I'm new to the forum so I'll give a quick rundown of my situation. I'm a native English-speaking American and I will be graduating with a BA in Psychology this May (focusing on ABA Therapy for autistic children, so I've had experience teaching and working with children). Unfortunately I don't have a TEFL certificate or anything, but I'm planning on taking a year or two off before applying for graduate schools back in the US. I plan on flying out to Thailand sometime in August with a close friend. While this trip is primarily focused on personal travel, with my student loan payments beginning 6 months after graduation, financing will be an issue. TEFL seems to be the perfect remedy for the situation. We'll still be able to experience the new culture and it sounds like it will be a fantastic experience! I have a few questions, I apologize if they're repeat questions, but it would be nice to have all of my thoughts in one post:
Since we'll be leaving in August (roughly), how much time would that allow us for personal travel prior to beginning a term of TEFL somewhere?
Does anyone have any recommendations for specific agencies to contact for working out of Thailand? I've seen a lot of concern expressed for the poor quality of some of the companies that TEFL teachers end up working for and would like this experience not to be something I end up regretting.
Qualities that I'm looking for in a company:
-Some sort of airfare compensation/home visits compensation
-Reasonable working hours/conditions (I've seen some companies that ask for 50+ hrs/week!)
-Decent living accommodations (non-shared living situation is a plus, but not necessary)
-Coming from those of you who have experienced this already, is there anything else in particular I should be looking for in an agency that I may not be thinking of?
Based on experiences, do you recommended any specific regions or cities in Thailand? I'm typically drawn to natural beauty as opposed to city life, although I enjoy the benefits of living in a large city very much as well.
I have more questions...but I'll try not to flood this post, and I'm sure I'll have plenty more after hearing some replies. Thank you very much!