I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary of leaving for Thailand, and I want to share some of the things I’ve learned with you all. This is for my new followers, my new readers, the people in my DM’s and the people who are directing people to me for questions. Many times I am asked the same questions, so I want to make it easier for those of you sippin’ this cup of Tee and looking for answers!
What made you move to Thailand?
I planned out my move to Thailand way before I actually did it. I had been marinating on the idea of teaching abroad since March 2017, but I didn’t visit Thailand until Dec. 2017 and I didn’t officially move here until April 2018. The main reason I moved to Thailand was because the political climate in the United States was beginning to be too much for me. I was often waking up sad or angry – I didn’t know at who and I didn’t know at what – but I knew I didn’t feel happy. Sometimes it felt like I was mad at white people, sometimes I was mad at the government, sometimes I was mad at the whole world. It didn’t help that I went to school in a rural, Trump supporting town, and the perfect storm of racial trauma took its toll on me.
How did your family feel about your move to Thailand?
My family was fine with me moving to Thailand in April 2018. What my family wasn’t so fine with was me visiting in Dec. 2017 and not coming back home until March 2018. I accidentally ended up in Southeast Asia for three months. During that time my family, especially my parents, put on a brave face, but I knew it hurt them that I just ran off and wouldn’t come home. Once I came home and made the big move in April they were very supportive. I mean, they were supportive during the whole accidental Southeast Asian tour too, but I regret doing that to them and I wish I would’ve gone home to them. I presume they have forgiven me for that, but I haven’t forgiven myself for that just yet.
How did you find a job and how long did it take?
Any questions about me teaching can be answered via these three articles:
Using a Company to Teach Abroad in Thailand
Finding a Job on Your Own in Thailand
How to Find a Job as an English Teacher in Thailand
These three articles sum up my journey of becoming a teacher. From using a program, going rogue, feeling defeated and tips on where to find the best jobs opportunities – everything is in those articles.
Is your salary livable?
Yes, my salary is livable, and yes it is my only income. I make 40,000 baht ($1200 USD) + some extra from my tutoring classes provided solely through my school. My salary is livable because I’ve not tried to come to Thailand and live my western life in an eastern country. I ride a motorbike that costs 100 baht ($3 USD) to fill up, I eat Thai food for 100-200 baht ($3-$6) and I shop at local markets where you can find any and everything. I eat a couple western meals a week, I limit my shopping and I’m not a tourist, so I’m not doing a bunch of touristy shit that burns holes through my pockets!
What’s it like being Black in Thailand?
It’s like being black anywhere else. People stare and they have questions, but I take it in stride. No one has ever been outwardly disrespectful to me or called me a n*gger, unlike when I lived in my home country, so to me that’s a step forward! Thailand in general has a large contingency of black folks, so it’s not uncommon to see a black person around. Now, whether that Black person is American, Canadian, British, South African or from somewhere else you can’t be so sure, but you certainly won’t feel alone. I’ll note that I also live in Chiang Mai, which is home to a ridiculously high amount of black folks. There are black groups, black people, black meet-ups – all types of black things that will make you feel comfortable and secure in this foreign land.
To read more about my experience working as a Black woman in Thailand, you can check out these articles:
Working While Black in Thailand
BAPs Black, Abroad and Privileged
I hope this was enough to get you started on figuring out your path toward teaching abroad. If you need more information you can find me on Twitter at @onecupoftee_ and on Instagram at @onecupoftee_, so feel free to message me for all your teaching abroad needs!
2 thoughts on “Top 5 Questions about Teaching English in Thailand”
I was told you know my aunt, Lystra Harris. I go by the name Dave Jr. Could you tell me what type of challenges a person of color might face teaching in Thailand. Japan is my main objective, but plan on moving about different places in Asia after getting my TEFL cert. No instagram or twitter, but would appreciate any feedback you could give.
Hi, Dave Jr.! This is a really loaded question that might be better served via email or text. Would you mind emailing me and we can talk more about it? Troiwill7@gmail.com – I look forward to hearing from you! 🙂