Written June, 2016. Needs to be updated.
So, you’re thinking of teaching in Thailand, but not sure how much money you need to get started? Let me help you out.
A TEFL Certification
A lot of schools prefer you to have a TEFL qualification. There are many options on how to go about this. The more you pay, the more you get. Ideally, you would pay around £300 ($440) to do your in-class TEFL. This allows you to get some real class experience before you start teaching. However, not everyone can afford this.
I paid £120 for a 120-hour online course and it has served me well many countries and online. I used i-TO-i. I highly recommend them.
To legally teach in Thailand, you’ll need to get yourself a non-immigrant Visa “B” from your nearest Thai embassy. This costs £50 ($80 USD for Americans; $80 CAD for Canadians; $90 AUD for Australians).
Unlike South Korea, and some other countries, you will have to pay for yourself to get to Thailand. Depending on how far you book in advance, the time of year and what airline you fly with, prices vary. But, on average, you should be able to purchase a one-way flight to Thailand from the UK for about £250 – £400, or about $650-$750 from North America.
Most recruiters will help you find accommodation close to your school and/or near public transport routes. Like most rentals, this will require a month’s rent in advance plus a deposit. This is more expensive in Bangkok and other cities but still not as much as you’d expect, or at least not as much as you’re used to paying in Britain. So, depending on where you chose to live, expect roughly £150 – £250 ($250-360/mo).
Month’s Living Costs
You will need money to survive up until your first payday. The chances are that this will be just over a month from when you land. You’ll definitely need to bring some cash with you.
Living costs in Thailand are very low. The amount you spend really depends on the type of spender you are. I would suggest that if you’re good with budgeting, then you could get by on about £250 (~$350) (just eat street food and don’t go out too much), or if you’re like me and not very good at watching the pennies, you’ll probably need somewhere around £350 (~$500). That extra £100 goes a long way.
Like with any other move, you’ll need to buy some basics, like bedding, cooking utensils, a fan etc. As I’ve mentioned, things are a lot cheaper than in the UK, so give yourself a budget of about £60 for these things.
Many people choose not to take out travel insurance. I think it is a must! It’s better to be safe than sorry. There are many companies that offer competitive rates. Check out –
You can get a basic package that lasts a year for about £100.
I would say you could move to Thailand, with everything you need for about £1000 (~$1500) as the bare minimum. However, if you’re not on a budget then I would suggest 1500 – £2000, just to be more comfortable and prepared.
It is also worth noting that some jobs may require you to rent and ride a motorcycle to work (around £40 a month), so look into that before accepting any job.
It is rare, but some schools actually provide their teachers with free accommodation and/or airfare!
I hope this helped those of you looking for answers! If there is anything I missed, or you think some of my pricing is inaccurate then feel free to comment below!