AboutJobsAlertsCoursesGuidesBlogProfilePost Job

Teach English in Surat Thani, Thailand

Surat Thani, often referred to as the 'Gateway to the Southern Islands', is a vibrant city located in southern Thailand. With its strategic position along the Gulf of Thailand, it has long served as a conduit for travelers heading to the popular islands of Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. Yet, Surat Thani is not just a transit point. This city, with its meandering Tapi River, bustling night markets, and rich cultural heritage, offers its own set of wonders that capture the essence of authentic Thai life. Surat Thani seamlessly blends the traditions of yesteryears with the dynamism of modern urban life, making it a unique place to immerse oneself in as an English teacher.

Reasons to Teach English in Surat Thani

  1. Authentic Thai Experience: Unlike some tourist-packed cities, Surat Thani offers teachers a chance to experience authentic Thai culture. The interactions here are genuine, and there's an opportunity to deeply immerse oneself in local traditions and customs.

  2. Strategic Location: For weekend wanderers, Surat Thani's proximity to some of Thailand's most beautiful islands makes it a dream location. Teachers can easily take ferries to world-famous islands and enjoy the tropical paradise.

  3. Affordable Living: With fewer expatriates compared to cities like Bangkok or Chiang Mai, the cost of living in Surat Thani is notably lower. This means teachers can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank.

  4. Rich Cultural Heritage: From the ancient Wat Sai temple to the vibrant Phum Riang silk weaving community, Surat Thani is a treasure trove of cultural landmarks that provide ample opportunities for learning and exploration.

  5. Warm and Welcoming Community: The people of Surat Thani are known for their warmth and hospitality. As an English teacher, one will find eager students and supportive locals, making the teaching journey all the more rewarding.

  6. Delicious Southern Thai Cuisine: Surat Thani offers a delightful culinary journey with its unique southern Thai dishes. From spicy curries to mouth-watering seafood, there's a feast awaiting every food lover.

  7. Opportunities for Professional Growth: As English becomes increasingly vital for global communication, there's a growing demand for English teachers in cities like Surat Thani. This offers teachers not just an opportunity to teach but also to grow professionally within the educational sector.

Understanding Surat Thani's Education Landscape

Surat Thani, being a significant city in southern Thailand, has an evolving education landscape. While the city has several government schools that adhere to the Thai national curriculum, there's a burgeoning growth of private institutions and language centers. The latter often focus on holistic education and emphasize English proficiency, catering to both local Thai students and a small international community. As the world becomes more connected, parents in Surat Thani recognize the importance of English, making it a high-demand subject. This demand has translated into ample opportunities for English teachers, both experienced and novices, to find positions in schools, colleges, and language centers throughout the city.

Eligibility and Requirements to Teach English in Surat Thani

The requirements to teach English in Surat Thani will be similar to the standard requirements for teaching English in Thailand. However, here are the specific requirements for Surat Thani:

  • A Four-Year Degree: Prospective teachers must hold at least a bachelor’s degree in any major. This is a mandatory requirement set by the Thai Ministry of Education.

  • Language Proficiency: You need to be a native English speaker. Alternatively, non-native speakers can also teach if they score 600 or above on the TOEIC or achieve a score of 5+ on the IELTS. This test can be taken in Thailand or abroad.

  • Background Check: Before beginning teaching, you'll need to pass a police background check conducted in your home country to ensure the safety of the students.

  • Health Verification: A basic health check is necessary to ensure you're fit for the job and do not have any communicable diseases.

  • TEFL Certification: While not a strict requirement, having a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate can give you an edge during the hiring process. Some schools might prefer or require it.

  • Teaching Experience: Experience, while often preferred, is not strictly required. However, having prior teaching experience can position you better in terms of job opportunities and salary negotiations.

  • Cultural Interest: A genuine interest in Thai culture and a willingness to adapt can go a long way in ensuring a smooth teaching experience. Schools look for teachers who are not only interested in teaching but also in integrating into the Thai way of life.

Salary and Benefits for Teaching English in Surat Thani

In Surat Thani, English teachers can expect to earn between 25,000 to 40,000 Thai Baht per month, depending on their qualifications, experience, and the institution they are employed with. Private schools and international schools generally offer a higher salary compared to public schools.

In addition to the base salary, some institutions might provide added benefits such as:

  • Health insurance
  • Bonus upon contract completion
  • Assistance with visa and work permit processes
  • Reduced working hours or additional holidays
  • Opportunities for professional development

It's worth noting that while the cost of living in Surat Thani is lower than in major cities like Bangkok, it's essential to budget wisely to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle and save.

Living in Surat Thani

Surat Thani, often considered the gateway to the islands of Thailand's Gulf Coast, is a vibrant city blending the charms of southern Thai culture with the demands of modern living. With its close proximity to tourist hotspots like Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao, Surat Thani itself has much to offer to those who choose to call it home. Here's what life in Surat Thani might look like for an English teacher:

Natural Beauty

Surat Thani is enveloped by a lush tropical landscape. From the limestone cliffs to the verdant rainforests, nature lovers will be in awe. The Tapi River, which flows through the city, is perfect for evening strolls, and the nearby Rajjaprabha Dam in the Khao Sok National Park offers stunning vistas.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Surat Thani is relatively low compared to Thailand's more prominent cities. Renting a comfortable apartment can range from 5,000 to 10,000 Thai Baht per month. Street food, a staple of Thai living, is delicious, diverse, and incredibly affordable. This affordability allows many teachers to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle while also saving a decent portion of their income.

Local Delicacies

Southern Thai cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and spiciness. In Surat Thani, you'll get to indulge in local specialties such as 'Gaeng Som' (sour curry) and 'Khanom Jeen' (rice noodles with curry). Seafood, given the city's coastal location, is both fresh and plentiful.

Culture and Festivals

The city boasts a rich cultural tapestry. Annual festivals like the Chak Phra Festival, which marks the end of the Buddhist Lent, sees a vibrant parade of boats on the Tapi River. The Surat Thani Boat Races are another significant event, fostering community spirit and friendly competition.


Surat Thani has an efficient public transportation system. Songthaews (shared taxis) are a common mode of transport within the city. For intercity travel, the train station and airport connect Surat Thani to other parts of Thailand and neighboring countries.

Warm Community

The people of Surat Thani are known for their warmth and hospitality. As a teacher, you'll likely find yourself forming close bonds with locals, be it fellow teachers, students, or neighbors. Their friendliness makes the process of integrating into Thai society smoother and more enjoyable.

Teacher Stories

Sarah from USA:

"When I first told my family I was moving to Surat Thani to teach English, they couldn't even find it on a map! But from the moment I arrived, I was greeted with the warmest of welcomes. My students were eager to learn, and the community embraced me wholeheartedly. I even picked up a bit of southern Thai dialect! Weekends were often spent exploring the nearby islands. The experience has been nothing short of transformative."

Liam from UK:

"Surat Thani, for me, was the ideal balance between city life and nature. After teaching classes, I would often find a local eatery, where the spicy southern dishes never disappointed. My fellow teachers, both Thai and foreigners, became my close-knit family. We'd often share stories, lesson plans, and the occasional trip to the islands."

Thando from South Africa:

"Before arriving in Surat Thani, I'd only ever taught in a bustling metropolis. This city offered a refreshing change of pace. The emphasis on community here is palpable. My students would often invite me to their homes for meals, and I've attended more local festivals than I can count. Teaching here hasn't just been a job; it's been an immersion into a rich tapestry of culture."

Siobhan from Ireland:

"Coming from Ireland, the tropical climate was a bit of a shock at first! But the beauty of Surat Thani and its people soon won me over. From singing English songs with my young students to learning traditional Thai dances with the locals, every day here has been an adventure. And the proximity to the islands? That's just the cherry on top!"

Moving Towards Teaching English In Surat Thani

Embarking on a teaching journey in Surat Thani offers more than just a professional experience; it's a dive into a cultural milieu that enriches the soul.

The allure of Surat Thani lies not just in its strategic location near Thailand's famed islands, but also in its genuine representation of southern Thai culture. As a teacher, you're not just imparting knowledge; you're becoming an integral part of a community that values learning and mutual cultural exchange.

If you're seeking a teaching experience that intertwines professional growth, cultural immersion, and the beauty of nature, Surat Thani beckons. Embrace the adventure, the challenges, and the joys of teaching in a city that promises to be unforgettable.