What services does the SWU TEFL program include?
SWU TEFL is a full service teacher training program that provides applicants with everything they need to become professional English teachers. The course includes an intensive TEFL program specifically designed to prepare you for your first teaching job, basic training in Thai language and culture, airport pickup, cheap or free accommodation (depending on which housing option you choose), a complete guide to survival in Thailand and Bangkok, BTS passes for Bangkok’s sky train, several free meals to introduce you to the finest in Thai cuisine, a full week of activities and sightseeing at one of Thailand’s nicest beachfront properties, hands-on experience with learners of all levels, real experience and mentoring inside a Thai school during your training, professional and personalized guidance, and a guaranteed choice of jobs to suit your age and level preference at a decent market wage.
What will I learn from the SWU TEFL course?
SWU TEFL is an intensive and practical program designed to prepare you for your first teaching job in Asia with a specific emphasis on learning from direct experience. You will learn about Thai language and culture, the Thai educational system, a complete system of techniques for teaching English within the school system, a formal understanding of the English language and how it relates to the native language of your students, how to plan an effective lesson, how to adapt to new educational situations, classroom management techniques, how to present new material clearly and effectively, how to continue your professional development if you choose, and, above all, how to enjoy your teaching experience and help your students enjoy it as well.
Of course, SWU TEFL recognizes that your real education as a teacher comes from standing in front of a class, rather than sitting in one. Thus, the emphasis of the training is to prepare applicants for their first teaching job and give them the tools they need through hands on training. You will observe real classes, teach real students of all levels, and design and implement English camps before being provided with your first professional position teaching the level you are most interested in. Thailand is a wonderful place to gain practical teaching experience, and we at SWU TEFL believe that there is no better way to learn to teach than by teaching. We will provide you with a full range of materials, worksheets, flash cards, advanced grammar texts, and everything you need to get started. Once you have learned to use your tools, you will be ready to begin your new adventure!
How is SWU TEFL different from other TEFL courses?
Other established TEFL programs, such as TEFL International and CELTA, offer an academic approach that is designed primarily for teaching adults and gives little specific guidance on how to approach your first job in a new country. Graduates of these programs are often left to locate their first jobs and navigate the experience of learning a new language and culture on their own.
SWU TEFL will specifically prepare you for your first teaching position, give you all the tools and materials you need to walk into a new school and teach, introduce you to Thai language and culture, and provide you with your first opportunity to work as a professional teacher with many options for different schools, student levels, and locations throughout the country. Our goal is to help you add real teaching experience to your resume or CV as quickly as possible, and to give you everything you need to be comfortable living and working in this exciting new phase in Asian history.
What are the requirements for joining the course?
Because of the strong and rising demand for native speaker English teachers all over both Thailand and Southeast Asia, most schools do not require any professional teaching experience. Therefore, although a completed Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree from an accredited university is helpful, it is not necessary to join the program. All we need from you is a passport from a country where English is spoken as a first language, a willingness to come experience a new culture, and the desire to share your knowledge of your native language with the next generation of students. Our program will guarantee you a job, regardless of your prior educational background. This makes SWU TEFL ideal for both recent graduates and undergraduate students who want to take a break from academics in favor of travel and hands-on teaching experience.
How will I find a teaching job when I complete the program?
SWU is in contact with schools and teaching agencies throughout the country. While you are completing the program, we will be helping you find a suitable first teaching job as close as possible to the location and level of your choice. By the time you graduate, we guarantee that we will have a job for you, as soon as you are ready to begin working.
SWU is in contact with schools and teaching agencies throughout the country. While you are completing the program, we will be helping you find a suitable first teaching job as close as possible to the location and level of your choice. By the time you graduate, we guarantee that we will be finding a job for you, as soon as you are ready to begin working. The start date of these positions may depend on the specific needs of our schools, and the Thai academic calendar. Most Thai schools begin their first semester in May, and their second semester in late October or early November, so these are the best times to begin working. However, many schools continue looking for foreign teachers throughout the year, so if you graduate our course at another time, we will still be able to find you a job quickly you just may need to wait a week or two until we can locate a suitable position.
What jobs are available to SWU TEFL graduates?
We have connections with schools of all levels, for Anuban (kindergarden), Prathom (primary), Matayom (secondary/high school), and University positions. For graduates without prior degrees or experience, we will find you a suitable first job in a school where you will get as much developmental support as you need. For graduates with degrees and/or prior experience, we will help you find a position commensurate with your credentials. These positions may involve signing a 4-12 month contract, depending on when you complete the course during the Thai school year, and the exact position you accept.
What do English teaching jobs in Thailand pay in relation to the cost of living?
A starting native speaker English teacher with no prior experience can make between 25,000-30,000 baht a month. Although this is not a large sum by international standards, it is an excellent wage in Thailand, and you will be able to live quite comfortably on this with no additional income from home. Rent, if housing is not provided, is normally less than 5,000 baht a month, and you can get a decent meal for 50 baht or less. The prices of other goods and services, such as public transportation, health care, and clothing are equally cheap, and you will easily be able to save money once you begin working. Salaries in prime locations (such as Bangkok), and for experienced teachers with degrees, can be quite a bit higher. Once your teaching career has begun, you will not need to worry about being able to afford a comfortable lifestyle, with enough left over to explore a new country. Please see our “Cost of Living’ page, elsewhere in this website.
How can SWU TEFL help me learn to live and work in Thailand?
We provide you with professional advice, intensive training, practical experience, and a wealth of source information to help you get the most out of your cultural and educational experience. You will learn about Thai language and culture from the professionals at SWU, and you will be given the opportunity to visit several schools and observe real foreign teachers in their classrooms. You will teach both university and grade school classes as part of your training, with expert feedback to help you improve your skills. You will receive 24 hour support and guidance to deal with any confusion or problems that may occur. SWU TEFL is dedicated to helping you acclimate to your new environment and to helping you arrange all of your basic necessities of life, including accommodation, transportation, and visa support.
Can I use my SWU TEFL certificate to find jobs in other countries?
While SWU TEFL emphasizes preparing its graduates for a first position in Thailand, the experience you will gain from the course and from your first job will serve you well in any country you would later choose to work in. The training itself is specific to Thailand, but the experience of teaching an English class will apply anywhere.
How can I take the course and still have time to explore Thailand on my own?
We understand that taking a class is a very small part of the experience of living in a foreign country. Although the early part of the course is intensive, you will have time to explore Bangkok and the beachfront town of Prachuap on your own, with maps, recommendations, and skytrain tickets provided as part of the program. You will also have at least a week of free time after the course is complete to travel and experience Southeast Asia while we find suitable employment for you, if you so desire.
Where would I be living, before and after the course?
We offer several different accommodation packages during the course. The deluxe option, SWUtel, is a luxury hotel with modern facilities located directly on the same campus as the training center. A midrange option, where you would share free accommodation at (a local hotel) with a roommate from the program is available for those who want housing provided off campus. Finally, a separate and lower price is available for those who wish to find their own accommodation. If you choose the last option, and require assistance finding a hotel or guesthouse that meets your standards for location and facilities, inform our staff and we will help you find a suitable place.
Once you have completed the course and decided where you would like to take your first teaching position from the available options, SWU TEFL will insure that you have a place to live near the school where you will be working. Some positions offer free on or off campus housing, while others provide you with a housing allowance. Regardless of where you work, we will make sure you have a comfortable and modern place to live.
How long does the program take to complete?
The program itself takes approximately 3 weeks to complete, including all training and activities. Up to 10 days of free time will be available if you want a little time to travel and explore before you start working.
What optional experiences are available as part of the program?
While you are training with us, SWU TEFL will be happy to act as your travel agent within Thailand. You will receive a packet of information with things to do both inside and outside of Bangkok, and our staff will help you arrange and book any tours, domestic flights (incredibly cheap) or other experiences you may be interested in. Just speak with our staff or your trainer, and we will do our best to help you find the experience you want.
Who can I contact for further information?
Please go to our contact information tab for specific e-mail, Skype, social media, and phone numbers to contact, in order to receive personal answers to all of your questions about our program. Please remember that Bangkok is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Village Mean Time and 12 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard time, so the best times to call or Skype would be early in the morning or late in the evening.