Monkey Abroad

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How to Teach English in Thailand: Quick Pre-Travel Prep


Want to Teach English in Thailand? First you’ve got a bit of pre-travel preparation to do. Lucky for you, I have all the required stuff listed here.

The following lists contain requirements to teach English in Thailand. I can’t speak to the specifics of other southeast asian countries’ requirements (yet), but I assume they’re similar.


  • Original Passport
  • 3 color photos (roughly 2×2″) of yourself (for your work permit).
  • 3 signed photo copies of your passport 
  • Original Degree Certificate — Yeah, a degree is one of those things employers expect you to have these days.
  • University transcript — Just another document to prove your English competence and education.
  • Degree verification letter — Not required, but just incase there’s an issue with your documents.
  • Police Criminal Record — Arrange an appointment to have your fingerprints officially recorded by a company like L-1 Identity Solutions. They’ll send you your record for a $25 fee. Or just stop by your local police station.
  • One photocopy of your degree, transcript, degree verification letter, and (clean) police criminal record.

How to Teach English in Thailand


  • There are a variety of paths you can take to obtain a visa.
  • Visit or contact your local Thai Embassy or Consulate General to apply for either one of the following options:
  1. Tourist Visa ~$80 USD
  2. Non-Immigrant Visa ~$200 USD
Teach English in Thailand

Non-Immigrant “O” Visa

I applied for my visa at the Dallas Consulate General office with W. Forrest Smith. He was very kind and encouraging when we discussed traveling so I recommend meeting with him if you have the option. I’ve heard tales of folks struggling to obtain coveted visas via other less friendly embassies. Apply early just incase.


Although it’s possible to teach English in Thailand without having a TESOL/TEFOL certification, I recommend it. Some schools won’t hire unless you have one. Plus, it will give you some helpful tools you’ll need to teach.

In April I participated in ATI’s “Special Thai Project” to get my certification.

If you’re on the fence, check out: TEFL Certification Online vs. Onsite – Which is Better?


  • One-way plane ticket: $1,000-$1,400 USD
  • TESOL certification: $1000-$1,500 USD
  • Visa: $80-$200 USD
  • Miscellaneous shit (criminal record check, vaccinations, etc): ~$200 USD
  • Extra cash: Save up at least a few thousand $$$ to have a reasonable financial cushion in case disaster strikes.

And that’s how you can leave your home country and Teach English in Thailand. If you have any questions, shoot me an email or leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. What’s your degree. I’m a Political Science student here in Manila but I want to teach English in Thailand.

  2. Get this straight….. “some” school with hire ANYONE who can mumble English. These are bogus schools that pay low if at all, break promises, and basically shame you as an employee. They fire you anytime and worst… you face a class of desperate non-learners who paid less in vain hope of English and will report a ‘teacher’ as a failure, thus firings often. This is the shit job of Thailand.

  3. You have to bring you original degree certificate (ie. Bachelor of Arts, etc). Not just a photocopy?

Let me know what you think


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