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Teaching English in Thailand: Things We’ve Learnt Along the Way

Teaching English in Thailand: Things We’ve Learnt Along the Way
Admin - Aug 03 2015

If you’re thinking about heading over to Thailand to start a career teaching English, here are just a few tips to help you settle in to local life over there.

Not a bad view hey?

•    With respect to Thai culture you must avoid touching people on the head as the head is regarded as the holiest part of the body. Likewise pointing at things using your feet is considered rude as it is the dirtiest part of your body.

•    At most temples you must take off your shoes before entering. You must also cover shoulders and dress respectfully.

•    When you are in the classroom you need to wear clothing that covers your knees,shoulders and ideally toes. Some schools are more formal than others. You should avoid vest tops, flip flops and short skirts and shorts.

•    Food in Thailand is just so tasty and delicious that it won’t be a surprise if you gain some weight!

•    Thailand works in a very different way from the ‘West’ and be prepared for some surprises! Thai culture is very conservative (in spite of what you may think) and people are extremely polite – to the extent that if you have upset someone or offended them you may never know about it. For this reason it’s a very good idea to read up on cultural do’s and don’ts before you travel to give you a head start and to ensure that you don’t upset anyone unwittingly.

•    Thailand is hot and sweaty but dress is still very important – people are judged very quickly by how clean and smart they are and you’ll notice that even the poorest of local people take great pride in their appearance. To fit in as well as possible always do your best to look clean and presentable.

•    Thailand is one of the world’s top tourist destinations and so it would be very easy to spend the whole time with Westerners on the “backpacker trail”. Take the effort to follow the road less travelled and interact with real Thai people – you’ll get a lot more out of the experience.

•    Thailand is a modest country in terms of dress and it is wholly inappropriate for teachers to wear even slightly revealing clothing at school so stay away from string vests/singlets and micro shorts!


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