3 Neighborhoods to Build your Teaching Career in Bangkok
You’re young, you have killer business instincts and you have so much knowledge you want to share. You’re also an English teacher in Thailand and all that fervor will have to first be put into your craft of teaching before making your way to corporate stardom. But before catching your big break, you’ll need to choose the right neighborhood to live in.
Spurring your creativity will help ensure your classes are engaging, fun and informative, the winning formula to your success. And nothing gets your creative juices flowing more than hanging out at a coffee shop, hooking up to their Wi-Fi and devising your next English class topic.
Sukhumvit is just packed with such inspirational coffee shops to plan your lessons daily and keep them fresh. There are large multilevel coffee shops, petite coffee shop boutiques, outdoor coffee shop terraces, coffee shops in megamalls (Terminal 21) and shopping complexes (Nana Square Shopping Mall), coffee shops in the lobbies of business buildings and coffee shops in the 5-star hotels on Sukhumvit – all with different ambiances to fit your particular mood.
Even though Sukhumvit’s cost of living can be more expensive, all the high priced private schools, universities, English institutions and specialized tutor houses are located there for you to earn a decent salary. As a major business district, you’ll find English being used in the Sukhumvit area more than anywhere else. If that doesn’t reassure you of just how much your English teaching services are needed, it’s a good way to make new connections or to politely interrupt business people at the coffee table beside you and introduce yourself.
Of course, Sukhumvit has all the top-class amenities so you’ll feel at home: skytrain (BTS) and subway (MRT), gourmet restaurants, grocery stores, shopping and entertainment. Here is a full description of the Sukhumvit Neighborhood.
For a less expensive neighborhood and for getting your primer on how Thai people really live in the city, the Ramkhmaheang area is one of the best places to earn your stripes as a teacher while gaining the respect of your students.
Ramkhamheang road is the location of the Ramkhamheang University, one of the top 10 most populated universities in the world. The university offers a module based learning system for a very low price. Under this system, rather than going to classes, students complete modules on their own and can spend more time on what they really want to be learning – English, of course.
Combined with the immense university population, you basically have an endless supply of students and a huge supply of supporting English tutoring schools in the surrounding area. The lower university tuition can attract students from a lower household income which usually correlates to a lower level of English of the student. While you may not be making the biggest of bucks, you will be making a big impact on the student’s development, something the students won’t let you forget by showing their appreciation, a wonderful feeling.
Students’s tight budgets also means that prices in the area reflect that. So you can enjoy plenty of delicious street food and plenty of cool after work hangouts with low prices.
There are two shopping malls nearby, the Mall Ramkhamheang and The Mall Bangkapi. Not as hyper as the ones found in Bangkok’s center, you will find what you want in foods, shopping and movie theatres.
Access to the Ramkhamheang skytrain station airport link can be reached via Ramkhamheang road. Or hail a cab on the parallel Ladprao road only minutes away to the nearest subway station. Or cut through all the traffic to get to the heart of the city by taking the boat on the Khlong Saen Saeb canal. Here is a full description of the Ramkhamheang area.
The Ratchada Area is like the happy middle ground between Sukhumvit and Ramkamheang, not as expensive but also modern. Hip is a better word because the Ratachada area is one of the hippest places to be in, and it’s driven entirely by young Thais.
A progressive area in every sense, by its high quality condominiums competing with the super luxury condos, more than adequate shopping centers like Esplanade (home to a skateboard park), Central Rama 9 (home to an ice skating rink), and Fortune (home to the coolest electronic gadgets); the latest in Thai street cloths fashion, the funkiest designer products and finally, the schools and universities that spawn these entrepreneurs. These schools and universities are seriously trying to accelerate past the curve in order to establish themselves beside their larger scholarly brethren.
In addition to modernized tutor houses that focus on a specialized skills and disciplines, all these institutions could surely use representation from a foreign English teacher who is up-to-date on all the latest Thai trends.
The Ratachada area is ideal for getting around as it’s just a hop, skip and a jump away to the city centre and major league companies via the numerous subway stations dotted along its road. Here is a full description of the Ratchada Neighborhood.