Koh Samui – The Tropical Paradise
Situated in the serene waters of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Samui is a haven for locals and foreigners alike. From sandy white beaches to verdant jungles, the island offers activities for all, whether you are seeking relaxation or adventure. The boutique-style resorts and private villas that line the shores of Koh Samui will give you the experience of a true beach lifestyle, with sand on your toes and the ocean at your door.
Before you depart, we will provide you with all the trip advice and support you need. When you arrive, our driver will be waiting for you at Koh Samui airport to take you to your pre-arranged accommodation.
The training center is located in Chong Mon, in the north eastern part of Koh Samui, only 2 minutes away from the beach and other amenities. Our school is fully equipped with air-conditioned classrooms. You will get to practice teaching at a Thai government school located nearby. During the 4-week program, you will usually have evenings and weekends free to explore the local culture, attractions, and nightlife that Koh Samui has to offer. You will, however, have some homework assignments to complete.
The 4-Week TEFL Course
Classes run Monday to Friday, 9-4pm. Weekends are free to explore the local area but you will have homework assignments.
You must complete the online preparation TEFL course at least 1-week before you arrive in Thailand. You will have completed most of the grammar and theory modules before you arrive at Koh Samui.
This means that you can focus on the more practical aspects of the course while you’re here, such as teaching practice with Thai students at a local government school. You’ll also enjoy a more relaxed learning experience on the island and have more free time to relax and embrace this amazing tropical paradise!
You will have the opportunity to practice teaching at a nearby Thai government school. Make sure you bring your laptop or iPad as you will need it to research and prepare your lessons.
Course Start Dates
Courses run virtually every month from January to December each year. We will confirm the exact dates when booking. You may change your start date after booking by giving just 30 days notice.
Students will now stay in the the newly furbished guest house situated near the training centre within walking distance to the beach, shops, restaurants. Once your place on the TEFL course has been confirmed, our staff will contact you to finalize your housing arrangements.
Rooms usually cost around USD$400-$500 for 4-weeks. There is no shortage of long stay apartments in Thailand costing anywhere from USD$200 per month for a studio room to $300 -1,000 per month for a standard one bedroom apartment or bungalow.
The Choeng Mon Residence is a fairly new hotel around 200m from the beach and 200m from the training centre. Rooms have air-con, free wifi, hot water showers, TV, fridges and kettles, and small balconies. Cleaning once a week is included in this rate.
Getting Here and Visas
Airport pickup and transfer is included in the Advanced package. We recommend you arrive in Thailand at least 2-days prior to the course start date. There will be a meet & greet event before the course starts on the Monday.
Students planning to stay in Thailand longer than 4-weeks should apply for a 60-day tourist visa, which must be obtained before you arrive in Thailand. Once you secure a job placement, your employer is responsible for sponsoring you for a Business (NIB) visa and then a work permit. If you plan to stay for 4-weeks or less, you can simply arrive without any visa and you still get a 30-day arrival stamp at any main airport in Thailand. Check with your local Thai consulate before travelling.
Prospects for Teachers
English teaching opportunities exist in Thailand for anyone from an experienced professional to an untrained traveller. Only a small percentage of recruitment takes place outside of Thailand.
Most ESL employers in Thailand no longer respond to job applicants who are not yet in the country as they have been let down too many times. Most schools prefer to find native speaking teachers locally. This is also true for Thai universities and private business colleges which have EFL departments. Only submit your resume after you have started your TEFL course.
In between school terms, summer camps and specialized language programs are offered although most teachers prefer to go off travelling. Language centers are open all year round except for National Holidays. There are also lots of new bilingual programmes opening up at Thai schools favoured by parents who want their children to have more exposure to English than in the standard school and cannot afford the prices of an international school. Language schools are very easy to locate in Bangkok and it is a good idea to visit these schools in person to enquire about employment.
A preponderance of teacher-travellers can be found on the Thai teaching scene, earning enough money to fund a longer stay or subsequent travels. Thais are fun loving people and their ideas about education reflect this. They seem to value fun and games above grammar, and an outgoing personality over a teaching certificate. Anyone determined to teach in Thailand is guaranteed some excellent opportunities, provided he or she is willing to go to Thailand and seek them out. Most students want to learn English for a purpose such as tourism or business, and a good teacher will find out their motives and tailor the lessons accordingly.
Conditions of Work
Government schools will usually require you to work from Monday to Friday, 7.30 to 4pm. Private language schools tend to open at weekends and with some classes during the week – Monday to Saturday, up to 9pm. However, your teaching hours will normally work out the same at any school at around 40 hours per week. You may work 5 or 6 days per week (usually five) between Monday and Sunday.
Actual teaching, or contact hours are normally only 18-25 hours per week, although additional time will be spent planning your lessons. Your working week therefore should be assumed to be a standard 35-40 hours per week. Specific details of salary and hours worked will depend on your contract.
The Thai academic school year begins in May. The first semester generally finishes late September and the second begins in early November. The school year usually finishes in mid March just before the holidays.
In Thailand, people dress conservatively especially in Bangkok. Cleanliness and neatness are highly prized. In spite of the heat, most Thais don’t wear short-shorts or sleeveless upper wear in places other than beaches or at swimming pools. It’s appropriate that you have some conservative clothing to wear in public. Shorts should be knee length and shirts should not be low-cut. You can find clothing at prices far below those of Western countries. Light weight ready-made skirts, for example go for about 200 Baht (around $5.50) Beware: Asian sizes tend to be on the small side!
Once you begin your teaching placement, proper business attire will be required. Please make sure you have comfortable casual dress shoes, collared shirts or blouses, trousers or knee length skirts, and a couple of ties for men. A few schools will help with accommodation, however vacant apartments and houses are not hard to come by and rental deposits aren’t crippling.
It is also important to remember that there is a culture difference, and there are certain things you should know, such as to never touch a student on the head, which is difficult if you are teaching children. In class, a show of anger will soon lose the students’ respect since
Thais go to great lengths to avoid displays of negative emotion. Calm, smiling and enthusiastic personalities make all the difference.