According to the True website the details below are correct and can be relied upon. For further clarification the additional image copied on 8th January 2017 is also provided. For further details the link to True is here
Visa Agency Update 10 October 2015 – Note: The wording is their own and I have resisted changing their poor English to preserve their intended meaning so you may need to call them to clarify certain matters. I have used them in the past and they delivered what they promised each time.
We are very happy to announce that after the recent closure of borders we are back to normal. Now the border check points with Thailand and Cambodia including Ban Laem, stamp people out/in with valid visa, and regular out/in for 15/30 days are OK with some restrictions. 15/30 day visa exempt possible again, restriction: Thai Immigration will allow a total of 90 days under visa exempt per calendar year. Valid for ASEAN, Westerners, Russian and Japanese. Time spend under Tourist Visa or Non Immigrant Visa or any other extensions like medical are not counted towards that 90 day allowance. These visa exempt entries and entries under Tourist Visa can be, as usual, extended at Thai Immigration by 30days. We will keep you posted and please visit www.thaivisaservice.com for updates. Thank you for your support
1. Our daily visa run to Ban Laem in October start 5am from the regular place, Tesco Lotus ON NUT, parking lot next to KFC. Please have ready Passport, 1 picture (any size) and the fee, ASEAN THB 800.- and Westerners THB2,400.-. From November onwards we will have two trips again, 5am and 6.30am
2. We continue, twice a week, with our visa application trip to Royal Thai Embassy in Vientiane/Laos, this will allow you to apply for Single Entry or Double Entry Thai Tourist Visa and/or Single Entry Non Immigrant Visa. Meeting is Sunday and Wednesday evening at 19:00 at
the corner of Tesco Lotus ON NUT parking lot, beneath the huge Tesco Signboard and next to the street sign Sukhumvit Soi 50.
3. Student Visa: if you are interested in learning Thai and wish to stay for a one year course, please contact us, please note it is not possible to obtain a straight year extension anymore, you have to
go to Immigration every three month and be able to prove that you make progress.
4. Non Immigrant O, and extension of stay based on retirement: we continue to offer our service for the persons over 50 years of age in obtaining the initial Non O while in Thailand. First timers have to apply in person at Thai Immigration in Chaeng Watana, but our staff will assist you there and prepare forms, etc. For the yearly extensions we continue our pick up service from your house. Fees
remain unchanged, fees are reasonable and affordable. Enjoy your retirement in Thailand. Contact us for quotation. We still arrange the 90days reporting free of charge for our customer.
5. Air Ticket Booking: our new service is ready now, please send us your planned itinerary and we will send you a competitive offer, we work with a reliable agency in Nong Khai. We use them for our own travels and we found them to be cheaper than others. Give it a try. Please drop us a line about your concerns and we try to assist in advising of what would be best. You can also give me a call under 081-8154803. The outlook in general is positive, for example the Thai Embassy in Vientiane/Lao is still issuing, up to 3 Double Entry Tourist Visas. Furthermore it has also been announced that starting 13th November 2015 the Thai Embassies and Thai Consulates will issue Six Month Multiple Entry Tourist Visas in order to encourage Tourism.
Update 8th January 2017:
Because my Thai is poor I begin to realise certain facts much later as my Thai improves. My wife has just informed me that during the conversation with the hospital matron (she who must be obeyed) my wife revealed that we were married and showed her ID as proof. Suddenly the black clouds lifted. The matron confirmed that a husband of a Thai lady can benefit from state hospital visits up to 3 times. This is why the matron said we had already paid sufficient money into the system and asked that we simply pay an additional 2,000 baht. I must stress that I was extremely grateful to the doctors and nursing staff for helping me recover. The doctor who suggested that I should pay 30,000 baht was probably fed up with foreigners taking advantage of Thai hospitality by not having the funds or insurance to pay for hospital treatment. Apparently it does happen but I do not yet know the scale of this problem. He is entitled to his opinion of course and I have no problem with that. It's just that I was at a very vulnerable point when he mentioned it! All his actions and the actions of the nursing staff were otherwise professional, caring, effective and exemplary, bless them all.
Day 1. I woke up feeling a little dizzy at 5am. I got up and proceeded to the toilet but had to get quickly to my knees en route because I thought I was about to pass out. Seconds later I realised I had blacked out because I woke up staring at the floor where my head had hit it. I had a cut on my forehead to prove it. I immediately felt I was going to throw up and placed my head over the toilet. I retched but only a small amount came out, but it was blood. As I got up, I immediately threw up again into the bath. This time there was a lot of blood. I got up and went to the bedroom to alert my Thai wife. I got as far as the bedroom door and had to quickly drop to my knees again as the dizziness returned. This time I was in shock and was vomiting blood at one end and emitting faeces at the other. I had no control of my body during this time.
After cleaning me and the floor, my wife called the landlord who lives nearby to get me to the local hospital. Once there they placed a tube in my nose which dropped into my stomach. They then were able to clean out my stomach which still contained blood. This went on for a while and because the bleeding did not stop, I was transferred to the larger district hospital by ambulance. Once there a drip was placed in my arm. I was monitored on a trolley for a while and was admitted to a ward about an hour later.
I speak some Thai and it seemed that the staff assumed my condition was alcohol related. So there I was in a Thai ward, bed number 12. Nurses came and went taking my blood pressure and temperature. Subsequently a doctor appeared and after studying my notes he pronounced that my condition was alcohol related. The condition could be controlled and a stay in hospital of several days was necessary. He calmly pronounced that because I was not Thai, the cost of the special drug I needed would be 30,000 Thai baht, and that other expenses relating to my stay would need to be paid. I asked him how many days and he said he couldn't be sure so I asked him for an estimate of the overall likely costs I would incur, but he said he was a doctor, and it was not his job to know the prices of everything.
I decided to check out. As I began to get up and move out, he asked me to sign a form. I was in no mood to do so. I got inside the lift and suddenly my symptoms returned. I vomited copious amounts of blood into a bowl my wife had brought with her to the hospital and stumbled out of the lift and fell to my knees, still vomiting. The doctor appeared again, insisting that I could not leave until I signed the form. I politely declined. Moments later I was back in bed 12, which I now considered was my personal prison. There now existed a stand off. No nurses or doctor approached my bed for about 30 minutes. My wife suddenly had had enough and decided that I would sign the necessary forms and that I would stay in the hospital in accordance with the doctor's wishes. Suddenly several nurses and the doctor appeared. I signed all the forms and my treatment resumed. I asked the doctor what was the name of the wonder drug which would cost 30,000 and he pointed to the word Moduloc which had been written on the drip bottle.
There now proceeded the normal ward routine, with staff shifts coming and going and nurses randomly appearing at my bedside to attend to drips, my blood pressure and temperature and replacing the bag which was attached to my nose, which contained blood still emanating from my stomach. Gradually night descended. It was extremely hot in the ward so my wife gave me many bed baths which were a huge relief. I told her to go home for a rest but she refused.
As the night shift nurses were replaced by the day nurses, I heard my name being called and my wife soon returned with the bill for the first day – it came to 13,575 Thai baht. We had already paid the local hospital bill of 2,143 Thai baht the day before so 15,718 altogether. The doctor appeared by my bedside and said he wanted to arrange an endoscopy (a camera which passes down the neck and into the stomach). He explained that if there was any bleeding the endoscopy would be able to solve the problem because the doctor could clip blood vessels or stop the bleeding by injection. I readily agreed. I asked him how much it would cost and again he gave a non committal reply. I tried hard to get him to commit to a figure for the remaining time I needed to be at the hospital. I explained that we didn't have much money left in my wallet because we had arrived with about 20,000 baht but the bills for the first day needed to be paid out of that. I asked him if I could go to an ATM in or near the hospital to withdraw more funds. Strangely he said he could not permit that to happen. This may well have been for medical reasons, but I got a sense that lack of trust might have something to do with his decision. I remonstrated with him that this was not sensible, because how otherwise could I pay the bills if I cannot get to an ATM. A hopeless “Catch 22”.
There then followed a distinct slowing down of attention by the nursing staff. I sensed it but said nothing but eventually my wife mentioned it to me. She decided to pay the 13,575 without further delay by going to the payment office. She returned and handed the receipt to the ward nurses. Almost immediately there was a change and my wife whispered to me how quickly the level of care had improved. A new doctor arrived – a lady. I asked her whether I should continue with my heart disease medication, because I had not taken it for 2 days. She said that my blood pressure was normal, probably because of the loss of blood, so there was no need to take the hypertension tablets.
She asked what other tablets I took so I told her that one tablet was for cholesterol control and also daily aspirin. She became a little animated and asked if I had been taking the aspirin tablets during my time at the hospital, but quickly calmed when I said it would be unwise to do so when I was losing blood. She then stated that the bleeding was possibly directly connected to the aspirin so this was the first time that alcohol had not been mentioned as the root cause of my condition.
Some time later the male doctor returned. He said the endoscopy would take place later that day and sure enough it did. He said that if the endoscopy went well then I could look forward to returning home shortly afterwards. The procedure entailed me swallowing a dreadful substance sprayed into my mouth 3 times. The endoscope was then inserted into my mouth and I was told to swallow. Moments later the doctor said I had gastric enteritis and that I must never drink alcohol again for the rest of my life. He told me the bleeding had now stopped. Happily the tube inserted into my nose and stomach was no longer required and that was a huge relief. I returned to bed 12 hoping that I might return home the same day, but it was not to be. To my surprise a group A blood drip was placed in my arm soon after returning to my bed.
Later I felt the need to go to the toilet but this time it was not the easy bottle version. I proceeded to get up in order to go to the toilet, but a nurse informed my wife that this was not possible. The dreadful bed pan thing was handed to her. The curtains only shielded me on 3 sides because there was no curtain at the back of the bed. Normally this would be a solid wall, but my wall had a glass panel in it enabling all and sundry to have a perfect view of me. The front curtain needed to be held shut by my wife because the ties were not present, so she was unable to assist me at all, because the moment she stopped holding the curtains together the overhead ceiling fan blew the curtains apart enabling the whole ward to see my every move. My wife placed bed clothes to shut off the view at the back of the bed and then the fun began. I had 2 drips in me and they were in different arms and on different sides of the bed. My task was to place my buttocks squarely on the bed pan and to then wipe my bum clean. Normally this would be a walk in the park because I had been potty trained several years before, but this was a whole new thing. I managed it but it took a long time and I was exhausted. To make matters worse, the man in the bed beside me had about ten visitors arrive just before this ghastly exercise started. I kid you not.
The dirty deed was done. There was a lot of blood in my excrement and the smell was just awful. And I do mean awful. We heard the comments of the people visiting the bed beside mine and they were not polite. They were saying that the foreigner's excrement smelt dreadful and so he probably had AIDS, and why didn't he use the toilet like everybody else. My wife defended me stoutly, bless her, but it upset her. I vowed not to repeat this process again. (Note: The comments by the Thais aimed at the English foreigner about HIV/Aids are laughable - in excess of 500,000 people have HIV/Aids in Thailand (source: Unicef) and in excess of 107,000 in the UK (source: Public Health England) which is a ratio of nearly 5:1)
As the evening wore on I sensed that my drips had stopped working efficiently. I assumed this might be because of the strain placed upon the entry point to my arms during the bed pan exercise. After several attempts by the nurses I was still not convinced that the drips were working properly, and finally asked that the entry points to my arms be replaced. My wife and I were surprised at the rudeness and blunt comments of the nurses as this process went on.
Later I felt the need to go to the toilet again but this time I decided that I would not use the bed pan. I asked for the drips to be removed so that I could walk to the toilet. It is possible to walk to the toilet and take the drips with you and many Thais had done this during the day with the aid of the nurses, but my drips were connected to machines which were plugged into the wall which controlled the flow of the drips into my arms. The nurse refused and her comments were very impolite so I told her that I wanted to check out immediately. I asked that my drips be removed and shortly they were, allowing me to walk freely to the toilet.
About an hour later my wife and I were still sitting on bed 12 discussing our options when a lady in a white uniform appeared– she was the hospital matron. She ushered us to an office so that we could speak in private. She soon got to grips with all our problems. She spoke to the male doctor by telephone and asked him to speak with me. He said my release would most likely be the next day once he had a chance to examine the endoscopy results and that he would speak with me again the following morning. Following this she made her pronouncements and they were as follows:
1. She said that we had already paid sufficient money for treatment because it was in keeping with what Thais would pay for a similar condition. She stated that the remaining treatment would cost a further 2,000 Thai baht.
2. She stated that her nurses work long hours and sometimes can be blunt, that they are decent people, but not perfect.
3. I could walk to the toilet when I needed to. Normally she said that patients should avoid too much movement in my condition, but she would sanction this on this occasion. My wife later explained to me that patients can go into shock at any time during treatment, and if this was to happen on the way to or in the toilet, it would pose extreme problems for the emergency crash team.
4. My treatment was still ongoing and I should remain in hospital until the doctor released me, though she thought this might possibly be the next day.
As we returned to bed 12, she was talking to a Thai patient and asked him if he would mind swapping beds with me because his bed was right next to the toilet. We declined this kind offer. She asked me if I wanted “Valium” to ease my stress and to help me sleep, but I again declined. Sleep soon overcame us.
My wife and I had slept well. She had not left my side and tiredness had completely overwhelmed her. She was rolled in a ball at the end of my bed. I thought I was beginning to feel better, though still weak. My heart suddenly started beating faster so I woke my wife and she called for assistance. The nurse explained, as she was attaching ECG electrodes to my body, that my loss of blood deprived my body of oxygen, so my heart was beating faster to compensate. She asked another nurse to set up oxygen for me and after about 30 minutes my heart slowed. The male doctor appeared and told me that the endoscopy went well and that he would release me today. He advised me to wait another few hours because I needed a further blood transfusion. I shook him by the hand and thanked him for his skill and efforts. I also apologised for being a difficult patient. He just smiled. About 4 hours later, following the blood transfusion, my wife settled the final bill and we were on our way home. An out patient appointment was made for me to attend the hospital on the 8th September for a final check up. Meantime I was handed tablets to take daily at home. The whole cost of the treatment I received at both hospitals amounted to 17,718 Thai baht.
I forgot to mention that when I was panicking on the first day, I had contacted my landlord and landlady. They are local celebrities because he is a highly ranked Thai cop. I asked him to get me out of the hospital because I wanted to return to our local hospital instead. They kindly kept constantly in touch with us and he visited my ward to see how things were on the third morning for a brief chat.
My overall impression was that the hospital administration is swamped by a multitude of patients. The corridors and all available spaces were used to take the overflows from the wards, so it is likely that the hospital, despite being full, tries hard to accept all the patients they possibly can, which is a commendable maxim. The doctors and some nurses can speak passable English and they all work incredibly long hours. These factors can cause stress and tiredness though, and as the matron, rightly protective of her staff said, they are all wonderful people but they are understandably not perfect sometimes. As we all know, the truly impressive people in any country are the unsung heroes and heroines, and we all would be lost without them. Modern mobile X ray equipment (bedside) and also modern mobile ECG (bedside) were available. The endoscopy was performed in another building. The standard of care by the doctors and nurses was excellent. In particular, the hospital matron is an absolute gem. The general ward is not air conditioned and only ceiling fans are available, though additional bedside fans can be brought in by the patient's family or friends. Payment can be made by cash, credit card and there are many insurance companies available to process your claim.
For the technically minded, the IV's and other matters are disclosed in the slide show and notes which follow below:
Prescribed medicine to take at home:
Omeprazole to take 30 minutes before each meal
Vitamin B tablets - twice daily
Amino acid tablets – twice daily
Thonburi Roi Et Hospital is much cheaper despite being a private hospital. There are various types of room and standards of care available at very sensible prices. The facilities are excellent and there are ATM machines on the premises - take a look at the address and rates in the slide show below
Ajarn - Every aspect of teaching in Thailand and beyond
Ajarnrecruit - Jobs in Asia including non-teaching jobs
Asia Teaching Jobs - Similar in style and content to Ajarn.com
Craigslist - Comprehensive online classified listings
Dave’s ESL Cafe - Global jobs and teaching resources
Jobs DB - Database for all types of jobs in Thailand and south east Asia
Sta Travel - US$ 1500+ service to landing teaching job in Thailand
Teach Abroad Thailand - US$ 2000 for a guaranteed job!
Thailand Jobs 77 - Up to date job vacancies in Thailand
Teaching Thailand - Similar in style and content to Ajarn.com
Real Estate Jobs - CBRE and Absolute
Diving Instructor – Get PADI qualified in Phuket at Diveasia
Freelance Travel Writer - Guru and Elance
International Development Worker - Devex
Movie/Extra - Orange Talent and Xpat Modeling
Job Boards - Ajarnrecruit and Jobs DB and Thaivisa
Hit the link above to transport you to the best site in Thailand to compare currency exchange rates. The converter provides data for all currencies and currency types (TT, Notes, Sight Bill, Cheque, Draft). The rates are checked every 10 minutes, so you can see which banks have the highest rates at any particular time of day. Most Thai banks will charge 180 baht for using their ATM to get currency using your credit or debit card issued by your bank back home. To see the rates that you would get from an ATM, select the "TT" currency type.
This site was created to save you money by allowing you to easily compare the current foreign exchange rates at various banks. Simply choosing to exchange money at the bank with the best rate can save you a substantial amount, especially if you convert a large amount and especially when converting from some currencies such as the Korean Won (KRW), Chinese Yuan (CNY) and Indian Rupee (INR).
A secondary goal is to increase competition amongst the banks such that the exchange rates will improve for everyone. These are the actual rates that you'd get if you were to exchange currency at the bank, and would be different to the interbank currency market exchange rates that you'd find on other sites. These retail rates are more relevant to travelers, foreigners or small to medium sized businesses who need to convert relatively small amounts of money (usually in the form of physical notes or electronically through an ATM), whereas interbank exchange rates are more relevant to financial market professionals who trade currencies in large volume for profit or hedging.
This is a direct copy of the USA Embassy advice. It can also be relied upon by most other nationalities. The USA example has been chosen because it is so well laid out.
Visa Exempt Entry
U.S. citizens carrying a tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand. The passport must have at least six months validity remaining to be allowed entry. Upon entry, Thai immigration officials will place an immigration stamp in the passport permitting a 30-day stay in Thailand if arriving by air or a 15-day stay if arriving by land. This time limit may subsequently be extended for an additional 7 days by paying a 1,900 baht fee to the Thai Immigration Bureau office. The headquarters of the Thai Immigration Bureau is located at Government Center Chaengwattana Building B, No. 120, Moo 3, Chaengwattana Road, Tungsonghong Sub-District, Laksi District, Bangkok 10210, 66-2-287-3101 through 66-2-287-3110. For more information or additional Thai Immigration Bureau locations, please consult the Thai Immigration Bureau website.
NOTE: The Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens carrying a diplomatic or official passport obtain a visa prior to arriving in Thailand. It is sometimes possible for diplomatic or official passport holders to enter without a visa, but it is up to the discretion of the airline and/or immigration personnel and you may be denied entry.
If an individual wishes to remain in Thailand for more than 30 days, he/she may wish to obtain a tourist visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in the United States, prior to arriving in Thailand. The tourist visa must be used within 90 days from the date of issue and allows an initial stay of 60 days. After arrival in Thailand, a tourist visa may be extended twice, each time for an additional 30 days. There is a 1,900 Baht fee for each extension. Interested Americans should contact the Thai Immigration Bureau located at Government Center Chaengwattana Building B, No. 120, Moo 3, Chaengwattana Road, Tungsonghong Sub-District, Laksi District, Bangkok 10210, 66-2-287-3101 through 66-2-287-3110. For more information or additional Thai Immigration Bureau locations, please consult the Thai Immigration Bureau website.
American citizens who wish to remain in Thailand for longer than 90 days during any six-month period will be required to obtain a valid Thai visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate that is authorized to issue visas. The U.S. Embassy advises all American citizens who wish to obtain a Thai visa to contact the Thai Immigration Bureau for exact visa requirements and regulations. Persons who do not comply with visa regulations risk being denied entry to Thailand at the border.
All foreigners interested in working in Thailand must obtain a Thai work permit and a Thai work visa. In order to receive a work permit, a company, foreign government, or other organization in Thailand must file an application on the behalf of the work visa applicant. Once obtained, the work visa is valid for one year. For more information, please consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. websites.
Retirement visas for Thailand are available to foreigners 50 years of age or older. These visas are valid for only one year and employment of any kind is strictly prohibited. According to Thai immigration, applicants must meet the following qualifications:
•Applicant must be able to provide proof of a pension or other regular income from a source outside of Thailand;
•Applicant’s pension or other regular income must be no less than the equivalent of 65,000 Baht per month;
•Alternatively, the applicant may meet the financial requirement by maintaining a Thai bank account with a minimum amount of 800,000 Baht. (Applicants will need to show that they have 800,000 Baht in savings each year when they renew their visa.)
•Any applicant married to a Thai citizen may be able to receive a visa on that basis rather than retirement.
For additional requirements and information, please consult the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. websites.
If an individual does not depart Thailand prior to expiration of his/her airport permit or visa, the individual is in the country illegally. In order to depart Thailand, it will be necessary to pay an overstay fine. The fine for overstaying a visa is 500 Baht per day, up to a maximum of 20,000 Baht. The fine is payable to the Immigration Bureau, the Suvarnabhumi Airport Immigration office, or other departure point.
Thai police have been known to sweep areas frequented by low-budget travelers and arrest those who have overstayed their visas. Those arrested may be held in the Immigration Detention Center until they can pay for their fines and pay for tickets out of Thailand. Those who overstay their visas for more than 200 days may be required to serve time in the Immigration Detention Center before they are deported. It is highly advisable to avoid visa overstays.
Expired short-term visas can be extended after paying a fine, but the number of days elapsed since expiration is subtracted from the extension period. Application for extension must be made by the next working day after visa expiration to avoid a fine.
Please note: applications for extension cannot be made on Saturdays, Sundays, and Thai holidays.
Thailand’s entry/exit information is subject to change without notice. For further information on Thailand’s entry/exit requirements, contact the Royal Thai Embassy, 1024 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20007, telephone 202-944-3600, or contact the Thai consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York City. Visit the Royal Thai Embassy website for the most current visa information.
Getting a job as a teacher
Fake Degree/No Degree/Ageism
Let's get this out of the way immediately. Fake degrees from Khao Sarn Road are no longer viable. You will need a sealed letter from the university or your embassy to authenticate it. You'll be found out. Unqualified teachers (no degree) can rarely get jobs in Thailand now. It is not impossible but you will not get the better jobs and the pay will not be great. If people like you then strings can be pulled. Visiting the local schools and asking for a job can and does happen. Take a Thai speaker with you. The retirement age for Thai and foreign teachers is 60. Once you have reached that age you will find it almost impossible to get a job. How do I know? Because I am 66 years old and I have submitted countless job applications without success. Increasingly adverts for teachers stipulate much younger than 60 with 45 and 50 not uncommon.
Basic paperwork needed
(NOTE: The rules are being more strictly applied now)
Your employer should process all the paperwork required. If the advert says they will help with the paperwork, it normally means you need to pay for it. Better employers will meet the cost. Some employers will start the process promptly. Some employers will delay the process because they want to see if you can really teach first. I found the whole process to be stressful. My problems with Thai employers always have stemmed from unduly lengthy processing. This was because the visa in my passport was about to run out, but the Thai administration couldn't or wouldn't do things in a timely manner. Bloody minded brinkmanship! Try to stay calm. I couldn't stay calm but you might succeed!
The best free website in Thailand is http://ajarn.com/recruitment/browse_jobs/index.html I have found nearly all my jobs through their jobs section. Put your CV on the resume section and when you see a job advertised that you like, just send the school your resume. The alternative is to get your paperwork (CV, copy of degree) together and go round all the government schools, colleges, universities and private language schools, leaving them a copy of your paperwork. Try to speak to someone while you are at their premises, and periodically return in person to remind them that you are still seeking a job. There is a lot of information about all the things you need to know when teaching in Thailand on the ajarn.com site. Visit the forum for advice. You can get the real opinions of fellow teachers and they will help you with the job interview stage onwards. The paperwork (work permits, visas) requirements are many but the website members will guide you through the minefield. It is a wonderful website. It achieves much more than I can here, because it is up to date.
Normal workload and expectations at Government schools
Normally - You will be expected to prepare detailed lesson plans for the full term. You will probably teach several different classes. Textbooks are normally selected by the Thai teachers, so talk to the Thai teachers who deal with your classes. Try to work together. Ask what chapters, and which aspects of each chapter, will be covered by them and which aspects by you. Usually you will be required to teach the conversational parts. You will need to get a list of the students' names, which will probably be in Thai. At the first lesson ask them to write their English nicknames beside their name. Some kids will not have one yet, so give them an appropriate nickname. Use this list to record their grades. Test them regularly and as soon as possible to get the students, and you, used to the process.
Otherwise – Some Thai teachers may prefer that you sail alone. You will need to prepare everything yourself. You may choose a textbook or prepare handouts to be handed to each student at the beginning of the lesson. A lecture to the students about keeping the handouts in a file or remembering to bring the textbook for the next lesson is a good idea but whatever you do or say students will still lose them or forget to bring them. I used to prepare a folder for each child and hand them out and get them back at the end of the lesson! Their test answers and grades were also included in the folder.
International schools offer the best salaries and working conditions but also demand the best people. If you are well qualified, they are your best bet.
Good schools are easily identifiable from their advert. It should cover all the information about salary, benefits, work permit, visa, health insurance, working hours, contract term and so on. They are reliable employers because you can be certain that you will be paid, and it will be on time.
Private Schools and Language Schools
Private schools and language schools can be fine, but they can be less reliable than the other options. The reliability aspects normally relate to visa processing and sometimes payment. You will need to negotiate the best deal you can. Be careful. Ask around before you commit.
The Rajabhat universities tend to process your paperwork very quickly. When I worked there I had my visa and work permit within a fortnight. Amazingly quick. The workload and expectations are higher than government schools. You will be assigned a Thai counterpart to help you. Liaise carefully with your counterpart to ensure that you are fully aware of the tasks you are responsible for and the strict deadlines. You will be expected to teach several different courses and are required to prepare everything for each complete course. This covers tasks such as the complete course lesson plans (which also serve as the course outlines to be presented to the students at the first lesson), selecting and printing of the textbooks (including getting them printed at the print shops at the university) so that each student has a text book at the beginning of the course. The difference between the good and poor students is huge! You may need (and I certainly did!) to prepare additional material in order to cope with this problem. It arises because the textbook is too difficult for the poorer students so your choice of textbook is an important issue. Please ask the expatriate and Thai teachers for assistance in gauging the standard of English you will be confronting. Gauging the standard of the students comes with experience, but the first time you do it you don't have any, so don't be afraid to ask for help. Grading is an important issue. You will need to test them at the middle and end of each term. You need to choose a sensible grading structure. If you are too generous you might be required to reduce the number of A's you have given!
Agencies – The good, the bad and the ugly
Good luck! I don't mean to be controversial. I have never been shafted by an agency, but I have needed to be nimble and I have been lucky. My best job was with a British agency in Hat Yai. There are horror stories though, so you need to be cautious. New agencies spring up and bale out regularly though, so you take the plunge or not as you wish. I always asked to be paid daily or weekly at the beginning, but most are reluctant to do that, because they fear that you will not turn up regularly, so it works both ways. Find an expatriate bar frequented by teachers and ask around.
Thais will rarely pay your travelling or other costs so job hunting can be an expensive and time consuming exercise. Mostly you will not be hired unless you turn up, so get suited and booted and go for it! I have had mostly positive experiences so chin up and best foot forward. I once arrived for the interview at the stated time only to find that there were 19 others who had been told to come at the same time and on the same day! I left immediately, and sent the school an email condemning them concerning their disgusting behaviour and their contempt for foreign teachers. It made me feel better, but I did not get a reply. Shit happens but please do not let the bastards grind you down. Mostly you will be properly treated.
The salary for a government school and university is about ฿30K to ฿40K. International schools pay much more and will be in the range of ฿50K to ฿100K, depending on your qualifications and experience.
It is a legal requirement for government schools to provide health insurance once you have the work permit–at the time of writing the cost is ฿750 monthly from you and ฿750 monthly from the school.
Working as a teacher
I have been working as a teacher in Thailand for 11 years. In my experience many Thai teachers dislike foreigners and firmly believe that most of us are inferior. They think we are unprofessional, overpaid and over here just to extend our stay, to screw their women and get drunk. There are many glorious exceptions but the majority fit this description. Expatriate teachers are a rum lot too. Most are self centred and will think nothing of denigrating you and telling lies about you just to curry favour with the Thais. They think teaching is a popularity contest! Fortunately though, it is not absolutely vital to rub shoulders with your fellow teachers. You will be teaching at different times, you will be getting on with your own workload, you will be working alone, so you will follow your own agendas and rarely meet up normally. Thais and expatriates away from the working environment are better and I have had many positive experiences. I am even happily married to a Thai lady so it must be true. There is obviously a cultural divide in dealings with Thais in Thailand but only in the workplace does this cause a problem. Thais generally think foreigners are blunt and too rude and I have some sympathy with their viewpoint. Thai teachers and administration staff do not like being asked to take care of foreign teachers for this reason. The unfortunate Thai who is assigned to help with the visas and work permits for the foreigners absolutely hates having to do it. Consequently they put off doing things until the very last minute. This causes stress and frustration for the foreigner. The foreigner complains, the Thai person is upset and then the problems begin. Thais will then talk about the foreigner maliciously, often telling lies in order to put the boot firmly in. They group together and stop acknowledging your very existence. Your contract will not be renewed and you will get a bad reference.
My very personal golden rules when working in a Thai school are: