Gap Odyssey/English For Fun Intern Teaching (TEFL/TESOL) Special Project
Does the Gap Odyssey/English For Fun Special Project offer support throughout my stay in Thailand?
Absolutely, we provide 24/7 support to all program participants from before they arrive in Thailand until after they leave Thailand. Our partners support and assistance doesn’t end, once you reach your placement; we are only a phone call away. Once you are at your placement school, the school staff will be there for you 24/7 and will be your point of call for information, help or guidance during the semester. We are still only a phone call away should you need further support. We divide Thailand into 4 areas, and each area has their own consultant team to help with the relationship with the school, your visa, work permit, and anything to do with the legal side of being in Thailand. Your initial placement could be anywhere in Thailand except for in popular beach or island destinations.
Does the Gap Odyssey/English For Fun Special Project help with the visa process?
Yes! We advise Candidates to obtain either a 60-day, double entry tourist visa or a type “O” visa from a Thai consulate before arriving in Thailand. We will provide you with any supporting documentation that is needed to secure your visa. Please note that English For Fun and www.GapOdyssey.com will not be held responsible or liable for any problems or costs associated with your Visa. Each candidate will be solely responsible for all the costs associated with obtaining and maintaining his or her Visa and any penalties should they arise.
Do I qualify for a Work Permit?
As a Native English speaking EFL Teacher with a Degree you will qualify for a (B1) Work Visa Visa and Work Permit. We will provide you with the support you require and navigate you through this process. If you are a Non-Native English speaker with a degree you will need to pass your TOEIC test in Thailand before you can be provided with the document needed to convert your visa to a work visa and secure a work permit
What can I expect in the way of salary?
You can expect a minimum initial remuneration package of 30,000 Thai Baht per month, which includes an accommodation allowance of 3,000 THB per month for the months that you are teaching, if you are a Native English Speaker (NES) with a degree. All others will receive a minimum salary of 25,000 THB per month for the months that they are teaching. The cost of living is much lower in Thailand than in the U.S. or Europe so your money goes a long way. Your salary is more than 2-3x that of what a Thai teacher would be paid and like yourself, they would have to pay their rent or mortgage and other living expenses out of their salary. Many teachers choose to supplement their salaries by working as private English Tutors in the evenings or on the Weekends. You will also have the opportunity to earn extra money by working in English camps during the school holidays.
How do I go about finding accommodation at my placement school?
Your placement school will assist you in finding accommodation for the duration of the contract. Most accommodations that you will be shown will be private apartments, some are houses that you can choose to share with the other foreign teachers in the school. All the accommodation options you will be shown are safe, clean and conveniently located to your placement school. The schools do their utmost to ensure your safety and comfort at all times. They aim to provide accommodation choices that have the following commonalities:
- Within walking distance to the school
- Modern design
- Furnished with bed, wardrobe and desk
- Equipped with air con, wifi, fridge and TV
As placement locations vary greatly, so do your accommodation options, but the schools always aim to meet the above criteria. As soon as you reach your placement school you will receive help from the school staff about your accommodation.
Most teachers choose to live in a modern style apartment building, where the average cost of a private, studio style room, is around 4,000 Thai Baht per month. Normally there is a deposit that is required which can be the equivalent of around 1 - 2 month’s rent. You will be charged a small fee for utility usage at the end of each month.
Can you explain the placement process and am I guaranteed a paid teaching placement?
We guarantee that you will receive at least one placement offer. Currently there is a large shortage of EFL Teachers in Thailand and most of our graduates receive multiple placement offers. Most candidates will start and conclude the interview process within days of completing the 4 – 6 day orientation program and they then travel to their placement school to start their Teaching adventure. For others the process can take a little longer. We advise our program applicants to allow up to 10 working days for the process of interviewing and then selecting and moving to your placement school and commencing your teaching job.
It is important to remember that you will need to bring enough cash with you to Thailand to support yourself until your first pay check. At the conclusion of the 4-6 day orientation program if you were not already placed you will need to extend or arrange alternative accommodation that you will be paying for, while you focus on the interviewing process. You will then need enough money to support yourself until you receive your first pay check. Schools normally pay salaries once a month, after the end of the month you just taught. It can be up to 5 or 6 days after the conclusion of month before you are paid.
Will there be other foreign teachers at my school?
In almost all cases yes! The exception is normally where a teacher requests to be placed in a school where there are no other foreign teachers. We typically have 2 – 5 of our teachers in any one school. Thailand is also a popular destination for ex-pats so there is usually a lively social scene even in the smaller cities and towns.
How will my teaching schedule work?
The school day in Thailand starts around 8am and goes through until 3.30pm or 4pm. Classes are normally between 40 and 50 minutes and the foreign teacher would teach approx. 18 - 22 hours per week. The working week is from Monday to Friday.
Do I always teach the same class?
You would normally teach each class in the school once a week. If it's a big school, you might be responsible for teaching a particular year group and so would teach each class from that year group once a week.
How big are the classes?
Class size can vary quite considerably in Thailand. Some schools have a special English program and class size for these schools is relatively small. It's not unusual to teach four or five students per class where this type of program is offered. The other end of the scale is the schools where no separate English program is assigned in which case classes can vary from between 25 and 40 students!
Will the school have a curriculum?
Some schools will provide you with a curriculum and materials to teach from. Others will expect you to design your own lesson plans. We will offer you a lot of guidance with respect to this topic during your orientation program and we can provide you with a curriculum which makes for EZ Teaching. There are usually internet facilities at the schools for printing off lesson plans and other teaching materials. Additional teaching aids, text books, CDs and quizzes are also almost always at hand.
When does the Thai school year start?
The Thai school year starts with term one in early May. Term two starts in early November.
When are the holidays?
The months of April and October are school holiday periods. These periods are normally unpaid, however, it's easy to find extra work such as English camps during these months. You will work through the Christmas period but you will normally have a 6 – 8-day break starting around 28th December to celebrate the New Year. There are also many public holidays in Thailand.
Can I extend my contract at the school?
Yes! You will normally choose a contract length of 5 months (1 semester) or 12 months (2 semesters) unless you have come after the term has started in which case you will have anywhere from 1 – 5 months until the ends of the current term. If you are unsure of whether you would like a long or short-term contract there is no harm in selecting a 5-month contract to see if you enjoy your placement as much as we know you will. As soon as you know you would like to stay longer with your placement school, notify us. We and our partner schools, welcome teachers to stay longer than the 5 or 12-month contract that they initially selected.
How will I get paid?
For all NES candidates with degrees your schools or placement agent will help you set up your bank account. Then you can be paid electronically, in Thai Baht, into this bank account every month. For Non-NES’s you may experience trouble opening a bank account until you have received your work visa and work permit. In this case the school will pay in cash.
Is it easy to send money home from Thailand?
Sending money home is very easy, cheap and convenient. You can wire transfer cash back to your home bank account from any of the large banks in Thailand. The fee per transaction is usually around $20 USD.
What costs are not included in the Program investment fee?
* The cost of your airfare to Thailand * The cost of your additional accident or health insurance over and above the mandatory accident insurance required by your placement school
* Any costs associated with securing and maintaining your existing visa or securing any other Visa.
* Accommodation costs other than the 6 nights’ shared accommodation for the Meet and Greet and Orientation in Thailand. N.B. NES with degrees receive a built-in accommodation allowance of 3,000 THB per month so their minimum compensation package will be 30,000 THB per month for the months they teach.
* Living Expenses, including food, accommodation, entertainment and travelling expenses, throughout the duration of your stay in Thailand and your teaching placement.
I already have my B.A. Degree and TEFL Certification. Do you have any programs without a Program fee?
Yes! There are currently around 3,600 teaching job openings throughout Thailand, through direct hiring program initiatives by the schools.
However, please consider the following facts and you will appreciate why we have such a large number of unfilled openings and yet our Teach Thailand Programs are always full. Unlike the schools in the English For Fun Teach Thailand Program, we have not been able to screen these schools and to accept one of these positions your out of pocket expenses, excluding travelling costs to Thailand and accommodation costs once in Thailand, are likely to a lot more than what you would pay by going with English For Fun. While we totally understand where people are coming from when they ask us “Why do they have to pay for their air fare and a program fee to get a teaching position in Thailand?” It is important to understand that Thailand does not have the same budget that countries like China, South Korea and Japan have to spend on English Educational Programs (EP’s). We continue to work hard to keep the costs to a minimum and are continually striving to upgrade the quality of the teacher and student experience. Certainly, if you compare the low investment cost of our Teach Thailand Programs and the higher remuneration they provide (our Teach Thailand Programs are a lot cheaper than what you would expect to pay if you decided to go for one of the 3,600 general openings detailed above. The quality of the training, experience you will have in a community that needs you and having the peace of mind knowing we have screened your placement school is why many applicants choose to choose the English For Fun Teach Thailand Programs.