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Moving to Teach in a Bangkok International School in the midst of a Pandemic

Updated: Jan 4


I was due to fly out to Teach in Thailand next week. However due to the current lockdown in Bangkok, the school have decided to push back my start date. Therefore I will fly out to Thailand at the end of August. This blog will be updated with the process of my move and life teaching in Bangkok.

I have lived in Thailand twice previously, I spent 6 months diving and working in a bar on Phi Phi Islands, one year teaching English in Chiang Mai, 5 months in a lockdown on Koh Lanta Island.

Job Requirements For International Schools in Thailand

To be able to teach in an International School in Thailand, you must have more qualifications than if you were going to teach English as a foreign language. Firstly, it is vital you have your teaching qualification with QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). The pandemic meant that, due to the Thai government schools closures, I was forced to return home. This was a blessing in disguise, as because of this I decided to make the most of my time at home and complete my PGCE with QTS through Bishop Grosseteste University. A year on. I am now a fully qualified U.K primary school teacher with QTS, which has allowed me to gain a job as a Year 1 Primary School Teacher in a British International School in Thailand. To get your PGCE, you can either take a Bachelors of Education degree or complete a one year Post Graduate Degree in Education (PGCE).

Once qualified in the UK, you’ll need to complete an induction year known as your NQT year. Most international schools in Thailand require you to take your NQT, or have at least one year of teaching experience after becoming licensed, in your home country before coming to Thailand. The best international schools will ask for 2-3 years (or more) of teaching experience. It is possible to get a job in a school without your induction year, I have been fortunate enough to get a job in a small International School on the outskirts of Bangkok. However, I applied for many jobs in International School with no response before finally gaining an interview for the school that I finally got a job in.

My hope is that after a few years in the smaller International Schools I will be able to work my way up to the higher tier International Schools.

Working Visa in Thailand

All foreigners who wish to work in Thailand must get a Thai work permit and Thai work visa sponsored by a company or school in Thailand. For Thailand, it’s better for you to apply and secure a job before arriving. My visa process from the UK consisted of my employer sending over paperwork which I then submitted to the Thai Embassy in London along with an application form.

Due to the Covid Pandemic getting into Thailand is much harden than it once was. You have to gain a certificate of entry into the country and then book in to either a Phuket Sandbox SHA hotel or a ASQ hotel in Bangkok and quarantine.

I have decided to fly into Phuket as if you do the Phuket Sandbox you can still use the pool, go to the beach and go out to restaurants. Whereas in the ASQ hotels you can not leave your hotel room for 2 weeks.

Cost of moving to Thailand in a Pandemic

Cost of flight - £450 from Manchester Airport to Phuket Airport

SHA hotel cost - £450 2 weeks in an SHA hotel (breakfast included)

Covid Tests - £250

Covid Insurance - £200

Total - £1350

International School Jobs in Thailand

You will find most international schools in Bangkok. It is worth noting that there are different tiers of International Schools in Bangkok; meaning different schools will ask for different levels of experience but also offer different pay.

Most international schools pay a minimum of 80k+ baht (£2,000) a month, meaning you can live comfortably and travel during your holidays. You will likely get more holidays with this role compared to an English Language school role but the job can be more demanding and you will likely work more hours in the week.


  • Excellent wage which allows you to live comfortable, travel and save

  • Professional working environment

  • Manageable hours

  • Career security and progression

  • School holidays to travel

  • Fantastic benefits; full private health insurance, annual flights, housing allowance


  • Longer working hours

  • More experience and qualifications required

What does it cost to live in Thailand?

Thailand is no longer the super cheap country that it used to be but it is still a lot cheaper than countries in the West. Prices vary depending on where in Thailand you live, but I have tried to give a rough guide to different types of accommodation and budgets.

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