This is information is provided to offer guidance to those seeking to live and work overseas. For more information we recommend that you speak with your national government Foreign Office (or equivalent).
Working and living in Thailand
A country known for its beautiful temples, captivating landscapes, bustling cities and delicious cuisine, it's no wonder that many expats find themselves making a move to Thailand.
Whether you're relocating abroad to Thailand for a short stay or a longer period, it's important to understand what life is like in the country. Although things can seem very different in this part of the world, with the right knowledge you can help ensure your time in Thailand is safe, fun and trouble free.
Local laws and customs
When travelling to or living in another country, it's vital to learn about the laws and customs of the land, as things can be very different from what you're used to. Indeed, an act that could be considered a misdemeanour or off-hand remark back home could be a very serious offence elsewhere.
For example, it is a criminal offence in Thailand to make critical comments about the royal family - and the punishment could range from three to 15 years in prison.
Meanwhile, the drug laws in Cambodia are extremely strict and possession of even small quantities can lead to very long prison sentences or large fines. Drugs are also classed differently and if you're found guilty of carrying 20 grams or more of a class A drug - such as ecstasy, amphetamines or heroin - at a point of exit from the country, the act could carry a death sentence.
You must also keep your passport with you at all times while in Thailand. If you're planning to work in the country, you must get a work permit before you arrive - you are not allowed to take up employment on a tourist visa.
Thai is the official language of Thailand and it is spoken by more than 20 million people. To be more precise about the language, it should be called Central Thai or Siamese. This is because a number of other minority languages are also spoken in the country with the most popular being Lao, a dialect of Isan that is spoken in the north-eastern regions.
Thai is a tonal language, so it's a combination of the words you use and the tone of your voice that can alter your message. This can make it more tricky to learn, but like most places the locals will appreciate you making an attempt to communicate in their language.
Thailand is home to a number of excellent private hospitals. However, they can be extremely expensive, so before you travel, it is essential to ensure you have adequate international medical insurance. Be sure you understand all parts of the policy and that the cover is enough to protect you financially should the worst happen.
There are also public hospitals and clinics in Thailand, but the level of care may not be to the standards you are used to - especially if you require treatment outside major cities like Bangkok.
Schooling for kids
Education for children in Thailand is compulsory through to the age of 14 and the government provides free education for children up to the age of 17. The system comprises kindergartens, primary school and two levels of secondary school. Private schools are also available and there are numerous vocational colleges and universities as well.
The Thai education system is well organised and has seen extensive progress since the early 2000s. It is based on a student-centred methodology and the results are generally high levels of literacy and computer literacy, while most children are also taught English to some degree.
Depending on where you live in Thailand, socialising can vary dramatically. In general, the big cities are known for having an exciting nightlife, while the smaller villages may be more reserved.
In either case, family values are extremely important in Thai culture and it is important to remain polite, respectful and controlled to maintain good relationships. It is not socially acceptable to be outwardly angry with somebody.
For more information on moving abroad visit www.fco.gov.uk/travel.
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