TEFL Courses in Samui – Down & Dirty Review!

Introduction to TEFL Courses in Samui

Koh Samui MapI’m not sure what attracts people to do a TEFL in Koh Samui.  TEFL courses in Samui are 2nd-rate at best.  None of the top providers have courses there.  However, there is obviously demand for TEFL courses in Koh Samui, Thailand.

I understand the allure of islands and the sea.  That’s my style.  However, if ‘beach paradise’ is what you’re after, I would suggest doing your TEFL in Phuket and NOT in Samui.  I can only guess that people do their TEFL in Samui because they want to go diving at Koh Tao or go to the Full Moon Party in Koh Phangan.  During your TEFL course, you’re not going to have time to go diving in Koh Tao.   And the Full Moon Party is something you can (and should) go to before or after your course.

Koh Phangan Full Moon Party DatesWhy Should I Do a TEFL in Phuket and Not Samui?

For most people, getting to and from Koh Samui will be more expensive than Phuket.  Bangkok Airways owns the airport and Samui, and so it works kind of like a monopoly.

You’re HIGHLY unlikely to find a TEFL Job in Samui as a first-time teacher.  Samui is a highly desirable place for teachers, so the competition is much higher.  Although the same is true for Phuket, you are much more likely to find a job teaching English in Phuket.  There are a lot more TEFL jobs in Phuket than in Samui.

Map of Phuket IslandsPhuket offers a better mix of first world comforts + unspoiled natural beauty.  It will be a much easier and smoother transition.  Everything you can do in Koh Samui, you can do in Phuket.  You can still go snorkeling and diving.  And it’s only a few hours bus ride to get to boat that will take you to the Full Moon Party.

Review of Best TEFL SamuiBest TEFL in Samui

None.  I’m not sure what it is about Samui, but it seems to attract the less legitimate operations.  Do a TEFL course in either Phuket or Bangkok.

Avoid These Samui TEFL Courses

Island TEFL Courses in SamuiIsland TEFL in Samui

Their facilities are a joke.  Their course is in a garage!  They offered a friend of mine (who is not qualified to be a TEFL trainer) 30,000 baht to be their TEFL trainer.  Yikes!  Also,  They don’t offer much job support.  Pass.

TEFL Heaven Courses in SamuiTEFL Heaven in Koh Samui

They are new to the TEFL industry.  I recommend them over Island TEFL and Samui TEFL, but I still would avoid them.

Samui TEFL CoursesSamui TEFL

Definitely the worst and least reputable of these 3 TEFL courses in Samui.  Logos aren’t everything, but could their logo be any cheesier?

TEFL World Courses in Koh SamuiTEFL World Samui

If you ABSOLUTELY must take a TEFL course in Koh Samui, then perhaps these are the guys to go with.  We do NOT recommend them, but they are the most legitimate of the bunch.

Summary of TEFL Courses in Samui

Avoid all of the TEFL Samui courses.

Review of TEFL Courses in SamuiWe seriously can’t recommend a TEFL in Samui.  Yes, it’s a great vacation, but almost impossible to find a job there.  If you want your TEFL to be a beach holiday vacation, you’re better off doing it in Phuket for a 1,000 reasons.  With all that said, we recommend doing a TEFL in Bangkok since that’s where the job recruiters and job placement professionals are.

TEFL Courses in Phuket – Reviews

Introduction to TEFL Courses in Phuket

Map of Southern Thailand IslandsIf you somehow missed it, we recommend you do a TEFL course in Bangkok.

However, if you’ve got island fever, then Phuket is far and away the best island/beach location for a TEFL.  Although much of Phuket is still unspoiled, it provides much of the first world comforts you’re used to; malls, cinemas, thriving bus system, etc.

Best TEFL in Phuket

ITTT TEFL Phuket ReviewsITTT TEFL in Phuket

They are a reputable company who have been in the business for 10+ years.  You can be sure that you’ll get the support you need and a quality education.

Course Price

$1490 (4-week, 120-hour course)


Review of ITTT Phuket AccommodationsARE NOT INCLUDED in the price.  Unfortunately, they are a little shady/unclear about their accommodations.  In any case, they say their accommodations start at 3000 baht ($100 USD).  They don’t tell you how many nights that is for.  They don’t show you pictures.  They don’t say what the 3000 baht includes.  They tell you to pay the $500 course deposit, and THEN they will send you the information.  Personally, that puts me off.

Course Dates

Course Calendar for ITTT TEFL Phuket

Other Details

Course Location: Phuket Town.  Which is about the center of the island.  Not near the beach.

Airport transportation: NOT mentioned.


Map of TEFL Courses in PhuketOther TEFL Phuket Courses Reviewed

We would avoid these three below, but the choice is yours.  They are marketers first, TEFL’ers second (if at all).  Do NOT trust a course that is less than 4 weeks, unless it includes an online TEFL component.

Most of them are not accredited and hire inexperienced and untrained trainers without the proper credentials.  They throw all sorts of stuff at the wall to see what tricks you into purchasing their product.  Go with the company that is MOST transparent.

Island TEFL Phuket

Course Prices

3-week Course: $995 USD; 4-week Course: $1,490 USD

Island TEFL Phuket ReviewsAvoid the 3-week course entirely.  It says it’s 120-hours, but that’s impossible.  Standard practice is that a 4-week course is 120 hours (30 hours/week).  Also, it does NOT include teaching practice.  Teaching practice is a standard part of any accredited 120-hour TEFL course.  If you’re going with Island TEFL, do the 4-week course.  They say it’s 150-hours, but this is really a 120-hour course (4 weeks times 30 hours/per week = 120 hours).  It includes teaching practice.


Cost of Accommodations Island TEFL Phuket15,000 baht ($500 USD)  They look good, but not great.  The price is reasonable, not great.  It includes water, wifi, electricity and aircon.

Near the training center and near the beach.  Only 5 are available, and they offer assistance finding something else nearby if it’s full.  You will have your own bedroom, but you will be SHARING a bungalow.

Course Dates

Island TEFL Phuket Course Caldendar*NOTE: the days in Package B are in addition to the days in Package A.  If you use Island TEFL, do NOT do Package A.  It’s worthless.

Other Details

Course Location:  Naiharn Villa14/29 MOO 1 Wiset Road, Naiharn Beach, Rawai, Phuket, 83100 Thailand

Airport transportation: NOT mentioned.

TEFL Campus Phuket

Course PriceTEFL Campus Phuket Reviews

$1,690, or $1,440 if you book 12 weeks in advance and pay all at once.


$160-$360/month.  They have 5 options to choose from.

Course Dates

TEFL Campus Phuket Course Calendar

Other Details

Course Location:  Naiharn Villa14/29 MOO 1 Wiset Road, Naiharn Beach, Rawai, Phuket, 83100 Thailand

Airport transportation: NOT mentioned.

TEFL Plus Phuket ReviewsTEFL Plus Phuket

Course Price

42,000 baht (or $1400 USD).  Does not include accommodations.


TEFL Plus Phuket AccommodationsWhy does a simple GUESTHOUSE cost $600-$800 USD/month?  Yes, you pay more because you are only staying 1 month, but a simple guesthouse should be less than $400/month.  This makes us think 1 of 2 things; 1. either they are trying to bleed you of your money or 2. they are lazy/incapable of finding more affordable accommodations.  Which begs the question, if they are lazy/incapable of finding reasonably priced accommodations, how are they going to help you find a TEFL job in Phuket? :/

Course Dates

TEFL Plus Phuket Course Calendar

Other Details

1 Week TEFL in Phuket AccommodationsCourse Location:  5/11-12 Had Patong Road ตำบล ป่าตอง Kathu ภูเก็ต 83150, Thailand

Airport Transportation: Available.  800-1200 baht.

*** They also offer a 1-week TEFL for 17,500 baht ($550 USD).  If this included an online TEFL component, that would be good, but it doesn’t.  You should be HIGHLY skeptical of any organization offering a 1-week TEFL without an online component.  Also, their accommodations are priced HIGHER for this 1 week course (6 nights) than for the 4-week course (29 nights).  What da Dr. Funkenstein!?!


Summary of TEFL in Phuket

TEFL Phuket OrganizationGo with a TEFL in Bangkok.  Even if you end up teaching in Phuket, it’s extremely likely that you’ll have to be in Bangkok to undergo the hiring process anyway.  So why make all that extra work?

If you’re dead-set on getting a TEFL in Phuket, go with ITTT in Phuket.   The rest of the competition is too unknown and/or untrustworthy.



TEFL Courses in Chiang Mai – Reviews

Intro to TEFL Courses in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is a beautiful place to visit and to live.  The pace is slower in Chiang Mai.  It’s known for it’s cooler climates, mountains and lush scenery.  Even though it’s less built up than Bangkok, it still has all the modern amenities you need.

WARNING:  Even if you want to live and work in Chiang Mai, you might be better off doing your TEFL certificate course in Bangkok.

Why?  Well, even if you get a job in Chiang Mai, it’s likely that you’ll have to apply and interview for it in Bangkok.

Best TEFL in Chiang Mai!


We cannot speak directly about the quality of their instruction, but we do know that they are a very reputable company.  They’ve been conducting courses in Thailand for awhile, and we’ve never heard a complaint.  There instruction is solid and their courses produce quality teachers.

Avoid These TEFL Courses!

UniTEFL International

We say this only because we know nothing about them which probably means they are a new player in the game.  Or, it could mean they used to go by a different name and changed it because of poor reviews.  They may be a great school, but we’ve never heard of them.

Other “Reputable” TEFL Courses

Chiang Mai University TEFL

They’ve been around for 5+ years, so that’s good news.  We’re not sure if they are actually affiliated with Chiang Mai University, but it doesn’t matter one way or the other.  If they do have an affiliation, it has no benefits in Thailand.  We could equally include them in the “Avoid” section.

Entrust TEFL

Same as above minus the Chiang Mai University affiliation.

Summary of TEFL in Chiang Mai

Go with a TEFL in Bangkok.  Even if you end up teaching in Chiang Mai, it’s extremely likely that you’ll have to be in Bangkok to undergo the hiring process anyway.  So why make all that extra work?

If you’re dead-set on getting a TEFL in Chiang Mai, go with SEE TEFL.  The rest of the competition is too unknown.


Free to comment down below with you recommendations.  Be


TEFL Courses in Bangkok – Unbiased Review

Introduction to TEFL Courses in Bangkok

We use a mix of personal experience and what 100’s of TEFL graduates have conveyed to us.  Any TEFL course not listed here should be AVOIDED.  However, from time to time, a certificate course falls through the cracks.  So, if you’ve found a TEFL course that is not listed here, ask us in the comments.  We will get back to you ASAP.

***TEFL, TESOL  & CELTA courses in Bangkok are equivalent.  As such, we’ve included all varieties in this review.

Best TEFL in Thailand, California Teachers CollegeBest TEFL in Bangkok

California Teachers College TEFL & TESOL Programs in Bangkok

Avoid These Bangkok TEFL Courses!

American TESOL Institute (ATI) Bangkok

ATI TESOL Bangkok ReviewIt’s a real company, so it has that going for it.  With that said, they are AGENTS.  They are marketers & salesmen who make the sales and then split the students up amongst several schools.  This means that once they have your money, their support ends there.  You won’t get picked-up at the airport.  You won’t get helped with your accommodation.  Heck, you’ll be lucky to get the contact information for the TEFL school you’ll be going to!

AYC Bangkok, Thailand

AYC TESOL Programs in ThailandAYC is one of the schools that ATI sends customers to.  We’ve mentioned elsewhere that AYC is okay to use as an agent for finding you a job.  However, we cannot recommend their TESOL course.  For starters, they have horrible support because their customers come from agents like ATI, so you’re likely to get lost in the shuffle.

More importantly, for the last 2 years they have had a Thai person teaching the course.  That’s not bad in and of itself, but the fact is, he was TESOL Courses in Bangkoknever trained to be a teacher, has no credentials in teaching, and in fact has very little (almost none) experience teaching English.  He’s earnest and sincere, and he can get you in the mind of a second language learner, because he is one.  However, you can get that elsewhere + a qualified teacher.

Very poorly located.  On the outskirts of the north of Bangkok.

Other Reputable TEFL Courses

Text and Talk TEFL Courses in BangkokText-and-Talk Academy Bangkok

We haven’t heard a whole lot one way or the other about this TEFL program and the instructor.  However, that’s a good thing.  We have strong reasons to believe the training is solid and we are sure it’s a legitimate business.

Location is okay.  You CANNOT walk to the BTS or MRT, but can get there via a taxi.

International House Bangkok (IH Bangkok)

International House CELTA in BangkokSame boat as Text-and Talk except that it is technically a CELTA course.  We don’t want to get to in-depth on the differences between TEFL and CELTA courses.  Suffice it to say employers consider them to be the same level of qualification and that CELTA courses are generally much more expensive.

Not our favorite location (Silom), but near to the BTS.

ECC Thailand

ECC CELTA in BangkokOffers both CELTA and TESOL courses in Bangkok.  As we’ve alluded to, the content is essentially the same.  We would actually argue that the content of TEFL & TESOL courses is better than CELTA, but it’s not worth the effort.

Not a horrible location, but not very close to the BTS or MRT (skytrain and subway), so it makes getting around slightly more difficult.

Summary of TEFL in Bangkok

If it’s not listed, AVOID IT!

There’s absolutely no reason to use anybody not mentioned on this page.

However, if you have a question about a TEFL course in Bangkok, leave a comment.

We will reply to you within 24 hours.

TEFL Courses in Thailand Reviews

The Best….(link)

What to Know About TEFL Reviews in Thailand

  1. Salt.  Take reviews with a BIG grain of salt.
  2. Can You Distinguish Between a Complainer and a Real ReviewCrybabies.  People are 100x’s more likely to make a review when they’ve had a problem than when everything went smoothly.
  3. Question.  When reading a review, ask yourself:
    • Does that sound like a one-off problem or a recurring problem?
    • Does that sound like the person might have had unrealistic expectations?
    • Does it sound like it was a communication breakdown, perhaps on the part of the student?
  4. Fake!
    • Reviews are easy to fake both positively and negatively.
    • TEFL Courses Can Change QuicklyWhat that means is that some companies have put in a lot of time to make fake positives for themselves and fake negatives for others.
  5. Time.
    • Things change over time, sometimes overnight.
    • A TEFL training course might be great one year and awful the next, and vice-versa because of
      • new ownership, new management, different TEFL trainer, etc.
  6. Trainer.  The trainer is one of the the most important factors.
    • Check the Profile of the TEFL Program's TrainersWe know a course in Thailand that used to have THE BEST TEFL trainer.  When he left, they replaced him with a Thai.  Now, he was a good teacher given that he wasn’t fluent in English, never trained to be an English teacher, never taught English, and never trained to be a trainer.  However, is that really who you want to give your hard-earned money to?
    • So, feel free to ask for a profile of THE trainer who will be teaching YOUR course.  If they cannot provide you with one, move on.
  7. Job Assistance/Guarantee.
    • A TEFL provider worth a dang should provide a specific job guarantee/assitance.
    • This can really only happen if you take a class INSIDE the country where you will be teaching.
    • Make sure they are specific about their assistance/guarantee.
    • If they aren’t, move on.
  8. kdkkdk
  1. Trusted Source.  Seek out people who have previously completed a course and get their advice.


Our top pick:

California Teachers College in Phuket

Top picks by location:

kdkdk in Bangkok is #1


TEFL Bangkok Courses Reviewed (use as a link to the page)


TEFL Phuket Courses Reviewed

TEFL Chiang Mai Courses Reviewed

TEFL Pattaya Courses Reviewed

TEFL Koh Samui Courses Reviewed