By Josh Butterworth. Josh is Impact Teaching’s Marketing Manager, and he lives in Thailand.


The Land of Smiles is a very appropriate name for the Kingdom of Thailand, faces light up when we discuss the opportunity to live and work in this beautiful country. But of the hundreds of people who show a real interest – only a few ever follow through and begin their teaching adventure abroad.

What’s stopping them? What’s stopping you?

As someone currently living and working in Thailand, I have written this post to discuss some of the reasons why you might be thinking twice about teaching over here – and offer some valuable insight to help you judge if those concerns are significant enough to put a stop to your dreams – or show you that there was never anything to worry about in the first place.


“I can’t earn enough money”

Compared to the UK and other Western countries – the salary of a teacher in Thailand may seem low, but it’s important to remember that the cost-of-living reflects this. This means that your wage goes a lot further, and is actually significantly higher than the national average. Roughly – the cost of living in Thailand is around 8-10x less than the UK. Instead of paying £1,000 a month for a small one bed flat in Manchester, for just over £100 a month you’ll get a spacious condo in Thailand. Paying £14 for a very average bowl of noodles in London isn’t abnormal, but they’ll cost you £2 or less in Thailand and will taste far better. A foreign teachers wage in Thailand may not get you far in the UK – but it’s more than enough to live well, eat well, save a little and travel a lot across Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Teaching in Thailand offers you the chance to stop worrying if you can afford to pay the bills, go out for drinks with friends and much more. Of course, it’s important to remain careful and watch where your money is going, but it’s far less stressful to make ends meet over here than it is in the West. You may not become rich – but you will have the chance to make memories and have experiences that are worth so much more.

“I need to focus on my career”

teacher standing in a classroom with Thai colleaguesThe world doesn’t feel like a particularly stable place at the moment, so there’s no shame in staying put to choose ‘security’ and ‘safety’ on a career path of your choice. But the reality is that employers love to see applicants who have done something as brave as traveling halfway across the world to make a real impact on students’ lives. Employers are also well aware of the skills that teaching abroad develops, and are far more inclined to believe in the ability of someone who has done so over someone who has not. And choosing to teach abroad is not signing up for a lifetime as a teacher, it’s choosing to spend as little as one year having an adventure whilst you grow as a person into someone who can slot seamlessly into any workplace setting.

And if not now, then when? Life gets in the way – work, relationships, family, rent and bills all creep up on you – and the chance to travel is gone. Whatever career path you choose, there will be a job waiting for you when you return, and you’ll be a far more rounded and confident individual who’s ready to grasp it with both hands.

“Thailand is just somewhere for holidays”

What we see of Thailand on the TV and social media plays just a small role in the vibrant tapestry of this incredible country. Yes – there are breathtaking beaches, towering temples and mental monkeys – but there’s so much more to Thailand than that. The people, culture, food, spirituality and general warmth are rare to find all in one place – but it’s only possible to scratch the surface as a tourist or a traveler, for some people that may be enough, but living and teaching in this wonderful place offers so much more. You adapt and become accustomed to the Thai way of life, this provides you with a unique opportunity to blend two or more cultures together to create a hybrid that offers the best of them all and leads to a happier and more content way of life.

Don’t be a tourist, live like a local. But don’t worry – all of the Western necessities you need are available for you in Thailand. From the cinema to pizza restaurants and suncream – you can find them all. People may assume that Thailand is still a third-world country, but they would be mistaken. Thailand is flourishing in 2024, it is stepping into the future with confidence and you don’t want to miss it. Thailand is not just for holidays – it’s one of the best countries you can choose to live in on our big earth this year.

“I don’t want to be a teacher”

If teaching is not your long term plan – that’s absolutely fine. It’s ok to see teaching abroad as a way to travel and explore the world whilst getting paid, having experiences, making friends and developing skills. In fact, most of our teachers don’t actually go on to become teachers. We have alumni doing every job under the sun, from copywriting to biochemistry and working in the police. The common trend is that they’ve all achieved something great in their careers – and it all started with teaching abroad. The route to success is hard work and putting your all in whilst doing the job. Then, teaching can be your tool to unlocking the world. And it can be for as little as a year, which inevitably flies by, then you can assess what you want next in your life.

And as previously mentioned – whatever job you may want will be waiting for you when you return home, or wherever you go, but the skills and confidence you’ll have developed teaching abroad will make it a lot easier for to succeed. Teaching abroad does not result in you becoming a teacher for life – but teaching in Thailand does mean adventure, new friends and an experience that you’ll never forget.

Are you ready to make your impact?

Hopefully this post has given you some food for thought and helped with your decision about whether teaching in Thailand is for you, or not.

If it is – you’re in just the right place to get started!

Check out our Thailand program page for more info.

And get in touch with any questions by emailing us at

Or apply to begin your Thailand adventure today!