How about winning a flight ticket worth up to US$500?
Become a member by January 31st and get a chance to win!

Teaching English in Thailand: how to embark on this life-changing journey

Embark on an enriching journey teaching English in Thailand with Worldpackers. Immerse in Thai culture and impact lives while living an unforgettable experience!


Teaching English in Thailand

Teaching English in Thailand is an adventure like no other. The moment you step off the plane, it hits you... No ordinary holiday, this is a life-altering experience.

You're not merely teaching English; you're sharing knowledge and bridging cultural gaps. And trust me, there's nothing quite as rewarding.

In fact, once you've tasted the joy of teaching English in Thailand, your perspective on travel and education will never be the same again.

Whether you're a native English speaker or a non-native English speaker with strong language skills, there's room for everyone passionate about education. Teaching positions range from formal roles requiring a teaching license to more relaxed settings where lesson plans revolve around conversational practice.

More on teaching English abroad on these articles about teaching English in Vietnam and teaching English in Argentina.

Volunteers and big group of students posing for the picture in a school in Thailand

Benefits of teaching English in Thailand

You've probably heard about teaching English abroad, but have you considered doing it in Thailand? If not, here's why you should.

Making a positive impact

Becoming one of those foreign teachers who inspire young minds isn't just personally rewarding - it also makes a real difference in the lives of Thai students.

Your efforts can greatly benefit the local community. English proficiency is a valuable skill worldwide. By teaching English to Thais, you're helping them unlock new opportunities both locally and internationally.

The experience is priceless

Gaining international experience by teaching English overseas can be a game-changer for your career and personal growth.

In particular, Thai schools offer unique opportunities to immerse yourself into an entirely different educational system while improving your skills as an educator.

Your journey as an ESL teacher isn't just about giving; it's also about receiving.

Teaching abroad challenges you to step out of your comfort zone and adapt to a different culture. This experience fosters personal development like nothing else.

  • Learning by teaching: As cliche as this may sound, when we teach others we learn too. As an ESL volunteer teacher in Thailand, expect not only to impart knowledge but also gain some along the way.
  • Travel perks: Thailand boasts stunning landscapes, from tropical beaches to lush mountains and stunning buddhist temples, perfect spots for weekend escapades or longer trips during school breaks. Know about 10 of the best places to visit in Thailand.

Two western girls teaching English in Thailand

A deep dive into Thai culture

Your journey begins when you start living among them rather than simply visiting tourist spots like Chiang Mai or the famous islands of southern Thailand like Ko Phi Phi, Phuket or Ko Samui.

Living among locals gives you a unique insight into their customs and traditions - something most tourists never get.

An affordable adventure

The cost of living there is significantly lower compared to North America or Europe, making life easier on modest earnings from private tutoring sessions or online classes if that's part of your plan too.

Diverse opportunities

English teachers are in huge demand in Thailand, making it very easy to find teaching opportunities in different locations. 

Worldpackers, for instance, provides easy access to numerous volunteering teaching positions across this beautiful country.

With all these benefits at hand (and more), why wouldn't anyone want to embark on such a fulfilling adventure?

But wait... How do you start your journey towards becoming an ESL volunteer teacher in Thailand?

Hold tight because up next we'll dive deep into how Worldpackers facilitates teaching opportunities through volunteering programs across 'The Land of Smiles'.

Two girls showing fruits to thai students as part of an English class

How to teach English in Thailand

You've made the decision. You're ready for an adventure and you want to teach English in Thailand. But how do you get started?

Welcome aboard. With Worldpackers, your journey is about to become a whole lot easier.

Worldpackers offer numerous volunteering opportunities in Thailand (and many more countries) where teaching languages is at the heart of the mission. The platform lets you search based on location or type of work - making finding that perfect position simple.

A big part of the WP community ethos involves connecting volunteers with hosts who need their skills. Worldpackers make this process seamless by providing detailed host profiles and direct messaging capabilities. In exchange for your help, you'll receive accommodation and - in some cases - food as well.

We understand that trust plays a huge role when embarking on such an endeavor, so you can check reviews on every host's profile, along with pictures of the place and a detailed description of the position. This allows potential volunteers like yourself to gain insight from those who've been there before.

To get started, you just need to subscribe to the Worldpackers Community for free and start saving your favorite volunteer positions until you are ready to get verified.

Read the experience of fellow travelers volunteering through Worldpackers: "Teaching English and becoming part of an Italian family in Genoa, Italy" and "How teaching abroad changed my life".

Your enthusiasm counts too

Remember why you decided upon this path - because not only does it give back but also provides opportunity for personal growth too.

So bring along plenty of enthusiasm, coupled with adaptability and a willingness to learn new things every day during your stint as a volunteer teacher in Thailand.

Lesson plans are your trusty guide, but don't forget to add some fun activities. Thais love interactive learning, so get ready for some excitement.

Teaching opportunities in Thailand

Check more teaching volunteering opportunities in Thailand and the rest of Asia!

Young western girl teaching English to thai kids

Experience local lifestyle and travel as an English teacher in Thailand

Get ready to embark on an exciting journey if you plan to teach English in Thailand.

The Land of Smiles offers an incredible mix of ancient culture, modern cities, breathtaking landscapes, affordability, mouthwatering food and friendly locals.

Lifestyle and living costs

Living costs in Thailand are much cheaper than in Europe or North America, specially if you live in cities other than Bangkok. Even in the capital city, costs of food, transportation and housing are far less than in Western countries.

You can comfortably get by with USD 600 to 800 per month, depending on your lifestyle choices and destination. 

This budget covers rent, meals at local eateries or cooking at home with fresh market produce and using public transportation. Actually can be even less if living in untouristy places.

Cultural immersion: speaking Thai & understanding local traditions

You're not just going there as tourists; you're about to become part of Thai culture while teaching students. Learning at least some basic phrases of the local language can enhance your experience, as they will highly appreciate your effort. 

But remember, respect for Thai culture goes beyond just speaking the language.

Thailand's traditions may be very different to yours, but they're fascinating. Don't hesitate to ask any question you have regarding local customs and etiquette, as some unnoticeable things for you like walking with your shoes on into a Thai house or temple is a total lack of respect for them.

Read and watch documentaries about Thai culture before leaving home, and have an open mind to learn as much as possible from their unique culture once there.

Tips for traveling around on your free time

In between classes, you'll have plenty of opportunities to explore this beautiful country.

Traveling within Thailand is a breeze - buses, trains, boats, taxis, tuk-tuks, motorcycles, bicycles - you name it.

You'll find options to suit every budget, from luxurious overnight sleeper trains to economical long-distance buses. And don't forget about domestic flights for quick and convenient travel. Low-cost airlines like Air Asia and Nok Air makes flying in Thailand really cheap.

  • Athough Thailand is a very safe country for travelers, maintain awareness of your surroundings, specially in very touristy spots where pickpocketing may occur.
  • Purchase reliable and comprehensive insurance coverage for unexpected incidents and medical emergencies. As a Worldpackers member you get 10% discount on international travel assistance insurance.

  • Familiarize yourself with emergency numbers: 191 for general emergencies and 1155 for tourist police.

  • Eat street food - a delicious, cheap, and authentic way to experience Thai cuisine.

  • Shop at local markets instead of large supermarket chains to save money and enjoy fresher products.

  • Use public transport whenever possible instead of private taxis.

  • Buy a local SIM card - they are very affordable and necessary for communicating with your colleages, using translators (not many people in Thailand speaks English) and navigate the streets. True is the biggest company. 

What to pack

Your best bet is lightweight clothing due to the tropical climate. Think cotton and linen fabrics.

Avoid packing too many clothes - remember, Thai markets offer affordable garments suitable for local weather.

You'll need a good pair of walking shoes and sandals for long days of exploring on foot. 

Duplicate important documents (like passport) and keep copies separate from originals.

More inspiration: Thailand and beyond: how one Worldpacking couple travels long-term.

Western guy in a "alms giving" buddhist ceremony in Thailand

Immersing yourself in the vibrant Thai culture and dedicating your time to teaching English can be a life-changing journey.

The warmth that Thais love to show towards foreigners will make your experience all the more rewarding. You'll get to interact closely with Thai students whose eagerness to learn is truly inspiring. Even if speaking Thai isn't your forte yet, this immersive environment will surely help improve your command over the local language while making lasting connections along the way.

Above all else, though, remember that every moment spent helping others grow adds value not only to their lives but yours too! This enriching adventure awaits anyone ready to embrace new challenges while making a positive impact on the world through education with the help of Worldpackers volunteer abroad programs.

If you like these tips, follow Worldpackers social media to keep up with the news: we are on Instagram and Tiktok.

Leave your comment here

Write here your questions and greetings to the author

More about this topic