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in Thailand

Teachers in Thailand are held in high revere and with that respect comes great responsibility.

There are generally 1-8 foreign teachers placed at a school teaching kindergarten, elementary or highschool students. Your days will be filled with planning lessons, chatting with Thai teachers in the office and of course teaching your students.

Most people you interact with in the local community will be the parents of your students. As a teacher you will be a role model to all of your students and fellow teachers. You will be known to your community as ‘teacher’, not tourist.

Day in the life

Your weekdays will be filled experiencing a whole new way of life as a teacher abroad.


You head out in the morning stopping at a nearby food cart to pick up some patongo (local breakfast pastry) or Khao nieow moo ping (skewers of grilled pork with sticky rice) for breakfast. Walking to school, you take in the sights, sounds and smells of Thailand.


Arrive at your school to an abundance of smiles and ‘Hellos’ from students, teachers and parents. Between lessons in the classroom or prepping and marking in the teacher’s office, you’ll also share lunches in the teacher’s lounge, chat with students on break in the courtyard or brush up on your Thai language skills.


After school rent a scooter and head out to explore your city and countryside. Later, meet up with your fellow teachers for drinks and dinner at the market. Return home and watch the sunset from your apartment balcony while reading good book.

Thailand Regions

Thailand is not just sandy beaches and islands. Mountains, waterfalls, quaint villages as well as bustling cities all make up the charm and variety of Thailand.

Thailand is generally divided into 4 regions; North, North-East, Central and South. At StartSmart we have opportunities throughout all regions. Each region has something unique to offer. Many come dreaming of beach parties, but most leave remembering the experiences made in their new home away from the typical two week tourists.

Living in Thailand allows you the chance to explore areas of Thailand that most tourists don’t even know exist.

Northern Thailand

A distinct region known for its sharp mountain peaks and its own style of architecture.

The North, or Lanna ‘land of a million rice fields’, offers a blend of popular tourist areas such as vibrant city of Chiang Mai or laid-back Mae Hong Son. Also, you can explore less touristy areas like the stunning Payao, surrounded by lush thickly forested mountains or the more traditional Lampang.

The North is the hub for eco-adventures, mountain trekking, elephant sanctuaries and plenty of other outdoor activities. With our new partner TEFL school, UniTefl, in Chiang Mai, our placement partner has greatly increased the number of teaching opportunities in the North.

The North-East

Get off the beaten track where unique festivals and rural life offer up the ‘true’ Thailand experience.

The North-East, or Isaan, referred to by many as the ‘real’ Thailand experience. Relatively untouched by tourists, it is home to some of Thailand’s best national parks and most ancient temple ruins. Influenced by neighboring Cambodian, Khmer and Laotian cultures, Isaan stretches from the famous Mekong River to the Korat plateau.

Unlike Thailand’s typical tourist traps, Isaan locals from Nakon Ratchasima, Khon Kaen or Ubon Ratchthani are often warm, welcoming and down to earth. In order to offer a ‘true’ Thai experience, many of our placements are located in Isaan.

Central Thailand

Coastal cities and islands, ancient temple ruins and the country’s nightlife Capital, Bangkok, make up Central Thailand.

Central Thailand is home to one of the world’s largest metropolitan cities, Bangkok. As the hub of Thailand, it thrives as a massive, ever-changing mix of the familiar and exotic. The central area offers the opportunity to cycle through thousand year old temple ruins in Ayuthaya or brave the monkey city of Lopburi.

Explore the caves and waterfalls of Kanchanaburi and witness amazing sunrises in the misty jungle mountains all within a couple hours of Bangkok. While our placement partner does offer some placements in Bangkok, most of our central opportunities will be in nearby provinces.

Southern Thailand

Explore Southern Thailand’s white sandy beaches and turquoise tropical waters.

Southern Thailand, most well known by two-week tourists, is scattered with coastal towns and islands. While most of the islands have been over-run by the tourist trade, significantly increasing the cost of living, there are still a few hidden gems to be found for the adventurous traveller.

While our placement partner does offers opportunities in the south, we mainly focus on offering the more authentic experience in the ‘heartland’ of Thailand. The southern tourist islands are great for visiting, but with the increased cost of living and high tourist numbers it makes them less than ideal places to live and work full time.

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Where else can you teach?


Teaching in China is the new frontier for teach and travel opportunities. Its been only 30 years since China opened its doors to the West. StartSmart and our partners have hundreds of teaching positions available that offer you the opportunity to explore this ancient civilization first hand.

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