Tag Archives: apply

So how do I get a job teaching English in Thailand?

Me, correcting a math assignment
Me, correcting a math assignment

Whether you’re already in Thailand, ready to buy your ticket, or just considering teaching, check out this guide to get you started:

Step 1: Research Teaching in Thailand

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Is this something you really want to do? Is this something you can afford? What’s it like? I highly recommend you check out other posts in this blog and do your own research to make sure teaching English in Thailand is the right thing for you.

Here is a great link to many questions people have about teaching in Thailand. It answers FAQ’s and debunks certain myths about ESL teaching. Check it out!

Step 2: Be Qualified to Teach

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1. Be a native speaker: You must be a native English speaker to teach in Thailand.If your English is iffy and you have no degree or TEFL background, you will have a hard time getting a job.

2. Have a Bachelor’s degree: technically the only requirement you need to teach English in Thailand

*I have known teachers that don’t have it and their agency more or less lies for them. However, not having a degree means you can’t legally get a work permit to teach English which you WILL want if you plan on staying in Thailand long-term (and supposedly immigration is cracking down on repeat tourist visas, so you’ll definitely want that work permit).

3. Have a TEFL certificate: Absolutely not necessary but will give you better options for teaching jobs and a leg up on the competition

*I know a lot of teachers who received teaching positions without a TEFL certificate but employers like to see it on a resume. It shows you have at least some training and experience. My TEFL course personally did not prepare me very well for teaching, but that’s not to say others wouldn’t be helpful.

4. Experience teaching: Definitely not necessary, but helpful. However, if you want to get a good paying job in Thailand, experience is the way to do it.

*Experience will also help you in the classroom as a teacher. Walking in on my first day was scary. All the students were going nuts, staring at us, yelling at us in English (remember, all-male high school). It was so overwhelming! I felt like I was going to get eaten alive. I didn’t, and I have a great time at school now, but experience would have been helpful. Now I feel like I could take on any class at any school.

Step 3: Apply for a Job

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Get to Thailand first! Don’t try to get a job outside of the country – most (if not all) schools prefer for you to live in Thailand when you apply. Also, getting a job with an agency beforehand can be very iffy-I wouldn’t recommend it unless you know the agency has a good reputation for placements.

Where to apply: My go-to recommendation sites are Ajarn.com and Craigslist.com.

Ajarn.com is great for finding jobs. It’s slightly more competitive because most people look for jobs there, but if you send out many applications (via your virtual CV that you create) odds are you’ll get some responses. The website also has a lot of useful information about teaching and living in Thailand.

Craigslist is awesome for finding agencies. Agencies are less competitive because a lot of them will take just about anyone – but this can be to your advantage! Have no TEFL? No experience? Then an agency might be a great way to get your foot in the door. But beware; some agencies also suck, so do a little research, on here for example, before committing.

*Craigslist is also a good way to find tutoring opportunities and short-term English camps.

You can also check out Bangkok Post for job listings. I haven’t personally applied there before, but there’s a lot of great listings.

You can go into a school in person as well to give them your CV and potentially be interviewed. A lot of people online recommend this, but honestly, if you’re just starting out, then walking into a school can be super intimidating. I would recommend applying online unless you have experience teaching in Thailand.

Step 4: Interview

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Interviewing is pretty much mandatory for any position. Be prepared for your interview with these steps

1. Look sharpprobably the most important. Sadly, a lot of Thais judge you immediately by your appearance. They can decide you’re not right for the job just because you look ‘messy’. Skirts and dresses for women with a collared top are the best bet, slacks and a collared button-up for men. Shoes should be close-toed and look nice, although it’s a bit more flexible for women. No it’s not necessary, but if you want to increase your chances, dress well.

2. Plan a mock lessonthis isn’t always a requirement but on many interviews I was asked to prepare a mock lesson. Sometimes they want to just look at it, but most want you to ‘deliver’ it. It’s very easy because you will give the lesson to English speakers. Better schools almost always require this. Also, one time they did not tell me beforehand and then threw me in a live class of preschoolers to see what I could do. Yeah, it was awful.

3. Have copies of your CV, degree, passport, etc. on handmaybe this should be obvious, but I foolishly walked into a couple of interviews empty-handed. They already had all of my documents, why would they need a second copy? Nope. A lot of my interviewers didn’t know anything about me, they just had my name on a list. Kind of ridiculous, yes, but it will be much easier for you to be prepared! And if you want to sign a contract right there and then, having all of your docs will make it easier.

Step 4: Accept a Position

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If/when you are offered a job, make sure you take some time to think about it.

ALWAYS negotiate your pay. A lot of newbies are a bit naïve (like me) and don’t realize you should always ask for a little more. They offer you 32,000? Ask for 34,000. If the say no, then oh well, at least you tried!

Also, make sure these questions are answered, so you know what is expected of you:

1. Paid holidays? (public holidays at a government or private school absolutely SHOULD be paid, though summer and fall breaks may not be).

2. Teaching hours expected per week (this should never be more than 23-24)

3. Breaking contract – are there penalties? How much notice is necessary? This can get you out of sticky situations if you have an awful school and want to quit without being penalized

4. Sick days – how many? You should get at least 2 per semester. This means you can miss school with proper notification ahead of time and still be paid (in other words, don’t call an hour before school starts saying you won’t be there and expect to still get paid)

5. Is a work permit sponsored? Most places should pay for this and arrange it for you. However, in my experience, agencies really drag their feet, preferring you to pay for visa runs to stay ‘legal’ in Thailand (though illegally employed)

6. Hours per day that you are expected at school – obviously only relevant for government/private schools but definitely something that should be in your contract. 7:30-4:30 is pretty standard

7. Gate duty? A lot of schools want teachers to do gate duty, where you stand at the gate and watch the students come in. Not sure how standard this is, but it was in my contract (my school didn’t make me do it)

Chok dee, ka! (Good luck!)

Do you have a different experience with finding work in Thailand? Did I miss something important here? Are any of these way off base? Please let me know in the comments or in an e-mail here!

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How to Apply to the Auxiliares de Conversación Program in Spain

auxiliarespic In this post, I will (hopefully) give you all of the information you need about applying to the Auxiliares de Conversación Program for North Americans in Spain. I know there are already a lot of ‘How to Apply’ posts out there, but I have attempted to combine the most important information and answers to many recurring questions all in one place, here in this blog post. There’s a lot of information here, so feel free to skip down to your specific questions or concerns!

Step 1: Start Researching and Gathering Necessary Materials

Documents you will need for the application:

1. A scanned PDF copy of your college transcript or diploma

 Many people have asked whether an unofficial transcript is acceptable in place of an official one or a diploma. I have read in a few places of people who submitted unofficial transcripts only and were admitted. However, that being said, if you are a worrier like me it may be best to order a copy of your official transcript and scan it to your computer. You will need it one day anyways, so you might as well get it now if you have the time! A scanned copy of your diploma will work just fine as well (that’s what I used).

2. A PDF copy of a letter of recommendation from a professor (if you graduated university in the last 5 years) or an employer

The guidelines for the letter can be found here, but basically it needs to be on official university letterhead and signed by the author. Tips: I highly recommend you send out a request sooner rather than later, and give your letter-author at least 2-4 weeks to write it for you. You don’t want to be like me, worrying during the days leading up to the application because you don’t have it yet. Apparently you can mail it in separately, but just make it easer on yourself by having it sent directly to you via email so you can upload it right onto your app.

3. A letter of intent written in English or Spanish 

This should be about 300 words long and should have your name signed at the bottom and should be addressed to your regional coordinator, whose name and address can be found at the bottom of this page. Tips: Many people have asked, what if it’s not quite 300 words? What if it’s too many words? What if I submitted it but didn’t sign it? From my research, it seems like the program doesn’t put too much stock in this letter and as long as it’s around 300 words, you should be fine. Update: this year my regional coordinator asked me to physically sign the letter and re-upload it. However, my boyfriend was moved to ‘admitada’ status by the same coordinator without signing his. I’d recommend signing it just in case.

*2nd years are apparently required to write it in Spanish

4. The first page of your passport, scanned

Tips: Don’t have a passport at the moment? Have a temporary passport? Then you may be better off trying to organize the arrival of your permanent passport by the end of January. Since your online application doesn’t have to be completely finished when you apply, you can take some time getting your hands on your passport. That being said, please do yourself a favor and get this taken care of BEFORE January. It will save you a lot of stress, I promise! When that baby shows up in the mail January 30th, you can take a breather knowing you still have time to scan and upload it.

Things I Highly Recommend Researching Before you Apply:

1. The Profex Manual: Read through this manual before the application opens to know what to expect. This will also answer some of your application questions ahead of time.

2. Check out Profex itself: Did you know you can register and enter all of your information into Profex any time before the application period begins? Log into Profex following the Manual and start filling out your CV and upload your documents if you have them in the ‘Documentos Anexos’ section. This will save you a lot of time the morning the application opens up. They even recommend doing this in the guidelines!

3. Regions: Start thinking about and researching the regions you would like to select on your application beforehand. You can only choose one comunidad autonoma from each group, and not all of the ones on the list are regularly participating. For an updated list on which regions each nationality can participate, see this PDF that I found on Trevor Huxham’s application post. Also, if you want to learn about the Spanish Comunidades, how reliable their pay is, or get first hand accounts from bloggers living there, etc., I recommend checking out this blog post by Liz Carlson. Also, she has a budget guide for 30 cities in Spain that I found helpful. Grupo A: Asturias, Ceuta y Melilla, Extremadura, La Rioja, Navarra, País Vasco Grupo B: Aragón, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Cataluña, Galicia, Islas Canarias Grupo C: Andalucía, Castilla y León, Islas Baleares, Madrid, Murcia, Valencia For US applicants, I’ve crossed out the regions we are unable to participate in this year, 2014-2015 Also, know that you have the option to select a type of city preference. This year, it was: Ciudad Grande Ciudad Mediana Ciudad Pequeña Rural No Preference I have been told the coordinators don’t really take these into account and place you wherever there’s space in the region, but hey, it can’t hurt either!

4. School preferences: If you have a preference for who you would like to teach, you can select an option. This year they were something like: -Adults -High School -Primary School/Babies -No Preference Once again, I have been told it makes no difference which you select, but it’s worth a shot, eh?

Step 2: Right Before You Apply

When that fateful day arrives and you enter full-stress mode like I did, you will want to be organized and ready for your application. As many people have said, getting a low inscrita number is your best chance for getting your preferred region, a guaranteed placement, etc. Here are some things I did to ensure a smooth and quick application process (#46 baby!)

1. Have all of your documents ready in one place: Even though people say you don’t need to have the documents on the actual application (you can add them into documentos annexos later), I didn’t want to take any risks. I had all of my documents in a folder on my desktop so that uploading them while applying only took another minute or two extra. Once again, if you are a worrier like me and want to do the same, put them somewhere easy to get to.

2. Have the Profex Manual up: I can’t even begin to stress how important this is. I saw SO MANY APPLICANTS desperately trying to go back in and edit their applications because they did something incorrectly. Not only can you not retrieve your app once you submit it, but you waste precious time trying to figure out where you’ve gone wrong. If you are already familiar with the Profex manual and are following it step by step, you should be fine. I can personally attest to this (it took me 7 minutes to apply with the aid of the manual, inscrita #46)

3. Have a live forum open in case you run into problems: I had the Expatriate Café – NALCAP open just in case I had issues while applying. The people on the website were very helpful when you encounter issues. I also found many posts on the 2013-2014 NALCAP Facebook page with app questions, though I don’t recommend this since it’s not really what that forum is for. If you are really stuck, run through the posts already on there to see if your question has been answered. Also google your question, odds are someone has had the same issue! Once again, this can generally be avoided if you have the Profex manual up and have done your research ahead of time.

4. If you want the lowest inscrita number possible, be logged into Profex before 12:01. I can’t say for certain that this helped, but already being logged into the system meant I could start the app as soon as it popped up. I experienced zero system crashes or errors and uploaded/submitted without having to refresh once! I would recommend it. It worked for me!

Step 3: The Actual Application

1. The Manual: Follow the Profex Manual step-by-step. This should ensure zero errors.

2. Regions: Make sure to select your regions and order them 1-3 correctly. You can’t go back and edit these, so make sure you have them right the first time!

3. Partner: Traveling with a partner? Select ‘Si’ when asked if you are applying with a pareja, and select ‘Si’ when it asks you if they are applying for the program as well. I included the name of my partner in the ‘Notes’ section to make sure there was no confusion. It seems that applying as close together as possible increases your chances of being placed together (or at least that’s what other bloggers are recommending).

4. Submit: When you finish submitting, you will get an e-mail that has your inscrita # at the top. It looks something like this:

14_1AXC000046

The last digits of this code are your inscrita number, not the first two.

5. Registration: After getting your email, you need to print out the PDF document of your application. You don’t have to get it right away-you can always access it through the ‘Presentacion Solicitudes’ link on Profex under the ‘Auxiliares’ Tab. Even though it says to ‘make sure you register’ in the Profex Manual, this just means print out the PDF.

Step 4: After Applying Electronically

Once you get to the email with your inscrita number, you are only half finished! You are now in the inscrita phase (see a list of meanings of each ‘category’ on page 13 of this link)

1. Now you need to print out this checklist as well as the PDF file found in the ‘Presentacion Solicitudes’ tab on Profex. Make sure you are using the FIRST TWO PAGES of this document. They should say ‘para registro’ at the bottom and NOT ‘para interesado’. *Extra materials are needed from New York applicants and European passport holders

2. Sign, date, and initial where necessary per Profex Manual instructions, making sure you have actually done everything necessary on the checklist.

3. Mail these documents to your regional director, whose name and address can be found at the bottom of this link

4. Once the coordinator has received and processed your documents, your inscrita status in Profex will change to registrada and then ‘admitida’ which means you are now eligible for selection, but not that you have an actual placement.

You can also join the Facebook group for the current program (Auxiliares de Conversación 2014-2015) or for the new program (Auxiliares de Conversación 2015-2016) for more up-to-date- info.

Frequently Asked Questions and Extra Information:

1. My incrita number is ###, will I get into the program? What are my chances of placement? I found a really great blog, Conquistadora Careese, that answers this question very thoroughly. This girl has some serious detective skills. Here is a summary of the information you can find on her blog: In 2012, there were only about 1800 teaching positions filled. Around 900 were renewals, and 900 were first-year applicants. However, over 4300 applicants were offered positions (including non-North American applicants). This means that even if you have a number in the 3,000’s or even 4,000’s you may still have a chance. In 2013, there were 4600 applicants offered positions. Now, she also points out that renewals get priority placement over first-years, so expect that about 900 people will be placed in front of you, and accordingly add +900 to your inscrita number. Is it still around 3,000 or less? Then you will most likely get placed, though the higher your number, the later you find out. This is because many applicants reject their offer, so there are multiple rounds of offerings.

2. When will I find out if I’ve been placed?! Based on the forums and other blogs I’ve read, it looks like they do the first round of placements starting in late April and early May. After that, they continue to send out offers for regions as spots open up from applicants rejecting their offer.

3. I don’t have all of my documents ready. Can I still apply? Yes! You can submit your application and go back later to upload your documentos anexos. This ensures you will get a lower inscrita number. Just make sure you go back and add them all before you mail in your PDF and checklist, so there are no issues processing your application.

4. Does ‘admitida’ mean I’m in the program? Not necessarily. ‘Admitida’ means that you have successfully submitted both your electronic and hard-copy application. They have received and processed all of it, and you are ready for selection. However, there is still a chance that you will be wait-listed or that there will not be enough positions for you to be selected, based on your inscrita number (this is pretty unlikely unless you have a really high inscrita number like 4800, and maybe not even then).

Do you have any additional questions? Did I forget to include something important? Do I have the wrong information? Are there any tips you have that you found helpful in applying? Let me know by e-mailing me at: leavesfrmthevine@gmail.com