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


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.


Paul

Q1. Where did you move to and when?

Back to the USA in May 2011

Q2. How long did you work in Thailand?

One year

Q3. What was your main reason for moving?

As a certified, qualified, experienced teacher from US, I felt one year was long enough to teach in Thailand. The pay and lack of benefits is simply much too low to be able to save for the future. The Thai students are not interested in learning, and the teaching environment itself is highly problematic due mostly to Thai-style (read: corrupt) politics. There is plenty of blame-gaming going around, and the farang teacher is always the one who gets blamed first and the most for the problems at the school. I learned plenty enough about living and teaching in Thailand within one year to know it is not a good long-term plan for a qualified teacher.

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

Security, comfort, benefits. Reasonable expectations, a more secure social environment. Lack of government corruption. Far more stability.

Q5. What do you miss about life in Thailand?

The great natural beauty of the physical and cultural geography. There is much to love about Thailand. Despite its problems, Thailand is an amazing country full of lovely, if uneducated people (this applies to expats as well as the Thais.)

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

A new teacher would do best to teach in a location where the people take education more seriously. Thais are lovely, fun-loving people, but they are not committed to improving themselves through education. I suppose they feel they do not have to, as they are quite blessed with a lovely and abundant country. They would rather eat, drink, and be merry than become better educated. I suppose this works for them in its own ignorance-is-bliss way. While teaching there, I often felt I had been hired to simply look the part of the amusing white farang, there for their own amusement. Keeping gradebooks and records straight was an absolute joke, but it gave the administration a reason to try to make me feel inferior.

Q7. Any plans to return to Thailand one day?

For a holiday, yes. To fulfill a teaching contract, no.

Q8. Anything else you'd like to add?

Anyone considering teaching in Thailand should not be fooled by its appeal which can be experienced on a vacation there. The obvious beauty of the country makes a vacationing teacher imagine living there. Once one begins actually working there and seeing how screwed up its government and politics really are, however, it can become a sour grapes experience. I'd like to conclude with leaving open the possibility that there may be some schools in Thailand that are not
infested with corrupt politics and back-stabbing colleagues and school administrations, and if these schools can be found, perhaps a teacher may have a more positive overall work experience than I did. Good luck!


Showing 5 Great Escapes out of 330 total

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