So you want to teach in Thailand, but when should you go? I had the hardest time choosing the right time to move abroad. I obviously wanted to go at peak hiring season for ESL teachers. This required knowing how the Thai school system worked. When does it begin? When does it end?
It seemed no one could give me a straight answer. So here it is:
The Thai school year runs from May-October (1st semester) and November-April (2nd semester.)
Peak hiring season is right around those times. The school year begins in May so April/May is the best time to look for work. First semester ends in October, so another good hiring time is October/November.
If you would like to work in the public school system these are the best times to look for work. However, you can work at a language center or a private school which would run year round and hire year round.
“What the heck is a language center? How is it different than a public school, I’m confused…”
Don’t worry, I was too. It gets confusing if you are new to the whole teaching world. So let me break it down for you. There are three different types of schools you can work for:
- Public schools are run under the Thai Government. You would be a government employee. Contracts are typically full time for one year.
- Private schools are just that, private, meaning they are not run by the Thai Government. You can get higher paying jobs at private schools and the hiring times are year round. Contracts are typically full time for one year.
- Language centers will hire year round and you will have a wide range of students. You could have children or adults. Some language centers are on-site and others may be off-site (meaning they send you to a place of business to teach English.) Contracts are more likely to vary with language centers, they may be full time or part time.
I worked for a public school full time and one night a week at a language center for extra cash. The type of school you would like to teach in is solely up to you.