How to Pick Your Start Date to Teach in Thailand

How to Pick Your Start Date to Teach in Thailand

The school year in Thailand is not on the same timeline as Western schools, so some start dates are better to arrive than others. We have start dates every month, so you’re welcome to choose ANY time to come to Thailand, and we can place you, but there are some things to consider when choosing a start date. Keep in mind the Thai school year is as follows:

First Semester: May – September
Break: October
Second Semester: November – March
Break: some of March and all of April

The best times to arrive are at the beginning of either semester, so either April/May (beginning of school year) or September/October (beginning of 2nd semester). Those will be our biggest arrival times! All of the courses throughout the year are based in Hua Hin, about 3 hours south of Bangkok!

The TESOL course is an option for most of the start dates, but keep in mind it’s a 3-week class. That means teachers won’t be done with training (orientation plus the course) until 1 month after they arrive in Thailand.

March 27, 2023*

This course is the ideal spring start date! Teachers do their training for the month of April and then immediately go off to start their teaching contracts as the school year begins the first week of May. Some teachers will arrive in Thailand a couple of weeks before the course starts to get some travel bucket list items checked off their lists.

This is the *best time to arrive of the entire year, as it’s the beginning of the school year so you’ll start school on Day 1 with your students. Arriving now also means you’re more likely to get a placement that aligns with your preferences, due to the demand being the highest it will be all year.

PRO TIP: The Thai New Year celebration, Songkran, is April 13 – April 15, 2023. The entire country shuts down for a nationwide water fight, so grab a super soaker and get involved in the festivities!

May 1, 2023

Since the school year starts at the beginning of May, placement only teachers will have a 4-month contract and teachers taking the TESOL course will have a 3-month contract. This is the best spring start date for teachers who are looking for a shorter contract.

June 5 and June 26, 2023 – a 7-week summer program for qualified teachers!

These two dates are specifically for qualified teachers who want to teach abroad, but don’t want to give up their positions at their schools at home. These dates align with most Western schools and allow teachers to work and travel abroad during their summer break.  Teachers arrive for a one-week cultural orientation in Hua Hin, and then work at a Thai school for a 6 week contract. No TESOL course is available for the summer program.

June 26, 2023 – short contract option

Teachers not taking the TESOL course will have a 3-month contract, while those taking the course have the option to work for 2 months or to use that time to travel. This is one of the shortest contract options available!

July 24, 2023 – even shorter contract option!

Teachers not taking the TESOL course will have a 2-month contract, while those taking the course have the option to work for 1 month or to use that time to travel. This is one of the shortest contract options available!

September 25, 2023 – This is the big one.

The Thai semester starts at the beginning of November so if you can arrive to Thailand on ANY start date this fall, this would be the best choice if you want to do the TESOL course.

These will be our biggest start dates of the year, as completion of the TESOL certification lines up perfectly with the beginning of the Thai semester – so this is when demand is HIGHEST in the fall for hiring teachers. Those who need to be certified will take the TESOL course until the end of October, and then begin your contract from November until March.

This start date will be full, so we recommend applying well ahead of time if it’s your intended choice. These dates could fill up early, so it’s important to apply early.

Orientation group in Hua Hin

October 30, 2023

This date in the best option for those who have their TEFL/TESOL certification already or their teaching license and want to do the “Placement Only” program. You will have a one-week orientation, and then begin your placement at the beginning of the Thai semester as well. Your contract will end in March, with the option to stay longer if you want.

If you want to take the TESOL on this date, school starts at the beginning of November, but arriving a few weeks into the semester is no problem at all. Many schools actually prefer to get started before hiring their foreign teacher, since the first few weeks of school can be hectic. Demand is still VERY high during November.

PRO TIP: The Thai lantern festival, Loi Krathong, is celebrated on November 28th, 2023. It’s a really great time to be in Thailand!

Celebrate Loi Krathong (the Lantern Festival) in Thailand

November 27, 2023

This start date is perfect for those looking to teach abroad, but aren’t ready to commit to a full semester. The semester is over in March so for those who are already TESOL certified, it’s a 4-month contract and for those taking the course, it’s only a 3-month contract!

Still have questions? Talk with Thailand alumni Kate to figure out what start date would be best for you!

Schedule a Call

91 thoughts on "How to Pick Your Start Date to Teach in Thailand"

  1. Nèd says:


    Forgive me for asking about something not related to this thread.

    I already have CELTA which I obtained from England and a university degree in English Language and Literature equivalent to British Bachelor (Hons).

    I am not a native speaker but I have a long experience in teaching both English and Arabic. I am 52 years old and have lived in London for 21 years. Do you think I have a chance of getting a job in Thailand?

    Thank you

    1. Shannon Pedersen says:

      Hi Ned!
      You can read more about the eligibility requirements for teaching in Thailand here:
      If you still have questions, feel free to schedule a call to speak with a Greenheart staff member!

  2. Lisa Dickson says:

    What a wonderful post you have written, thanks for sharing!

  3. pradeep kumar says:

    My name is Pradip, 39M, I am from INDIA, I have experience working as US IT Recruiter.
    Can I apply for the position as I like to travel and want to see places

    1. Haldis Toppen says:

      Hello! Sorry for the delay. For more information on our programs, please reach out to our email Cheers, Greenheart Travel

  4. Sara Huckaby says:

    Hello, earning my TEFL next month, I’m interested in the Dec 28 start date, where should I look for information on what the pay would be, the specific locations available within Thailand and what the end date/break dates would be? Thanks so much!

    1. Haldis Toppen says:

      Hello! Sorry for the delay. For more information on our programs, please reach out to our email Cheers, Greenheart Travel

  5. Chimezie Okereke says:

    I’m a Nigerian teacher of Humanities. I teach in international school in Victoria Island, here in Lagos. We run the British National curriculum and my students take the IGCSE, organised by the CIE. I have attended several courses by the British council and TES,UK.
    I’m interested in advancing by career by teaching abroad and I think Thailand will make a perfect start.
    I will appreciate every support that can be given to me, to make this dream come through.

  6. Roger says:

    Hello I have a bachelors degree in business administration and I have been to Thailand several times. I was wondering if I would qualify to teach in your program even though I have no teaching experience?


    1. Haldis Toppen says:

      Hello! Sorry for the delay. For more information on our programs, please reach out to our email Cheers, Greenheart Travel

  7. Isabel Fleischer says:

    Hello! I have been interested in being a TEFL/TESOL teacher in Thailand for about 2 years now, but figured the best thing to do is first complete my bachelors. I have a few questions that I hope you can answer.

    – First of all, I am a Swiss/German native, but have never lived there. I spent 8 years in a boarding school in the UK, and lived in Bangkok for 6 years at a younger age. Does it matter that I do not hold a ‘native English’ passport?
    – Second of all, a lot is mentioned on this site about TESOL, but do you also accept the TEFL certificate?
    – Lastly, I saw that you require a 4 year BA to apply to teach. I am currently doing my (3 year) BSc in International Security Studies, so not very related to teaching, but have been interested in teaching as a second language for some time! Is that okay, or does it have to be a 4-year BA programme?

    Hope to hear from you soon, thank you!! 🙂

    Isabel Fleischer

    1. Haldis Toppen says:

      Hello Isabel. Sorry for the delay. For questions about our programs, please reach out to Cheers, Greenheart Travel

  8. Marcus Copes says:

    Good Morning,

    My name is Marcus and I’m currently enrolled in TEFL Worldwide Prague. The course ends the second week of November. Would there be ample opportunities to teach in Thailand then? I also hold a degree in Psychology. Thailand has always been on my short-list of destinations due to my interest in learning Muy Thai. Thanks so Much.

  9. Edward James Boyle says:

    Do you pay for flights and training? Are we given living quarters and medical benefits? I’m aware that China and Japan do. If you DO, I’m ready to sign up.

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hi Edward. Programs in Thailand generally do not offer the same sort of benefits as programs in places like China, Korea, and Japan. Programs like this one don’t have direct government funding or have only limited government funding, so teachers who want to teach there must cover some of their own expenses. For the Thailand program, you will need to purchase your own one-way flight to Bangkok. You will also pay rent, from your paycheck. We provide insurance as part of the program fee for the first 4 months of the program.

  10. Heather says:

    Hello- i have a Masters in Teaching and Learning of English & am finishing (September ‘20) my doctorate in Org. Leadership of K-12 Educ., i would like to know about the October start & if it looks like you will have that in 2020, and if I’d need to do the TFEL, as i also have 12 years teaching English & am a native speaker from the U.S. Thank you kindly, I am trying to plan way ahead, for after i finish my end courses.

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Yes, we will have an October start date in 2020!

  11. Hugo says:

    I’m a non-native English speaker, living in the US for over 20 years. I have an AA degree in Travel Management and an AS in Foreign Languages, each of them from Colleges in the US. I do not have a BA, thou. Do I qualify? Thanks

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      We can take those without a BA only on certain start dates, but yes – you do qualify.

  12. Sandra says:

    Hi I am interested in doing the month of July 1- August 16. However, I will only have my associates degree in early childhood education. Those that works? And I wonder how will I sign up. Thanks

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hi Sandra – please email Kara at Usually a Bachelor’s is required, so she will have to see if we can make an exception or not for the summer program.

  13. Lynette says:


    I have recently qualified as a CELTA teacher (December 2018) although I have been qualified as an English teacher for many years. I am planning on taking holiday to Thailand during April 2019 to see about finding a job. Is this the best place to contact you?

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hi Lynette. You’re welcome to email the program manager for the Thailand Program, Kara, anytime at You’d want to apply for the program before arriving!

  14. Daniel says:

    I would like to apply for the Jan 2019 start date and would like to know if I am free to travel back home to my family during the March/April break or if I needed to stay for placement once the TEFL/TESOL course is finished.

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hi Daniel. You’re welcome to do whatever you’d like when school is on break. Going home so soon can be costly, so you might just consider starting your TESOL course in April – but if this is what you want to do that’s totally fine too!

  15. Wendie M. Bauer says:

    I would like to apply for an English Teaching position. I am a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and would like to travel and work for awhile and this sound wonderful. I worked with high school kids for the past four years and would like to fill out an application as soon as I am able to do so. Thank you, Wendie M. Bauer, LCPC

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hey Wendie! You’re welcome to fill out an application anytime at

  16. Emmanuel Mogire Sangae says:

    how do i apply please?

  17. Jon says:

    I would love to start!

    1. Chase Chisholm says:

      Awesome! You can start by applying here:

  18. Ms. Greig says:

    I have been a high school English, Spanish and ESL teacher for twenty years in California. I also have three years of abroad experience in Uganda and I have a master’s degree. I am looking for a position over the summer (I think you have a June 25 start date).
    Here is my question: I am 50! While I am fine teaching summers abroad and know I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to Thai students, I wonder if I will be completely out of my element if folks in your program tend to be in their 20’s. Please let me know if this program is something open to older, yet young in spirit, educators 🙂

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hey Ms. Greig! We’d love to have you apply for our summer program and it’s designed for educators like you who want to get abroad for their summer break. It sounds like you’d be a wonderful fit. Due to the nature of the program, a lot of our applicants are in their 20’s, but the summer educators program will have a much wider variety of ages – due to the short term contract. Don’t let your age deter you from participating! We have sent many teachers in their 40s and 50s on this program that have had a great time. We’d love to have you apply.

  19. Dridri says:

    Hiiii!!! So I’m Jamaican and I have all the qualifications and would love to teach in Thailand in 2020. What do I need to do?

    1. Chase Chisholm says:

      Hello there! You can learn more about the program, start dates, eligibility requirements and the application process here:

  20. david smith says:

    looking for short term teaching position start feb 2018
    degree qualified , experienced australian teacher Telf qualified

    1. Chase Chisholm says:

      Wonderful, David! Have you had a look at our Teach in Thailand information: You might also want to consider teaching English in a homestay! We have this program in Thailand as well as several other countries!

  21. Ceri-Anne Cook says:

    If I was to apply for the January start date (training and placement) when would the contract expire? I see the training finishes in feb with the opportunity to travel before you start or possibly go straight into teaching. I was looking to start in jan and be in Thailand for 4-6 months is this possible?
    Hope that makes sense.
    Many thanks.

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hi Ceri-Anne. The semesters run from May-September and November-February so you have to finish out whatever semester you arrive during. If you arrive for our January start date, you will be expected to stay until the end of September. If you want a shorter contract length, you can arrive later in the year. Our April dates will be some of our biggest and we are offering $400 off of these dates!

  22. Karla says:

    Good day!
    My fiance and I are looking to working in Thailand in 2018. Can you please send me more information on your programs. Do you do placements around Phuket? We both have degrees and are currently working in Beijing.

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hi Karla! You’re welcome to email me with any questions you have at We do place people in and around Phuket, but placements are done all over the country and you aren’t necessarily able to “choose” to be placed in Phuket. You’d have to be open minded to placements throughout the country. We will take your placement preferences but at the end of the day it’s about what schools are hiring and where the demand is. As you can imagine, there are a lot of teachers who want to teach in Phuket- and only so many hiring schools.

  23. Ashley Pfaff says:

    Hi, I am a 22 year old American who just graduated with a bachelor’s degree. I have been looking into coming to Thailand and teaching. I originally planned to go through a Thai agency and not do a TEFL/TESOL course, but recently I have been thinking about doing the course. I would like to start before the new year, preferably October since the new semester begins then. Could you send me more information on your program, start dates, salary, etc. I was also interested in teaching in Trang or Krabi, somewhere in Southern Thailand. Thank you!

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hey Ashley! You’re definitely welcome to apply for our upcoming December date. We do place people in southern Thailand often, but you’d have to be open-minded and flexible when it comes to placement. At the end of the day, placements are made based on which schools are in need of a teacher!

  24. Manini Zingitwa says:

    My preference date is of the 28th August because l need to adjust to the newly environment .By arriving early l wanna be on track with everyone with all the equipment ready for a classroom .

  25. Paolo says:

    i already have TESOL, and 5 years experience teaching ESL. i have taught in China, and i have taught for a month already in Nan province. I do not have a degree only a teacher assistant diploma. I came here to volunteer teaching for a year, but my living conditions were not suitable. so i could not stay teaching in Nan province. i am staying at a hotel in Bangkok.

    If you know any place where i can work, it would greatly appreciated.

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Sorry Paolo, a BA/BS is required for this program.

  26. Muna Albasha says:

    i am looking for two months of teaching in Thailand, I have 9 years of teaching experience. Please let me know if there is any vacancies.

  27. Tyler says:

    I have a high school teaching credential. Would I have to get a TESOL? What is a TESOL?

    1. Sara Thacker says:

      Hi Tyler, you would not need the TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) certification course if you are a certified teacher already.

  28. amy plume says:

    Hi there ,
    Is there any chance of a later starter option for this semester ? I am a 27 year old law graduate from the UK looking for long term employment + to gain TEFL qualification to begin ASAP .

    Kind regards ,
    Amy Plume

  29. Sam waldron says:

    I am looking for a longer term placement for about 8 months. Is that possible?

    1. Chase Chisholm says:

      Hello, Sam! It would be possible. You could extend for as long as you’d like while teaching in Thailand.

  30. Paolo says:

    i am looking for a job in thailand, i have worked for 7years as a teacher assistant in canada, 5 years teaching ESL adults for Canadian immigration at a college, last summer i went to china i taught at training centre, and then at a middle school, for 4months, The company was not good, and them forging a degree, did not feel right.

    I am looking for a position in thailand legally.

  31. John says:


    I have a few questions I hope you can answer.

    1) Though the starting pay is listed as 30,000 TBH, approximately how much more should I expect to earn with an Master’s Degree in English, along with experience?

    2) My girlfriend and I are hoping to be placed together in the same apartment, which I see from your FAQ is possible – but what are the odds of having a third friend teach within the same proximity? Is this possible?

    3) If we chose the start date of September 25th (including TESOL course), approximately when would our contracts expire? At the end of February or some time in March?

    4) I see from your placement map that northern placements are far less frequent than southern. Is this because of lack of applicant interest or lack of demand from northern schools?

    5) Say we were placed in the north, but did our TESOL course in Hua Hin, would Greenheart pay the travel cost to transport us to our placement?

    6) If we are unsatisfied with the apartment provided by the school, will we still have access to the realtor mentioned in the FAQ?

    Thanks for your time,

    1. Chase Chisholm says:

      Hello, John! Thank you so much for taking time to comment with these GREAT questions. Please email Sara, our program manager for our Teach in Thailand program, with these! Her email address is: Thank you!

      1. John says:

        Thanks, Chase! I’ll send her a message.

    2. Sunita Pereira says:

      I have a master’s degree in TESOL form Southern University of New Hampshire. The degree takes a year to complete as a full time student and the instructions are face to face in the classroom.
      Having said that, I do not need TESOL training and am interested in starting in May of 2018. Please let me know what I have to do. Also is the accommodation provided?

      1. Sara Thacker says:

        Hi Sunita! You don’t need the TESOL training, correct. You can select “apply now” on the program page in order to start an application, or email me at You can find all the accommodation details on our website here:

        Let me know how else I can help!

  32. Jessica Trigg says:

    if we are in a couple and would like to be placed together, would we need to apply more in advance?
    Thank you

    1. Sara Dorsey says:

      Hey Jessica! No, you wouldn’t have to apply earlier. Placements are done once you arrive in Thailand. We can place you guys together!

  33. Ademis says:


    I see your starting pay is 30,000 TBH. If you have teaching experience abroad and a Tesol would the pay be higher? Thank You

    1. Sara Dorsey says:

      Hi Ademis,

      Sometimes, yes, but it depends on the school!


  34. Ian says:


    I’m Ian, a transgender and I would like to apply for May 29, 2017 start date. I’m from the Philippines, college graduate and currently working in the BPO industry. I’ve been looking for a greener pasture. do you accept transgender?

    looking forward to your response to my email address.


    1. Sara Dorsey says:

      Hi Ian! We do not discriminate on the basis of gender! That being said, we cannot accept those without citizenship from one of these countries: USA, Canada, UK, Ire, NZ, Aus, SA for visa purposes.

      1. Ian cagape says:

        Thanks Ruby, I really love to apply. what are the things/documents that I need to prepare, aside from my passport?


        1. Ian cagape says:

          I mean thanks Sara 🙂

  35. Ruby says:

    I’m interested in starting June 26th however I am only able to work for 4-6 weeks… is that possible … I have teaching my cperirnce in China South Korea and Italy and I have a masters in education and a teaching credential (bachelors in media) thank you

    1. Jill GHT says:

      Hi Ruby, our teaching contracts are for 4-month semester programs to align with the school year, but we do have a month-long homestay teaching program that could possibly accommodate a 4-6 week availability. It is a volunteer position but includes room and board with a local Thai host family in exchange for 15 hours a week of English tutoring. Here is the link for more information if you are interested.

  36. Kenia says:

    Hello, I plan on applying for october of 2017 does this mean the tefl would start early november? And get placed by end of of november? I’m trying to figure out how many total months away it would require for just one semester of teaching.

    1. Kara Menini says:

      Hey Kenia! The start dates listed on the website is the day orientation starts, and the following week is when your TEFL course will start. So, if you decide to join the Oct. 30, 2017 start date, you would have orientation from the 30th – Nov. 3 and the course would begin Nov. 6. You will start working the Monday following the end of the course at the end of November and your contract would be to teach through February 2018.

  37. Kieona says:

    Is it possible to go as a couple instead of just 1 individual or a group?

    1. Sara Dorsey says:

      Of course! We can place couples together.

  38. Antonia Durant says:

    Hi, I’m currently an Overseas Rep for TUI UK, I’ve been looking at this fantastic opportunity, is it possible to do this from December through until the middle of April? Also is there someone I can speak with directly to find out more about the programmes you offer?
    Kind regards Antonia

    1. Sara Dorsey says:

      Hi there, feel free to email me at any time. Our December 2016 start date is full at this time, but we have other options.

  39. Melina says:

    I’m finishing my master in Human Ressources in april 2017, and I’m looking to teach abroad during the summer of 2017 since I will start Teacher’s College in september 2017. I did 4 years of tutoring and worked 4 years in a Daycare, is this enough to be able to start the contract without TELF course?


    1. Sara Dorsey says:

      Hi Melina – unless your BA was in Education, you’d need to take the course!

  40. Alex says:


    I am a student studying medicine, and thought it would be a nice idea next summer to go abroad and teach English, as I feel it could be a very rewarding venture for my career and also a lot of fun! The programmes you advertise all look very interesting, and I was just wondering if you could specify start-end dates in any more detail? Could you accommodate an individual such as myself who may struggle to meet some of the term dates but would be available throughout the summer (say June-September)?



    1. Sara Dorsey says:

      Hey Alex – each school has a different end date so I can’t speculate on the exact end date. We do have a contract from the beginning of June until the end of September, but you’d have to be able to commit until the end of September as this is when final exams are. Let me know what other questions I can answer!

  41. Simi Pillay says:

    Hi, I am a TESOL certified teacher with 16 years of secondary school English language teaching experience (native speaker). I would love to know more about your program as I am looking to teach English abroad. I would probably be interested in the May 1st start date, but that could change once I know more about how it all works. I’m also not sure if there is an age restriction?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Simi! There is an age restriction of 60, but we can sometimes be flexible! Definitely email me if you’re interested at

  42. Marc says:

    Hello, I have a TEFL from Chiang Mai University and had an internship teaching English in Chiang Mai. I am currently about to finish my B.A. and have only 2 credits left that I plan to take online this fall. Do you think it is possible to still get a visa so I don’t have to wait to move to Thailand after December? I can send my transcript as proof.

    1. Sara says:

      Hi Marc,

      Yes, this is definitely possible, but it can be more difficult to get the visa if you’re already in SE Asia without your physical diploma. As long as you have transcripts, it shouldn’t be a problem though! We’d welcome you to apply.


  43. Chloe Dargan says:

    Hi there, I would love to talk to someone about teaching English in Thailand. Is as looking at August. I don’t have my tefl as yet.

    Kind regards Chloe

    1. Jill says:

      Hi Chloe, that’s great you are looking to teach in Thailand in August! Have you had a chance to fill out this form? It will connect you with a program manager and they can answer all your questions. Feel free to call us at 888.ABROAD.1 as well!

  44. Valentina Mejia says:

    Hello, I am very interested in this program and do have some teaching experience but I do not have a TEFL. When would I know if I get accepted into this program and how much time do I have to complete it.

    Also what else you I need to be qualified?

    Thank you

  45. Nicola Davies says:

    Hi, do you need to do a TEFL if you are already a qualified teacher in a secondary school in England?



    1. Jill GHT says:

      Hi Nicola! As long as you have a degree in Education, then you won’t need to get TEFL certified unless you want additional training for teaching English as a second language.

  46. Alejandra says:

    Hello, I am interested in the August teaching opportunity, I have more than 10 years experience on teaching English as a second language, I have an ICELT certificate from the university of Cambridge, my English level is C1, I’m not a native speaker, but I have experience, and methodology, I use different approaches into the classroom, and I am certified by the Buck Institute of Education as a PBL teacher, I would really love to be able to share my culture and my experience with your project.
    I wou like to stay at least one year teaching, and having a unimaginable experience, by learning from you and the people’s culture.

    Kind regards

    1. Jill GHT says:

      Hi Alejandra, thank you for checking out our teaching opportunity! Unfortunately, we aren’t able to make any exceptions to our requirements for being a native English speaker. We do recommend checking out job listing sites like for opportunities that might be more flexible though!

  47. Vanessa says:

    Hello! I am interested in the July 4th-September teaching opportunity. However, I would most likely complete an online TESOL course before arriving in Thailand. If that’s the case, could I arrive after the TESOL course that you offer in Thailand was completed? Mid-late July instead? Thanks!!


    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Vanessa!

      Any of the above start dates work if you are already TEFL certified, so you’d just arrive July 4th and do Week 1 orientation with the group and go into your placement after that week, while they finish the course. Hope this helps!


    2. Sarah says:

      Hi Vanessa!

      Any of the above start dates work if you are already TEFL certified, so you’d just arrive July 4th and do Week 1 orientation with the group and go into your placement after that week, while they finish the course. Hope this helps! Email me if you have any other questions at

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