A teaching assistant working on the Thailand Teaching Project
A teaching assistant working on the Thailand Teaching Project ©

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We have decided to take a break in recruitment for the 2017 Teaching English Thailand (TET) programme. This is an opportunity for us to ensure we have the best programme in place for Thai schools and for participants on the scheme.  Please take a look at our other work abroad opportunities and sign up to the Study Work Create newsletter to keep up to date on the programme. 

What's it all about?

Thailand is much loved across the world for its historic temples and palaces, its vibrant culture, its amazing food and, of course, its beautiful islands and beaches.  But Thailand is much more than a great tourist destination.

The Thailand English Teaching Programme (TET) offers you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the real Thailand, work in a Thai school as an English Teaching Assistant and become an integral part of life in a Thai town or village. Over 500 students from more than 40 UK universities have taken part in the programme so far, and this is your chance to join them.

What is Thailand English Teaching (TET)?

Since 2012, the British Council and Thailand’s Ministry of Education have been working with UK universities to bring students and recent graduates to Thailand.  As an English Teaching Assistant, you will support the teaching and learning of English in Thai schools at either primary or secondary level. 

When can I go?

There are two basic types of placements open: summer placements and one-term placements.

Summer term placements last for nine weeks between June and August, and are open to students and recent graduates of any course of degree.

One-term placements last for four months between November to February. These are only open to students and recent graduates from Education or English teaching courses or who have some prior experience in teaching English overseas or in the UK to students of English as a foreign or second language.

What will I be required to do?

As an English teaching assistant you’ll be required to help teach children for up to fifteen hours a week, Monday to Friday. This might not sound like much, but you’ll need to use plenty of your spare time to plan out lessons and get involved in other school activities. Most of our previous students found themselves pretty busy five days a week.

The majority of lessons will be working with the Thai teacher, assisting their lessons and helping them to develop their own English language skills. They can learn almost as much as you! But your knowledge and understanding of UK culture will also be a great benefit, giving students an idea of what life’s like in the UK.

Where can I go?

Thailand’s a big country, with a big population – about 66 million give or take a few. With so many schools it’s not possible to give choices, but we are sometimes able to try to accommodate any rough geographical preferences.

Do I need to speak Thai?

No – hardly any applicants have any existing knowledge of Thai before they’re selected, but you’ll soon be taking an avid interest. You’ll also be given various briefings and orientation programmes – both in the UK and Thailand – before you start teaching.

What does it cost?

The good news is the British Council and Thailand’s Ministry of Education will provide you with various benefits during your time as a teaching assistant, including:

  • training programmes for your role
  • return transport between Bangkok and your school
  • accommodation at or near the school
  • lunch during school days
  • a monthly allowance for daily living costs – 10,000 Thai Baht per month (about £200 at the time of writing).

That leaves a few things for you to take care of, including:

  • TET programme fees (£200 for 9-week course, £250 for 4-month term)
  • return air fares
  • cost of a Thai visa (£50)
  • travel and medical insurance
  • vaccinations
  • criminal record check (DBS) (£50.99)

Can I apply?

The main application criterion depends on whether you’re studying Education/English teaching or something completely different. The one-term/ four-month placements are only available to students and recent graduates of Education or Teaching English or who have some prior experience in teaching English. The 9 week placements are open to students or graduates of any university subject.

Other requirements are you must:

  • hold a UK, Irish or other EU passport
  • be a student or recent graduate (2013 onwards) from a UK university
  • be a native speaker of English or hold an IELTS certificate band 7.0 or higher
  • be 18 years old or over at the time of application
  • be in good overall health 
  • be available for the full period of the placement
  • be able to apply for and receive your Thai visa from within the UK, i.e. you cannot apply for it outside of the UK nor will the Royal Thai Embassy send passports to non-UK addresses

What will I gain from this?

This will obviously change from person to person. While there are similarities in the stories we hear from students who have been, everyone has their own unique experience.

Of course, you’ll get the full sensory experience of Thailand’s renowned hospitality, and get to know its people and diverse culture. But many of our students come back with a new confidence and belief in themselves – something that can only come from facing up to the challenge of living and working in a new environment on the other side of the world.

What they say

“What is the highlight of your free time during school days? I imagine that by the end of the programme, the answer for a large portion of you will be lunch. It became an important space and time for me to learn about Thai culture. It was a chance to meet, greet and eat with the other teachers at my school. Savour lunch time: the food, the company, and the opportunities to pick up Thai from other adults. If you are learning Thai from kindergarten students, for example, you may end up speaking a very childish form of the language.”

– Charlotte Ogilvie, TET 2014

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