1. It’s cheap
Thailand offers the cheapest reputable TEFL courses in Asia and some of the cheapest in the world. English schools in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea send their teachers here for training in order to save money.
Not only are the courses inexpensive, but the cost of living is also lower than in most countries. You can eat a meal for $1, and a decent studio apartment will run you $50 – $200 per month (depending on your location).
2. The Schools are high-quality.
While Thailand has its fair share of scams, it also has lots of internationally recognized certificate programs. You can take a Cambridge-certified CELTA course at IH Bangkok or ECC in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket.
The AUA, in Bangkok and Chiang Mai, offers a TESOL certificate backed by an American university. Chiang Mai University also offers an excellent TEFL program. All of these programs are carefully regulated by the university that gives the certificate, so trainers, course material, and trainees must adhere to high standards.
3. There are various jobs available.
Thailand has a huge demand for native English speakers. The bad news is that many language schools will hire just about anyone, and these schools tend to treat their teachers poorly.
The good news is that now that you’re certified you are a step ahead, and pretty much guaranteed a job at “entry-level” schools. Even better, you are also qualified to apply for more desirable jobs at high-quality language schools and public or private normal curriculum schools.
4. There’s a substantial expat community.
There are thousands of foreigners living in Thailand, so the country is well-prepared to host expats. You will find lots of resources and groups to help you settle in, making it easier to find an apartment, meet fellow expats, and find Western food when you’re craving a taste of home.
5. It’s a Low-Stress Environment
Thailand’s educational culture is based on “sanook,” or fun. In learning and in teaching, fun and games are essential – you won’t find yourself lecturing from Advanced Grammar for the English Learner. The whole country runs on “Thai time,” which means pretty much means “It’ll happen when it happens.” If schedules and timelines are your thing, go to Japan, but if you’re looking to relax, Thailand is the optimal environment.
6. It’s Thailand!
Beautiful terrain, pristine villages, tropical weather – who wouldn’t want to go to Thailand? Instead of just visiting, get a deeper experience by studying or even settling down here!
Ajarn.com is the standard resource for ESL teachers in Thailand. Check here for TEFL courses, teaching jobs and other information about living in Thailand.
StudyAbroadLinks.com lists TEFL programs in Thailand.
Thaivisa.com gives lots of information for foreigners living in Thailand – specifically about visas, but their forums and classifieds have lots other information.