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Thread: Thai courses + one year visa
10-07-12, 06:33 PM #1New Member
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Thai courses + one year visa
I'm looking to sign up for a one year Thai course here in Chiang Mai so I can get the study visa with it. I am genuinely interested in learning Thai but want a course that doesn't check your attendance and is going to guarantee the visa for the whole year before I hand over any money. Any suggestions?
12-07-12, 05:05 PM #2
Re: Thai courses + one year visa
Hi, I'm living in Samut Prakarn and studied at UTL in Bang Na a few years back, according to a friend of mine a similar or possibly higher quality school in Chaing Mai is Payap - organised into modules, 9-12 am Monday - Fridays, you'll learn a lot and he recommended it. Others you could try would be Pro Language which should be fine as they use the same materials as at their Bangkok school, and Walen school of Thai where you could get a fee demo lesson. It's best to try before you buy.
I understand your concerns about courses just for the visa, I work as a teacher and I'm friends with a teacher in another school who is on one of these 'online-study' courses just to get the two-year Ed-visa. lol
13-07-12, 08:27 AM #3Forum Regular
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Re: Thai courses + one year visa
Well, your "criteria" seems a little skewed for "studying Thai". You say you're "genuinely interested in learning Thai" BUT in the same sentence you add you "want a school which doesn't check attendance". It would appear you’re looking at the ED visa as a means to facilitate your stay here in the glorious “Land ‘O Thais”..
Now, seeing as the minimum amount of hours a foreigner hasta study Thai set by the Ministry of Education is 4 hours a week; I'd imagine even you could find a way to work that into your busy schedule.
About two months ago, the MOE here in Bangkok came up with an "online" update system which all schools registered with them use. The school lists enrollees, attendance, test scores, and subsequent extensions of stay are based on that. Still I don't know anyone who has been denied an extension of stay even with this system in place. Again 4 hours a week ain't gonna impede anyone's quality ‘o life here all that much.
I don't know if the MOE in Chiang Mai is "online", and I'd doubt it because it's a relatively small player in the "teach Thai to foreigners" market place. Still, they might be.
Pro Language in Chiang Mai (run by the same people who have Pro Language here in Bangkok), has a good program, good material, and a competitive tuition for their year long students. As far as I know (at least here in Bangkok for sure) their students never had a problem getting the first 90 day Non-ED visa, and then the subsequent extensions of stay every 90 days for the year.
If you're enrolled in a "private Thai language school" as opposed to a "real university" that's about the best you're gonna get. It usually works like this; you pay your tuition, turn in copies of your passport, and the school will give you documentation from the Ministry of Education so you can go secure a single entry 90 day Non-Immigrant Type ED visa at a Thai Embassy in a neighboring country (The cost of you getting this first 90 day visa is usually about 2000baht). As you study Thai, every 90 days the school will give you additional documentation to take to Thai Immigrations (here in the country) to extend your visa by another 90 days (the cost of 90 extensions of stay are 1900baht). You do this for the entire year. You can study for several years without a problem, although each year you’re “tested” by the MOE for the next year to see if in fact you’re learning any Thai. Here in Bangkok the questions asked by the MOE are easier than the questions most taxi drivers as foreigners in Thai (so don’t let that scare you!)
As I said, your post seems ambiguous in so far as you want to stay here, learn Thai, but you don’t want any one to check IF you're really going to school (which is the reason you'd even have a visa to be here in the first place). Perhaps there're other avenues you need to explore as far as furthering your stay here than learning Thai.
Personally, after touring 20+ private Thai schools in Bangkok and talking to many hundreds of foreigners taking 4 hour a week Thai classes I think you could study Thai the rest of your life at 4 hours a week and never get past "2-word-tourist-thai" or "phrozen-phrazes", but that's just my opinion, so don't let it bring you down.
You'll get out of learning Thai exactly what you put into it. Invest time, effort, and you'll be rewarded, kill 4 hours a week in class, without review, without practicing what you've learned, etc, and at the end of the day all you'll end up doing is killin' 4 hours a week goin' thru the motions.
Like I tell everyone interested in learning Thai; There are 63+ million people in this country who can speak/understand the Central Thai dialect (the government approved version of Thai), I’m sure they ALL aren’t smarter than you, so you can learn Thai IF you want to..
Good Luck. . .
Sorry for the long reply. Thai language schools and learning Thai are a "pet hobbies" of mine here. . .
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