Frequently asked Questions
Please EMAIL US should you not find the answer to your questions here.
Cambodia is a great place to base yourself to explore SE Asia.
The locals are friendly and the country is safe.
Relatively easy visa process compared to other countries.
Non-degree holders can legally work in Cambodia.
Low cost of living compared to salaries
A rich history and culture – and whether you like beaches, jungles, countryside or the city, Thailand has options for you.
As with Cambodia, super friendly locals – Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’
Low cost of living compared to salaries
Great school holidays!
Why Destination TEFL?
Our TEFL course exceeds all international criteria, with emphasis placed on practical teaching experience. Our directors and trainers have 50 + years combined experience in both TEFL as well as gap year programs.
Our course trainers are highly qualified: Read about our team on the "The Team" page.
All of the learning is done hands on through games and interactive activities. You will never just be lectured to, but will always be involved in every lesson. The theory in the course is presented by the trainer using games, activities and strategies that you will then be able to use in your own teaching, allowing you to build your portfolio of activities and teaching tools from day one. Your observed teacher pracs will start from week two, when you’ll be able to apply these techniques yourself.
We limit our numbers to small groups, so that we can offer personal assistance with lesson planning and any area you may need help with such as grammar etc. Our practical training includes both youth and adult lessons, at various schools and businesses around the island. Should your course be over a school holiday, we’ll use the same children, but teach them in the form of a summer camp.
If you sign up for one of our ‘course plus placement’ packages, we guarantee you a job if you are accepted to the program **conditions apply, non-degree holders can only be placed in Cambodia
We have a low student to instructor ratio on our TEFL/TESOL course, which ensures that students get quality attention. This means that you will always have someone to assist with lesson planning or to give you extra attention in any areas you may need assistance.
Your trainers will provide you with the support you need to compile lesson plans. You also have access to resources such as FREE internet, a library of teaching books as well as printing and copying facilities on site.
Save money on travelling to teacher practices (TPs) - we will transport you there.
Whichever TEFL destination you choose to do the course, you can be assured of a spectacular location. Choose Koh Samui for a tropical beach vibe, or Siem Reap for its rich culture and proximity to the world heritage site of Angkor Wat Temple Complex.
Our course package includes many extras, including airport collection, on site accommodation and breakfast, (Siem Reap) or accommodation choices in walking distance to the training centre and the beach (Koh Samui) personal assistance with your CV/resumé, stationery and supplies, a cultural tour, and more.
We are genuinely interested in our students, and don't view them as just numbers. We stay in touch with students after each course, and get regular updates on their teaching careers and travels. Many of our teaching job leads come from past students for this reason.
We have a connections with many schools and agencies, not in Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and also China and other countries, as well as a private Facebook group page where job listings are posted, ONLY to our graduates. This means that you have up-to-date info on current jobs available, with many of these agents contacting us before listing the jobs elsewhere.
Our reviews on GoOverseas say it all!
What is the difference between TEFL and TESOL?
The terms basically mean the same, with TEFL more common in the UK, and TESOL more common in America. There is a slight technical difference since TESOL refers to learners whose first language is not English, although they may speak English in their daily lives. TEFL refers to 'foreign' students, learning English as a foreign language. These students do not use English regularly and therefore have different usage and comprehension problems. The course covers both aspects.
My grammar skills aren't the best - this makes me a little nervous to do the course...
We understand that it may have been a while since you studied grammar at school. However, as a native speaker, you already know grammar quite well, it's more the terminology that you may not know. We can send you an easy-to-use grammar workbook before you start the course, so that you can brush up in your own time prior to the course starting. During the course we work through this material to ensure that you are familiar with grammar as well as its terminology before you become a teacher.
Do I need knowledge of other languages?
No. Destination TEFL/ TESOL uses the international standard communicative approach to teaching, where English is the only language used in the classroom. These methods are thoroughly explained and practiced during the course. This means that you will be able to use your new TEFL qualification to travel the world, and finance this wanderlust by teaching.
Can a non-native speaker of English take the TEFL Course ?
Applications are welcomed regardless of first language or nationality. However, as we believe that in order to teach English well, you need to KNOW English well, the only requirements are a proficient level of both spoken and written English and an understanding of the intensive nature of the course. Please be aware that some schools will only employ NATIVE English speakers (NES). We cannot guarantee placements for non-native speakers (NNES). If you are unsure, let’s set up a Skype interview before you sign up so we can see your level of English and therefore employment prospects.
Is there an age limit to do the TEFL course?
We have no official upper age limit, but you must be 20 years of age or older for your application to be considered. If you are wanting to do the course but do not require job placement, we may consider school leavers aged 18-19 years, based on a Skype interview. If you are a person of 'more mature years', don't let this put you off applying. If you are receptive to learning, you should have no problems. We have many mature students taking 'Golden Gap Years', not quite ready to retire yet.
NOTE: Some employers may have an upper age limit, especially if the job is with younger children, due to the energy level required for this kind of teaching, therefore our job guarantee for NES has an upper limit of 55 years of age, due to restrictions at some schools.
Will my Destination TEFL certificate be recognised around the world?
Yes. Upon successful completion of our 4-week TEFL course, you will receive a certificate which is recognised worldwide. Destination TEFL's course meets and exceeds the basic international criteria, as we offer 140 hours of classroom time and observed teaching practice. You will also receive a detailed report card, and those who obtain a merit or higher, will receive a personalised letter of recommendation.
Where can I work with a TEFL certificate?
Work is available almost anywhere in the world where English is not the native language. There are many opportunities within Asia specifically, but not exclusively. Some countries require teachers to have a degree (any) as well as a TEFL qualification. A list can be provided on request. Many of our graduates choose to teach online after the course, which is a good option for those travelling - a good internet connection is required, and we supply a list of online agencies to our graduates.
Will I find work after the course?
If you are sign up and are accepted onto one of our ‘course plus placement programs’ and pass the course, we offer teaching placement assistance. This applies to both degree and non-degree holders for jobs in Cambodia. Degree holders will obtain a higher salary and have more options. Interested in teaching in Thailand or Vietnam? Placement assistance is offered, should you meet the following criteria:
If you’re from one of the official native English-speaking (NES) countries (only UK, Ireland, USA, NZ, Aus, Canada and SA), if you have a university degree, and are under 55 years old, and if you obtain at least a high merit on the course.
Please note: Legally, to work as a teacher in a government or international school in Thailand or Vietnam, you also need to have a university degree in order to obtain a work permit. This isn’t required for language schools or to teach in a business.
What salary can I expect to earn as a teacher in Cambodia and Thailand?
As a native English speaker without a degree and your TEFL course complete, you can expect to earn approximately $900 to $1200 a month in Cambodia. Degree holders can expect more, sometimes even double that. In Thailand, most of the jobs we list are between 33,000 and 45,000 baht, and we've had some exceed 50,000 baht (degree holders only). If you have a PGCE or Ed degree, expect more. In Vietnam, Salaries are usually paid with an hourly wage – with salaries averaging US$1,500 per month.
Is the TEFL Course intensive? Will I have time to see the sights?
Yes, the course is intensive, and you will need to commit yourself to some independent study and lesson planning time outside of the classroom, but we schedule quite a bit of time within the 4-week TEFL course for planning and preparation. If you balance your workload and make good use of your time in the classroom, you will have weekends to enjoy the sights around Siem Reap and surrounding areas, or Koh Samui and it’s fabulous beaches. Our course and accommodation is centrally located within Siem Reap for evenings out. The accommodation on Samui is a short walk from the beach, and a 15-minuite ride to Chaweng Beach or Fisherman’s Village for a night out.
What should I bring with me to the course and to Cambodia or Thailand?
• An open mind and sense of humour!
• Your ORIGINAL degree and transcripts if you are a degree holder, so we can apply for the best jobs according to your qualifications.
• Your prepared CV/resumé, and we’ll assist you in tweaking it for the local job market.
• A police clearance certificate/criminal background check is now required to apply for a work permit as a teacher.
Please ensure you get one before coming to Cambodia or Thailand, as it’s easier to get this in your home country than while here. For the police check for UK Citizens, we now recommend going through DBS Scotland, as it is easier and cheaper! Go to this website:
It will take you to the Basic Disclosure application, which is what most people from the UK use to get the visas sorted in Asia. It costs £25 and takes around 14 days to be sent to you by post. It does not ask for any reasoning for the application, so will be much easier than the ACRO option. South Africans can apply via VeriSource, details to be provided.
For USA citizens, FBI check:
• We provide all stationery. Bringing a laptop or tablet (whichever you find easier to work on) will make your time on the course, as well as afterwards as a teacher, MUCH easier. You'll need to do research and resource for lesson plans, type up lesson plans, etc. We do have 2 computers at the training centre, but these are for printing purposes only. Afterwards, you will really need one for teaching, so we strongly suggest you bring something with you.
• Everything else as per normal travel requirements and personal effects.
What will my living expenses be?
**PLEASE NOTE: these are estimates for the purpose of assisting you to budget, and we cannot be responsible for any price increases, unforeseen expenses, or variables due to lifestyle.
Your accommodation is included in the course, as well as breakfast. For life after the course, these are the expenses you can expect:
Income: approximately $1000 (could be more) and tax is 7 to 8%, about $80/month
**PLEASE NOTE: these are estimates for the purpose of assisting you to budget, and we cannot be responsible for any price increases, unforeseen expenses, or variables due to lifestyle. **This is for Teaching in Cambodia**
Visa and work permit costs – Cambodia:
Initial one month business visa 35USD, payable on arrival in Cambodia, followed by either a 1 month (58USD), 3 months (90USD) or 6 month (170USD) extension within your 1st 2 weeks of arrival. Then one year business visa (no border runs required) 300USD/year, payable within your first month of employment.
Work permit: Sometimes paid for by the school, but not always so budget for this at 188USD/year
***Remember that you will only get paid after your first month of working, so budget for time before starting work, then first month’s work, as well as rental deposit.***
Visa and work permit costs – Thailand
Most nationalities can enter Thailand with a visa exempt stamp for 30 days, which can be extended at any immigration office by another 30 days for 1,900 baht, giving you 60 days before you need a new visa for working. The visa for working is called a non-immigrant B visa, and rates vary depending on whether they are done via an agent or in person, and how long is granted (90 days or one year) – between 2,000 and 5,000 baht. The work permit costs approximately 3,000 baht. There is no hard and fast rule, but generally the teacher pays for their non-immigrant B visa and the school for the work permit.
Most apartments Cambodia are serviced weekly incl in price. Most incl security and wifi. Upper end of price scale will incl a gym and swimming pool
One month’s deposit due
Incl in most rentals, and available at most restaurants/bars for free. If not, can pay for 3 months at a time, no contract required
$54/per 3 months if not incl in rental
Public transport is cheap in Cambodia. This cost is based on in-and-around Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. A 4-hour bus journey to a beach area is around $50 for weekends away
$70/month for scooter hire
$50/month general public transport
If you eat Khmer food, you can eat for as little as $5/day. If you prefer Western food, do combination of grocery shopping and street food
$200/month for combination of Western and local food, (groceries and street food) excluding alcohol
At apartment, often incl in rate
Accommodation is not included during the course – but we have several well-priced options all only a short walk away from the beach and the training centre. Costs range from 8,500 baht for dorm room accommodation to 12,000 baht for a private room.
After the course, accommodation in the cities will average 4,000 – 6,000 baht for an apartment, or up to 10,000 baht for an apartment in a block with pool and other facilities. In the countryside a small bungalow will average the same price.
Eating out will depend a lot on whether you Western or enjoy local street cafes and stalls, where a meal can be as little as 20 to 30 baht for chicken satays with sticky rice, or about 60 to 80 baht for a simple dish at a sit down café.