Study Abroad in Thailand: Application Process, Tuition, Cost of Living

The Kingdom of Thailand, which is its official name, receives a whooping 16 million visitors every year. Most of these visitors are regular tourists and backpackers with hopes of exploring an immersive culture and natural surroundings that are very different to their own. The island itself offers a whopping 3,219 kilometers of idyllic coastline, which gives the mainland, and the many surrounding smaller islands, the gift of pristine sands and beautiful iconic blue shores. When you go inland, you’ll see how hundreds of temples and historic buildings embellish the skyline. Do read on to discover tuition fees in Thailand, application requirements and practical information about studying abroad in Thailand.

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Application process and visa information

In order to study in Thailand as an international student, you are expected to obtain a student visa. Although many people from different nationalities are able to enter the country without prearrangement using a 30-day tourist visa, if you intend to study in Thailand for a semester or longer, you are expected to apply for a 90-day non-immigrant education visa from your home country, which is renewal and extended for up to a year at official immigration offices in Thailand.

For you to apply for a visa before leaving, you are expected to have gained acceptance into a registered program at an accredited Thai university. You should show your acceptance letter, in addition to the application form, a valid passport, passport photos, and evidence of sufficient finances (20,000 baht – US$360 – per person) to the Thai consulate or embassy in your home country on appointment. For more information on tuition and how to apply, connect with your local Thai embassy or consulate.

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Tuition fees and living costs

Living in Thailand is super affordable because of foreign currency exchanges and a moderate standard of living. Students on a tight student budget are able to survive on 650 baht (US$20) a day, which will take care of food, transport and accommodation. Students interested in doing some travelling and exploring while studying in Thailand, will need to keep aside 1500 baht (US$46) per day.

Please have at the back of your mind, that living costs vary based on whether you live close to a city center. A month’s rent in the city of Bangkok can be as expensive as 14,000 baht (US$430), whereas living outside of the city will be roughly half this amount, at most 7,400 baht (US$230). If you decide to live with other students or in a shared apartment your cost will again be cut.

Food is equally cheap. For example,a meal at a low-cost restaurant will be approximately 60 baht (less than US$2) while a three course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will go for around 600 baht (US$18).

Travel and safety advice

Those who visit Thailand are encouraged to be level-headed when going with the local transport, especially when confronted with taxis and tuk tuks. Registered or not, several taxi drivers will try to get as much money from you as possible, so it’s important you arrive in the country with basic knowledge of the transport fares. In most cases,taxi fares normally begin at 35 baht (US$1) with an extra 6 baht per kilometer (18 US cents). If the meter is broken, as could be the case, make sure you negotiate a price before hoping onto the vehicle. The trip from Bangkok Airport to the city center would go for just 350 baht (US$11) including tolls. Avoid getting into an unmarked taxi, regardless of the good price the driver is offering!

If you are traveling further afield, note that some parts of Thailand are off limits to tourists and foreigners due to terrorism and a gang/troop presence in some areas. Anyways, as long as you carry out your research before going on the trip, you will not be affected. For upto date  information on travel advice for Thailand, do well to check government advice such as that provided by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

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