1. Do I Need a Bachelor's Degree to Teach In Thailand Legally?
There's a LOT of confusion around this issue and some new rules have recently been enforced!
Officially, you need a BA or BSc Degree to obtain a teaching permit in order to teach legally in Thailand. However, there are a few exceptions to this requirement. Here are the 3 main exceptions:
# 1. If you do not have a BA Degree, your employer can apply for a provisional teaching permit, which lasts for two years. The rules for this permit are confusing and we got different answers from a number of officials we contacted. This is actually very common in Thailand when asking for official confirmation.
# 2. Your school or employer has a good relationship with the Department of Labour and the Ministry of Education. If they can demonstrate that you are a suitable candidate for the position and they desperately need an English teacher, then a teachers license and work permit will be issued.
# 3. There are countless private and corporate opportunities to teach English where a BA degree is NOT a legal requirement. In this case you may be employed as a 'consultant' and not as a 'teacher.
Virtually all of our TEFL course graduates are still being issued with a teachers license & work permit whether they have a Bachelor's degree or not! This is Thailand after all and there are contradictions and exceptions to every rule! Most employers and government officials are completely unaware of these options for non degree teachers.
Remember, If you visit schools in person, present yourself properly, and can demonstrate enthusiasm for teaching, you WILL be offered teaching work, with or without a BA degree, especially in late April and October, when the new school terms begin.
1B. What about the visa?
You need a Non Immigrant B visa (NIB) to apply for a work permit and teach legally in Thailand. Recently however, this visa has become difficult to obtain UNLESS you already have an employment contract with a Thai school. The Thai schools won't issue an employment contract until they meet you in person so it's a catch 22 situation.
We suggest that you apply for a 60-day tourist visa at a Thai consulate in your home country.
Once you secure a job placement your EMPLOYER MUST sponsor you for a Non Immigrant B visa (NIB) visa & work permit application. If they won’t arrange this for you, then you must inform them that you cannot work for them and look elsewhere.
Please note that TAT, or our affiliates, cannot sponsor any visa or work permit applications within Thailand as this can only be arranged by your prospective employer.
Some Thai consulates will now ask to see a round-trip, flight ticket before issuing a visa. Regulations can change without notice and Visas are issued at the discretion of the Thai consulate.
2. What If I don't have a Bachelor's Degree?
Around 50% of our TEFL course graduates do not have a Bachelor's degree. Recently, it has become much more difficult for non BA degree holders to obtain the necessary visa & work permit to teach in Thailand. There are however still plenty of opportunities available.
If you do not have a BA degree, you should visit schools in person rather than applying online. You should also be flexible in your teaching location. You must insist that your employer sponsors you for the work permit & visa application.
3. Can I get a Job Without a TEFL Certificate?
These days, anyone looking for a teaching job without a recognized TEFL certificate is in for a nasty shock. There are still a few countries in which non certified teachers may find employment, but this is becoming rare. Also, non certified teachers can expect much lower rates of pay than those who do hold a TEFL Certificate. Basically, they will only be offered jobs that qualified teachers wouldn't want to take.
Most reputable schools and organizations around the world now insist that their teachers hold a recognized TEFL qualification, such as a CELTA or TESOL. Proper training and certification, as opposed to a Bachelor's degree, will greatly increase the opportunities open to you.
To put it simply, you wouldn't attempt to drive a car without first taking some driving lessons and gaining the necessary skills. Well, teaching is much the same. Like driving, if you try to "wing it" without really knowing what you're doing, the chances are that it will all go wrong.
More importantly, you should remember that most students are desperate to learn English, and it's costing them a small fortune. It’s only fair that you should know what you are doing and that you can take the money knowing you haven’t just ripped them off to increase your travel funds!
4. What about job placements? What are job prospects like in general?
Our TEFL certificates are accepted throughout the world by reputable organizations who employ English Language teachers. This means that you will most likely secure a teaching job before, or shortly after, you complete your TEFL course. We will give you access to our daily job club.
5. Is my job placement guaranteed?
No one can guarantee you a job unless you attend a face-to-face interview. However, If you follow our step-by-step guide, we guarantee you will find a teaching job within 2-months of finishing your TEFL course.
93% of our course graduates were able to secure a paid teaching job within 3-4 weeks of completing the TEFL course. Remember that all job offers are subject to an interview by the prospective employer.
As long as you hold a recognized TEFL certificate, present yourself properly at an interview, and show enthusiasm for teaching, you wont have any problems finding a teaching job in Thailand.
However, If you arrive at a job interview late, looking like you just fell out of bed, wearing flip flops and shorts, or you look like you got mugged on the way to the interview, you wont get offered a teaching job, regardless of what TEFL certificate you hold!
Most of the best teaching jobs in Thailand are not advertised, so the best approach is, therefore, to call first, then visit schools in person, rather than just applying by email.
6. How do your courses compare to other TEFL courses?
We have been running TEFL courses in Thailand since 2002 and have hundreds of satisfied graduates. Our TEFL certificates are accepted by the Thai Ministry of Education & Department of Labor and carry international recognition.
You can gain a TEFL certificate in 2-weeks instead of 4-weeks, which saves you time and money. All courses consist of 120 hours, which consist of 40 hours online before you arrive, plus 80 hours on-site.
You will gain a fully accredited & certified, TEFL/TESOL certificate, which is internationally recognized and accepted throughout the world. We have added a comprehensive job club to our package, so now many students manage to find employment even before they complete the course!
6b. What about your Cambridge ESOL qualification?
The Cambridge ESOL (TKT) is a test that focuses on the teaching knowledge needed by teachers of primary, secondary or adult learners of English, anywhere in the world. It can increase your confidence and enhance your job prospects.
Because it is awarded by Cambridge ESOL, part of the University of Cambridge, TKT is internationally recognised, highly respected and a benchmark for quality. This is an excellent addition to your TEFL/TESOL certificate course and will greatly enhance your job prospects, confidence and even your salary!
You can take Cambridge ESOL exams at authorized centers all over the world. There are over 2,700 centers in 130 countries. They must meet high standards of professional integrity, security and customer service, and are subject to inspection by Cambridge ESOL. To take an exam, we will register your place directly with an exam center in Bangkok. You can also take the exam in your home country and you can find your nearest approved ESOL center here: http://cambridgeesol-centres.org/centres/teaching/index.do
Please note, you cannot book your Cambridge exam date/location until you have completed the TKT modules. Only at this stage will you be asked the pay the $199 exam fee direct to Cambridge ESOL. We will advise you further nearer the time. Exam seats must be booked 6 weeks in advance.
7. I've heard that these courses are really tough, can I really make it through?
These TEFL courses are quite intensive, as they contain a great deal of content in a few weeks. However, If you approach the course with the right attitude and do your homework, you won't have any problems. You will enjoy a fun and instructive TEFL course, and you will gain an internationally recognized qualification for life!
Our TEFL schools have arranged the course schedule so that you will have most of your weekends free to relax and explore the local area.
8. Where can I teach with these certificates?
Virtually anywhere throughout Europe, The Middle East, Asia, and Central and South America.
9. What are your requirements to join the TEFL course?
No experience or qualifications are required to enroll in our TEFL courses. Applicants may be subject to a telephone interview by the director of the host training centre.
10. Do I have to be a native speaker to take the course? Do I Need to be able to speak Thai?
No, but you should have native or near-native fluency in written and spoken English.
You don't need to speak Thai. A TEFL course teaches you how to teach English to students who don’t speak English in a way that doesn't require you to know the students' native language. You learn all the techniques necessary to deliver an effective lesson in any country. The techniques you use to teach in Thailand are the same as you would use in China, Peru, or Tanzania!
11. How do I join the course?
Please complete the on-line application form in full. We will process your application and confirm your placement within 24 hours.
12. Will I get a certificate after the course?
Yes, you will receive an internationally recognized TEFL/TESOL certificate upon the successful completion of the course.
Each graduate will be given a grade for their participation in the TEFL course. The grades are based on theory, grammar assignments, lesson planning, teaching practice performance, participation in group activities and also for attendance & timekeeping. The cumulative score will determine your final grade.
You must achieve an overall pass grade of at least 50%. Those who do not achieve this pass grade, will fail the course and will not be issued with a TEFL certificate. No refund or compensation will be provided in this case.
Failed students may be given the opportunity to re-take the course, which is at the trainers discretion. Every effort is made to assist students to make sure you pass the course. Our current pass rate is 99%.
13. Do you offer career advice?
Yes. Knowing where to look for work abroad is very important. We will provide you with advice on how to apply for jobs, where to look, and what to expect. You will also receive a FREE lifetime membership to the TEFL Job Club, which offers you full online support, advice on travel, visas, and current Job vacancies whenever you need it.
WARNING: DON’T send email applications to language schools and expect a reply !
Written applications by email to the majority of schools in Asia (assuming you could compile a list) are usually a waste of time, as most have been let down too many times to even bother replying to emails.
The pool of traveler teachers who are already on location is usually large enough to fill the needs of the schools in most countries. Also, sending your Resume/CV to every school in the local Internet directory will most likely be fruitless. Why? Because that’s what everyone else does, and most ESL schools do not have the time or patience to go through 200 to 300 emails per day, knowing from experience that the teacher they select will probably not even turn up!
Most ESL/EFL school managers have lost count of the number of teachers who have let them down at the very last minute. “Due to some family/personal problems I will not be able to take up my position…etc.” is the common one used!
Therefore, the best way to find a teaching job is to get on a plane, fly to the country of your choice, and search once you get there. This can seem intimidating, as many worry that they will arrive with a tight budget and not find any work, but it's the only sure way of securing a teaching job in Asia.
14. What about accommodation?
Training accommodation can be added to any package. We will book a room for you and you can simply pay on arrival. You are assured that accommodation booked through us will be clean, comfortable and secure. Alternatively, you can book your own accommodation if you prefer.
15. Will this certificate get me a paid teaching job?
YES. We have thousands of graduates who are working with these qualifications all over the world.
16. Are there any additional costs?
Yes, flights, initial visa costs, living expenses/food, travel costs, vaccinations and insurance are NOT included.
It is your responsibility to arrange adequate 'medical & repatriation' insurance cover for your stay in Thailand.
You should allocate a budget of around USD$15 to create your own flashcards and other teaching materials that you will need for lesson planning and teaching practice.
17. Do I need to have a BA degree to enrol on your course?
No, you do not need any qualifications to enrol on our TEFL Courses. See question numbers 1 and 2.
18. Is there an age limit?
Yes, all candidates must be at least 20 years old. There is no upper age limit! You must however be in good physical, emotional and mental health. The teaching practices in the local Thai schools require a certain level of energy and can be demanding. We've had 3 or 4 students, over 60 years old, who had to leave the course because their fitness let them down. Complainers and negative people are NOT welcome.
19. How much does the TEFL course cost? What is your refund or cancellation policy?
Please check the Dates & Fees section for the packages and fees. We offer a full refund option if your course is canceled for any reason. If you need to cancel 30 days prior to the course start date, we cannot issue refunds if we have already booked and confirmed your place. We will, however, hold your payment for up to 24 months, providing you give us 30 days notice.
If you cancel within 30 days of the course start date, you cannot be moved to a new course date and you will not be entitled to any refund. You would therefore lose your fees and placement. This is because we will have already paid for your hotel, support staff and other items that we are unable to recoup.
No refunds are given to anyone who is expelled from the course, or who does not complete the course for any reason.
20. What shall I bring on the day?
A positive attitude, a copy of your passport, a notebook, and some pens. You will also need a budget of around $15 for buying some teaching materials for your lesson plans. This will be a good investment, as you can use these resources when you begin teaching.
21. What is TEFL, CELTA, TESOL?
TEFL, or Teaching English as a Foreign Language, is the name of the industry which encompasses two major certificates: the Cambridge CELTA (Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults) and the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).
TESOL is actually a more modern term which encompasses both TEFL and TESOL. All of the above are used interchangeably in practice worldwide, so they all mean virtually the same thing. The certification we provide is the TEFL/TESOL.
WTA-approved courses are Ideal for beginners, especially for those whose grammar isn't strong. You will learn how to teach all levels (children, adults, beginner, advanced, business, one-on-one), giving you multiple employment options.
The CELTA, on the other hand, is a very intensive TEFL course, the qualification of which is awarded by Cambridge ESOL, part of the University of Cambridge. Generally speaking, you should possess a good level of grammar before enrolling on a CELTA course. We do not offer CELTA but we do include a Cambridge ESOL (TKT) course and exam in our TEFL packages.
22. What will I learn on this TEFL course?
It is generally true but certainly not impossible. There remains some very unfortunate prejudice in Thailand as to what they expect an English teacher to look like.
If you are a mature candidate over 55 years of age, African-American or Asian, then you really MUST go and visit prospective employers in person, otherwise your email application will likely be rejected, regardless of your qualifications!
If you arrive suitably dressed and are approachable, friendly, and polite, with your passport and TEFL certificate in hand, then you will likely be welcomed and offered a job on the spot regardless of your age, creed or colour.
24. I saw another TEFL course advertised in Koh Samui that claims they are the ONLY TEFL provider who is accredited by the Thai Ministry of Education. Is this true?
No, it's completely false and misleading. The Thai MOE does not accredit or approve any TEFL or CELTA course provider.
25. Why are your TEFL course fees more expensive than some of the other TEFL course providers
There are a number of reasons. Many cheaper courses have 30+ students in the class, which severely affects the quality of training. We have 4-staff members on each course to support you throughout your stay compared to one support staff (per 30 students) at most other courses.
We are moderated by the World TEFL Association, and we are a subsidiary of the international TEFL group, TEFL Limited. This means we can guarantee you the highest quality TEFL/TESOL training, as well as international recognition.
We only have 20 students on each course to maintain training quality. We offer a comprehensive TEFL package, which includes airport transfer, accommodation, visa assistance, job assistance, and much more. Remember you get what you pay for!
26. Who are you affiliated with?
We are an institutional member of IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language) membership number: 24458