Jocelyn Pollak

5 reasons why I love teaching in Thailand

My plan was to come for a year and here I am, still here in 2019. So why did I stay?

Ah the Land of Smiles ? I arrived in Thailand in 2012 as an eager 27 year-old, ready for my one year adventure in this beautiful country. 

Little did I know, I would develop not only a passion for teaching but also a love for Thailand. My plan was to come for a year and here I am, still here in 2019. So why did I stay? 

Here are my top 5 reasons why I love teaching in Thailand.

1. The People. 

Thai people are warm and friendly and helpful. As students, they are just a lot of fun, plain and simple. From kids to adults, they love learning with games and fun activities. They joke around in life and in class which just makes for a really enjoyable environment. 

However, when it’s really time to get down to business, Thai people work hard and get the job done. 

2. The Pace of Life. 

While sometimes Thai people move at a slower pace than my American-self would like, it’s actually kind of nice to not always be moving at breakneck speed when I think about it. As 90+% of the population is Buddhist, they truly embrace the idea of living in the moment which has given me a very different perspective on life.

3. Travel. 

Thailand is just an amazing place to travel. The tourist infrastructure is well designed because of the nearly 60 million tourists arriving annually. With that being said, there are still plenty of opportunities to find off the beaten path options. 

After living here for a little while, you’ll make some Thai friends who can really show you the gems of their country. In addition, Thailand is an Asian hub so within about 6 hours you have such an incredible variety of travel destinations that there’s something for everyone.  

4. Work-Life Balance. 

With so much to see and do in Thailand, having a good work life balance has been key for me. 

In America, I was living for the weekend. I can’t remember what that feels like anymore. Sure, I work hard and have some long days; don’t’ get me wrong, teaching is absolutely not an easy job. But my schedule as a teacher allows for a lot more flexibility than my corporate life did at home. 

5. The Diversity. 

Thailand has always been a country that welcomed foreigners as opposed to being closed off like many of its neighbors. As a result, there is a supportive expat population, an amazing restaurant scene and a vibrant multi-cultural atmosphere. 

For me, one of the things that makes Thailand so livable is that I can get street noodles for $1 or I can get a perfectly cooked Australian beef steak. What I mean is that I have a good balance of familiar and foreign in all aspects of my life. It’s just familiar enough that I don’t get homesick and just foreign enough that I don’t get bored. 

If you’ve been thinking about coming to teach in Thailand, I say go for it! There are so many amazing opportunities to learn and grow and make a difference here. You absolutely won’t regret it.

Jocelyn is the co-founder of award-winning digital TEFL course, TEFLPros



Great to read about someone living one's dream and enjoying life. If one Is not living the dream, it is time to change paths in life.

It does not make sense to argue about whether Thailand is “good” or “bad” as we experience the world in a subjective manner. I think one’s enjoyment is primary a matter of alignment of a person’s values and personality with the external environment. I have lived and worked in many different countries, and find Thailand fits me as well as any place, but that does not imply it will fit others to the same extent.

Not everyone is a good fit to live and work in Thailand (or other culturally distant country), so much depends on one’s goals in life, flexibility, adaptability and level of ethnocentric beliefs. For those of us from Western countries, Thailand is “different” and whether different is good or bad depends on one’s opinion and can not be objectively “proven.” And there are those who are unhappy anywhere and with everything and look to “blame” whatever is handy, and Thailand is a convenient scapegoat for some long-time residents to blame for their unhappiness.

Anyway, you seemed to have riled Jim Beam’s feathers a little with your optimistic message.

By Jack, Overlooking the city (16th June 2019)

1. It's obvious you don't commute on MRT and especially BTS. It's a nightmare that grows monthly.
2. People move slower because they're slower. It has absolutely nothing to do with Buddhism. If anything ascribe it to the heat.
3. Twice a year, we head abroad, so do the Thai. I can't think of anywhere I'd want to travel in Thailand in 2019 given the traffic, crowds, logistics, expense. When I came to Thailand in 1992 I had a look around Chaing Mai and pronounced it over-touristed and made off for Cambodia and Myanmar the next day. My opinion hasn't changed. Thailand is about as adventurous as Hoboken NJ these days.
4. Working in a T10 public, public private or international? My guess
5. There is absolutely nothing I have seen or heard from the Thai government or Immigration since the Taksin held office that would lead me to believe Thailand welcomes foreigners. It does though welcome foreigners money.

Stick with the bowl of noodles. Grass fed beef is nothing compared to USDA prime. I've yet to buy a decent Australian steak here. In fact, I've given up - just go have sushi. Kiwi steaks in country are worth the money. The Australian beef is the wan side of mediocre.

Enjoy your extended holiday.

By Jim Beam, The Big Smoke (15th June 2019)

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