Advice for Prospective English Teachers

Authored by:
Claudia M.

Claudia M.

So, you’re thinking about teaching in Thailand – I’m excited for you! I remember when the idea came to me and I just couldn’t shake it. I remember thinking about how amazing it sounded, but it seemed like there were so many obstacles in the way. I had a car, a student loan payment, an apartment full of furniture, and a job I loved.

My first piece of advice, which is something I did and worked for me, is write out all the “problems” or obstacles you see in moving across the world for 6 months to a year. Then, slowly start working on a solution for each of these problems. For example, research the costs of a storage unit or talk to your student loan servicer about repayment options for while you’re away.

By looking at each obstacle individually, it’s much less overwhelming and you can start to see that it really is possible. You’re not a tree, you can move. This adventure can be your reality, time to get excited!

When I was making my decision, I felt rushed. However, that was completely self-induced. I ended up waiting a year before I actually departed, and I am very thankful for this gift of time CIEE gave me.

I used my year, and you should as well, to come up with the solutions to the obstacles I saw as well as to save up money. Your Thai salary will be a livable wage for Thailand. However, if you have any bills at home to pay while you’re abroad (ie: car insurance, car payment, student loan) I would advise saving for this ahead of time so that you can enjoy your time and salary here. I mostly use my Thai salary to travel however for some of my bigger trips and plane tickets, I do use my savings from America. I would suggest figuring out just how much you will need to pay your bills while abroad and to begin saving accordingly as soon as you can.

CIEE does a great job of sending emails while you’re waiting for your departure to get you excited about your time abroad. However, I would strongly encourage you to start following some Thailand travel accounts, buying a Thailand travel book, etc. to get yourself excited as well - this will prove helpful on the days when you go back to doubting your decision. This is also a great way to come up with a list of things you want to see and places you want to go while you’re here. The time you spend abroad will fly by and it was important to me to make sure I saw everything that I wanted to. The list I made in preparation to coming here was so helpful in planning my trips and time.

If you have any questions or hesitations, use your resources! The staff at CIEE is so helpful, willing, and eager to chat with you and answer any and all of your questions. I also love when people reach out to me who are interested in teaching abroad and ask me questions! Feel free to DM me on Instagram @cmargaroli !

Don’t believe the lie that it’s irresponsible, or you're too old, or you can’t afford to teach abroad. Be a problem solver, save money, and use your resources. I promise you it will be one of the best decisions and investments in yourself you will ever make!


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