Studying in Thailand – For Foreigners

Some foreigners find foreign languages a topic of interest. However, studying a foreign language requires you to immerse in it and the associated local culture in order to expedite the learning process. True, there are methods of learning a new language online but one learns faster when he or she is in the language’s country of origin.

Besides, why should you stick to learning the Thai language through Skype or other instant messaging services when you can go to Thailand and learn from teachers there? Besides, it’s also a good reason to fly to Thailand in addition to going on a holiday.

So What Do You Need to Study in Thailand?

What you need, of course, to gain entry into Thailand for study purposes is the Non-Immigrant Visa “ED” or Education Visa. This is a short-term visa that will allow you to enter Thailand in order to enroll in an educational program in an institution based in the country. Because it is a short-term visa, the time granted to you to stay in Thailand for a program is capped at 90 days.

You don’t need to worry, however, because the visa is renewable for one year after the 90 days have expired.

Requirements for Obtaining an ED Visa

These are the following documents that you need to make an application for an ED Visa at the Royal Thai Consulate in your country:

  • Passport that is valid for at least six more months
  • Duly accomplished visa application form
  • Your recent photo (4×6 cm. in size)
  • Letter of acceptance, which is usually obtained from the institution of your choice after a deposit.
  • Documents pertaining to your institution of choice, like Certificate of Registration and an official letter from the Ministry of Education of Thailand

In addition to these documents, you would also need to pay a US$80 application fee at the Consulate. You might also need to prepare proof of travel in and out of Thailand, like plane or train tickets when you apply for the ED visa.

Schools that you are looking to enroll in will be more than happy to assist you in applying for the visa by providing you with the necessary documents. In exchange for this, you will have to make an initial deposit equivalent to roughly 90 days of tuition in their program. This is merely the school’s way of weeding out the ones that are serious about studying in Thailand.

What Happens When the Visa Expires?

Some programs actually take more than 90 days, but the government of Thailand has accounted for that. All a holder of an ED visa needs to do is to apply for an extension of 1 year. However, you need to commence application for a student visa two months and half before your visa expires. That means that you have to apply at least 15 days after entering the country.

Take note that the 90 days you have stayed as part of your ED Visa is deducted from that 1-year extension because the count begins at the date of your entry into Thailand.

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