Phuket Program FAQs
Questions about Phuket
The fees include tuition, course materials, certification and moderation fees. Accommodation, airfares and food are not included. The standard accommodation is $100 (subject to availability), and the premium accommodation $250. These figures cover the full duration of the course.
Please pay the balance of the course and accommodation fees in Phuket directly at the school on the first day of the course. By this stage, you should already have paid the $500 deposit either online by credit card or via bank transfer. The course fee is payable in US dollars or Thai baht, at the current exchange rate. The rate is determined online based on the “Average Interbank Exchange Rate” at: http://www.bot.or.th/BotHomepage/databank/FinMarkets/ExchangeRate/exchange_e.asp. The payment can be made in cash or travellers cheques, or by credit card. Please note that we are unable to accept bankers’ drafts or cheques.
From Monday to Friday, there are input sessions every morning from 9.30 to 12.30, where trainees learn classroom management, grammar, Thai language and culture, and other practical aspects of the course. Lunch is from 12.30 to 1.30. From 1.30 to 4.00, trainees prepare their lessons with assistance of the instructors, then from either 4.30 to 6.30, or 6.30 to 8.30, they teach their lessons to Thai students. These lessons are followed by immediate feedback from the instructors. We aim to provide 6 to 10 hours of observed teaching practice over the 4 weeks. These lessons are taught from Monday to Thursday. On Friday, trainees are free after 3.00, and the weekend is theirs. They are, however, encouraged to take their books with them to the beach, so that they can study over the weekend! In addition to those hours, there is also time that must be spent preparing materials and completing various assignments. During the course you will learn a little of another language using the same techniques as you will use to teach English. This is so that trainees can see the problems that students will face from their perspective.
On average we have about twenty-four trainees enrolled in each course, although some months we have more; some months the numbers are lower. Most of our participants are from English speaking countries such as America, The United Kingdom, Canada or Australia, although we do accept non-native speakers of English who have a high proficiency in the language.
We use local Thai students for the trainees’ teaching practice. Thai students are very keen and enthusiastic, and because we don’t charge them to attend, all students come to classes purely because they want to!
There are three options for accommodation here in Phuket. They are all single rooms, but you are welcome to share should you wish to do so. Firstly, there are some rooms on the upper floors of the school, and in a house about 100 metres away. These rooms are conveniently located, with ensuite bathrooms, and they all have fans, without air conditioning. These rooms are the ‘standard’ accommodation, and are $100. The rooms are available from the Wednesday before the start of the course to the Monday following completion of the course. Please note that rooms in the standard accommodation are limited, and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We also use a small hotel, Roongrawee Mansion, about 5 minutes walk from the school – the ‘premium’ accommodation. All rooms at the Roongrawee have ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning, TV, fridge and room safe. The hotel also has a swimming pool and restaurant/bar area. The hotel option is $250, which covers the duration of the course, and the weekend before and after. If you want to upgrade further, there is the additional option to take a room at a hotel about 15 minutes walk from the school. This is a room in an international standard hotel, which two people could share. The cost of this is around $600 for a full month, and that would be payable directly to the hotel. Please note that all above figures are in addition to the $1590 course fees. Airport collections (between 8am to 6.30pm) and accommodation are available from the Wednesday before the start of the course. Sunday arrivals need to make their way to the accommodation by taxi.
Yes! In fact, we suggest you have things sent to you at school, rather than your apartment, since the Thai postal service isn’t the most reliable in the world. This is our address: TEFL International 367/11-12 Yaowarat Road, Muang, Phuket 83000 Thailand Tel/fax +66 (Thailand) 76 236306
You can if you like, but Internet connections aren’t ideal in Thailand, especially from a private phone line. There are a number of Internet facilities nearby, and should you require a computer for TEFL coursework and lesson planning at school, we have ten computers available. All computers have Internet access, which you can use to check your email. Please note that trainees who need the computers for lesson planning have priority in the afternoons.
Bear in mind that the climate is tropical, so the temperature varies between hot and very hot. There is also a high probability of short, heavy showers. Input Sessions and Lesson Planning: Attire is casual and relaxed. While there is air conditioning available, it is hot and humid in Phuket, so do dress comfortably. Shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and flip flops are the norm. Practice Teaching Sessions at the training centre: Attire is smart and conservative. Your shoulders must be covered, and any skirt or trousers must cover your knees when you are sitting down. For women, be careful that your shirts are not too low cut or show your stomach as you may need to lean over to help a student sitting at a desk. Jeans and shorts are not acceptable. Shoes or sandals should be smart. Job Interviews and Teaching in Phuket: Attire is conservative and business-like. Once hired, most schools will provide you with a uniform or a dress code of their own. However, when you’re dressing for an interview, as with any job, remember that you’re trying to make an impression. For men, collared shirts, a tie, slacks and smart dress shoes are appropriate and expected. For women, long skirts and dress shoes are expected. Dresses with straps can be covered with a smart sweater. If you are still unsure of what to bring, you may want to wait until you arrive to buy suitable clothes. There are plenty of inexpensive clothing stores that will have lots of options. Please also bear in mind that tattoos should be covered when teaching, and any facial piercings removed.
The TEFL job market in Thailand is excellent and finding employment is a fairly straight forward matter. With just a little patience, you will certainly locate work in no time, usually in the area of your choice.
We suggest you begin setting up interviews and sending resumes in the second or third week of the course after we have covered job related matters during input sessions. There are dozens of TEFL employers in Phuket alone, and hundreds elsewhere in Thailand. Of course, you’re certainly not limited to working in Thailand – where to teach is up to you!
We can give you a list of available jobs in Phuket and the rest of Thailand, and provide schools lists for most countries worldwide. We will also help you with resume and interview preparation. We guarantee job placement assistance. This job placement assistance is an integral part of the course, and is available for the duration of your teaching career.
The average TEFL salary in Thailand is about 25,000 to 40,000 baht per month, though of course this varies depending on what type of school or company you work for, and whether you work full- or part-time.
Some employers provide accommodation as part of an employment package, those that do not will offer assistance in finding suitable accommodation. Accommodation is generally easy to find and inexpensive.
Most of our course graduates who have wanted to work in Thailand have been able to secure teaching positions.
Generally, no. However, if you pay Thai income tax, you are entitled to Social Security, which gives you medical cover at a local specified hospital.
Your employer should help you secure a work permit and visa. This point is adhered to very closely as all employers in Thailand must provide work permits for employees as stated by the Thai Government.
Teaching positions vary greatly and good deal of choice is available. There are teaching positions available in schools, language centres, businesses, hotels and resorts and more besides.
Yes, though the requirements for working in ESL or TEFL in many western countries are different, and sometimes need graduate education in ESL or TEFL.
Most likely you will rent a room in an apartment or house with other teachers or with Thais, and of course it depends on where you choose to live. A pleasant, small two to three bedroom house in Phuket is about 8,000 to 12,000 baht per month. Apartments are available for less. It is fair to say that TEFL teachers are very well-paid by local standards in Thailand, which means they can afford a comfortable standard of living. A local (Thai) teacher in southern Thailand earns around 6,000 to 8,000 baht while a TEFL teacher at the same school can expect to earn 25,000 to 30,000 baht per month. While this may not sound a lot by international standards, it means you can live very comfortably in Thailand.
We are happy to help our trainees locate housing subsequent to the program, and we have a number of contacts locally. You can get an idea of the kind of accommodation available at www.rentphuket.net and www.rawai.info.
If you find yourself requiring medical attention, Phuket has a number of very good International hospitals and clinics with well-educated, helpful doctors. There are also pharmacies on every other corner.
Thailand is fast becoming a developed country, and is already free of most tropical diseases. To attend the course in Phuket, most people don't need any inoculations in addition to the ones they would have at home anyway. However, please check with your local General Practitioner or medical centre for further information relating to current immunisations that are recommended for Thailand.
There are local buses that run all over the island that are very inexpensive. Meter taxis are available, along with more basic tuk tuks (tiny pick-ups with seats in the back) and motor-cycle taxis which will take you wherever you want!
In order to be picked up at either Phuket airport or the bus station, please let us know the date and time of arrival, and the flight number if you are flying in, no later than one week before the start of the course. This is so that we can make arrangements to meet you, and take you to your accommodation. If we receive your arrival details after that time, we can’t be sure that we’ll be able to meet you. Please note that the nearest train station to Phuket is over 5 hours away, so your only realistic options are bus or plane. Airport collections (for arrivals between 8am and 6.30pm only) and accommodation are available from the Wednesday to the Saturday prior to the course start date. Those arriving on the Sunday will need to make their way to their accommodation by airport taxi.
Of course you’ll need your passport! When you secure work you will be asked to provide your original college degree if you have one, so if you plan to work immediately after the course, you’ll need to bring it with you or make arrangements for it to be sent on at a later date. You might also consider obtaining an international driving permit, should driving in a foreign country be necessary for you.