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Moved back to my home country in 2009 for about a year and half to get certified and licensed as a teacher. Currently I'm in the Middle East working for a large international school.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

About 5 - 6 years, though I spent a year working in one of Thailand's neighbors during that time as well.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

It was more of a combination of reasons rather than just 1 main issue, but the thing that pushed me over the edge was the introduction of that bogus Thai Culture course and the laughable Thai teaching license that the government was pushing at the time. I flat out refused to do any of it, and I knew then it was time to leave. I was also fed up with working for Thai principals and bosses.

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

Where do I begin? I'm on an 'expat' contract here with all the benefits and freebies that go along with that like housing, professional development, worldwide insurance and paid summer flights every year. I have a qualified director and principal at my school who actually know what they are doing - something I never had in Thailand. The locals here are much more worldly, friendly, and easier to deal with than Thais. Believe it or not, in my neck of the Middle East imported booze is actually cheaper than in Thailand and the variety is much better as well.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Where do I begin? The weather, the incredible food, the smells of Bangkok, late afternoon rainy season thunder and warm tropical nights, the Andaman sea, durian, lychees, a few expat friends that I still keep in touch with, the travel opportunities you have from Bangkok, and the generally low cost of living.

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

That depends on how we define 'new teacher'. Someone who was doing something completely outside of teaching and then decided to give TEFL a try? That person would not get a job where I am now, so Thailand all the way. If we are talking about a newly qualified & licensed teacher looking at international schools, the opportunities here are better. International school jobs at the 'real' international schools in Thailand are highly competitive and a new teacher would be unlikely to land one.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

For a visit - of course, at least once a year. To live and work - only if I manage to get an offer from one of the top international schools in Thailand. I will never work for a Thai-managed school or principal again - been there and done that. Retirement - maybe.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Thailand can be a wonderful and addictive place to live and play for a few years, but if you feel yourself stagnating you really need to assess your situation and get the hell out if necessary.


John

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

I moved back to Ireland last year.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

A total of about five years I guess.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

My wife and I had a new baby so the main reasons for going back home were basically to make more money and to provide our child with a decent education.

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

I can make far more money here.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

I miss the warm weather, the relative ease in making new friends and if I'm totally honest.....the massage parlours.

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

By all means give it a go for a year or two and have a great time but go back home if you really want to achieve something in your life. If getting ahead in life is not for you, then you can always stay in Thailand.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

I would like to come back to Thailand if I get the chance but it's not part of my immediate plans.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Teaching in Thailand for a long period can wear you down. It certainly helps if you have an easygoing attitude and can put up with the many hurdles that are sure to come your way.


Patrick

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Initially I moved back to Ireland in early 2010. Currently in the UK.

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I worked in Thailand for just over six years. (between 2002 - 2010 with gaps in between) Initially, arriving in 2002, after teaching in South Korea for a year in a place called Suncheon.

I started work in Bangkok at an English language school at Victory monument before teaching at a government Prathom school in Bang Khun Thian. These two jobs lasted about 18 months combined. I then did six months at a Japanese kindergarten at Thong Lo. Following this little stint I decided to go home for a year between 2004 - 2005.

I had enough of the cold, windy West after about a year. Returning to Thailand I started to work through an agency and landed a job teaching mathayom 2 and 5in a school in a town about an hours drive from Bangkok. However the city lights were calling and I only lasted a term at that job. I then proceeded to get a job with a bilingual school in Bangkok (again with an agency). This was a rewarding experience and I taught here for 3 and a half years until I went back to Ireland.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

My main reason for moving was initially due to a close family member passing away. However once I was home I decided that the time was right to do some further study in education.

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

I am not working right now per se. I am actually doing a teacher training course which involves a lot of classroom placement. There is an enormous difference between teaching in a UK school and what I encountered in all my experiences in a Thai classroom.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Wow. I miss so much. The great friends that I made (still in contact), the weather, the children that I taught, the independence of living in a foreign country, the lifestyle (cheap if you want), and so many more things.

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

I reckon that Thailand is a great place to try your hand at teaching if you are that way inclined. It has so much to offer. However I would say that I did find it quite difficult to save any reasonable amount of money by teaching just English. That is one of the main reasons I returned home.
I don't really know much about the prospects for English language teachers in the UK. I guess you need a PGCE to become a teacher here.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes. Definitely. I, like quite a few other teachers out there, sampled what it was like to teach in Thailand and then wanted to further their career in the field of education. After doing the initial few years abroad it was always at the back of my mind to return home and get certified. Once certified and with the required experience under my belt, I plan to return to Thailand or maybe try out another teaching gig in another country.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Not a lot really. That's about it.


Steve

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Moved to Doha, capital city of Qatar, this September 2011

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

I worked in Thailand for 6 years in total before moving to Abuja in Nigeria as the Deputy Head of a British international school and then came back to Bangkok for one year as the DoS at a large Catholic school in Nonthaburi.

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

I really enjoyed being back in Thailand but another opportunity came up and I was offered a fantastic contract at a school in Doha.

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

Gosh! The tax-free salary and all the ex-pat benefits that go with it. Doha is a very very safe city and the school has some wonderful professional development opportunities. I am currently being trained up to be a program manager for Cambridge University as the school has recently been accredited as a teacher training centre for Cambridge diploma courses. Fantastic opportunities lie ahead. In terms of the money......well I am able to put away 200,000 baht a month into my Thai bank account (transfer every month)

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Everything. Thailand is where my home is and I will retire there. I keep my Thai up to speed by constant online practice and of course I visit the ajarn discussion forum regularly.

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

For a new teacher cutting their teeth? Thailand of course, especially if you're young. Qatar pays some great wages but you only get those if you are a 'credentialed' teacher.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Absolutely! See above.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

I started off as a 'tefler' in Thailand. Enjoyed teaching so much that I went back to the UK to do my PGCE and NQT year. Have never looked back since. Thailand gave me the opportunity to be a teacher and to realise that teaching can be an extremely rewarding career and not just financially.............so dreams are possible to be realised.


Chris

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia 2008

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

2 years (2000-2002)

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

Unstable employment, low pay, and crazy corruption.

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

A stable contract, a relaxing work-environment, better pay, less hours, and no-one interferes in my classes.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

Fresh and cheap food, gentle people, my bike! cheap apartments, food, food oh!, did I mention the lovely food?...and of course a plethora of beautiful girls!

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

If single and open-minded..YES! but not in Bangkok. I lived in Chiangmai the whole time. It's a whole world of different up there. Much quieter (I like it) than Bangkok and the countryside is easily accessable. There's a lot to do and there is tasty cheap food everywhere. The folks have plenty of time to sit and chat and provide company for you - if you're 'open' to that!

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

Yes. I had a 10 month 'holiday' there last year. I took my baby son to Chiang Mai for medical treatment and we did all the touristy things - Tiger Kingdom, monkey show etc. It was a wonderful time. Lovely. Paradise!

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Unfortunately Thailand won't offer enough to live and save on or to raise a kid etc unless you can stand living in Bangkok, which I certainly can't. The best parts of the country are truly heaven on earth, but unless you can somehow get money for free and get a long-term visa, it's only a holiday destination. It seems politics have 'side-lined' the farang as forever 'temporary' servants/english teachers.

If I ever strike it rich I will retire there, but until then I have to work somewhere else.


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 306 total

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