What Is It Like For A Foreigner To Study In Thailand?

Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. So what is it like for a foreigner to be studying in Thailand?

Studying in Thailand as a foreigner – what you should and need to know

Studying abroad may be one of the most beneficial experiences for a college student. It’s a game-changer for many and can change the course of your entire life. Why? Because even if your path remains the same, your perspective will change completely. You’ll start viewing things from a different angle. So if you’re reading this, you’re probably the type of person who wants to travel the world and discover new adventures. You’re open to THE CHANGE. Can you imagine going to school during the week and exploring a whole new country on the weekend? Thailand has one of the strongest economies in Southeast Asia, and is constantly experiencing rapid changes in modern society. The cost of living can be extremely low and local people are rather friendly and warm hospitality. For international students hoping to study basic curriculum as well as learn the Thai language, Thailand really is the only place to go. So what is it like for a foreigner to study in Thailand? 

Studying in Thailand can be quite a shock for foreigners from the western countries. As Thailand has unique customs and a unique culture, it can be difficult for foreigners to adapt to “Thainess” at first. The best advice we can give about relocating here is to remember that Thais are not confrontational people, and losing your temper will be frowned upon. Also, it’s best to learn a few simple Thai phrases to get you around. While most Thais are able to read English, sometimes they are hesitant to speak after all it isn’t their mother tongue. So if you try a phrase or two in Thai, this will most likely end up being an ice breaker and probably will bring a smile to the local people.

It’s almost important to note that the standard of living here in Thailand  is different from most Western countries. While Thailand is very much international, depending on where you choose to live and study, you might not have some of the conveniences you are used to back home. 

Taking all of the above into consideration, Thailand is a wonderful place to study. You’ll have access to beautiful nature, world famous beaches, delicious cuisine and memorable experiences to carry with you for a lifetime. Plus, Thailand’s international airports are well-placed to travel and explore other nearby countries such as Bali in Indonesia, KL in Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and even Hong Kong. 

Now to the serious part, as an international student, you’ll need to get an Education Visa.

How do you get an Education Visa In Thailand? 

The process is not difficult, it only involves a lot of paperwork. So below we have listed out some advice and tips & tricks when it comes to getting an ED visa for a foreigner studying in Thailand.

What are the New Rules Of Thailand’s ED Visa?

There are some new rules to Thailand’s ED Visa. Before it used to be possible to get an education visa in Thailand for when you take a Muay Thai training course. However, currently today, that visa option is no longer available but it might be reissued again in the future. As of March 2022, the Thailand ED Visa is offered to those who are studying the Thai or English languages only. 

So What must I study in Thailand to be able to get an Education Visa?

If you’re planning to study in Thailand to get an Education Visa, you’ll need to take a course on Thai language or on English language. But please note that the English language classes are NOT AVAILABLE for native English speakers. 

In order to be eligible for an Education Visa in Thailand, you’ll need to have been accepted to a full-time educational course, a training program or an internship. The school or the particular education course must be recognized by the Thai government. Note that it’s really important that the course requires the student to attend class for at least 100 hours for every 90 days (this equals 8-10 hours of educational training per week). 

Education Visa Cost And Requirements? 

When applying for the Education Visa in Thailand, you will first need to present the following:

  • A passport or travel document with at least 6-month validity from the planned date of arrival in Thailand.
  • A completed visa application form.
  • 2 passport-sized photos (4 x 6 cm) taken within the last 6 months.
  • A completed TM 87 Thai Visa Application form.

Additionally, the school or educational institution where you will be studying need to give you, or the Embassy or Consulate at which you are applying, the following documents:

  • A letter of acceptance to the school or academic institute/organization.
  • Evidence of enrollment (receipts of tuition fee payments).
  • Course description.
  • School registration documents.

The Education Visa in Thailand costs approximately 2,000THB depending upon the locally currency and the Embassy or Consulate you apply.

Can I Work & Study In Thailand?

Can you work and study in Thailand? Yes you can, but it doesn’t mean that you can use an education visa for work. You would have to apply for a legal work permit and a Non-B Visa. You can however hold a Non-B working visa and choose to enroll in classes that you’re interested in. But it is a one or the other visa that you would need to choose from. We would recommend you to get a work permit and a Non-B Visa if you would like to work and study in Thailand as a foreigner. 

How Do I Get An Education Visa In Thailand?

To get an Education Visa in Thailand, you will need to apply at a Thai Embassy or Consulate outside of Thailand. Before you apply for an ED visa you must be enrolled in a recognized full-time education course which meets all of the requirements of the Thai Student Visa. Additionally, you must have paid at least 50% of the total course or the full amount of the educational course.

Once you have enrolled, the school or educational institution will provide you with all of the necessary paperwork to get your visa application. In some special cases, it may be possible for the school or institution to mail the paperwork directly to the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate. 

How long is the Education Visa in Thailand valid for?

An Education Visa in Thailand is valid for 90 days for a single entry or multiple entries into Thailand. However, before your visa expires, it is possible to apply for a visa extension at the local immigration office for a fee of 1,900THB. It’s important to note that the Education Visa will need to be extended every 90 days prior to the expiry of the existing visa. 

Do I have to report to immigration with an Education Visa? 

Yes, you will need to report to immigration with your Education Visa. Every foreigner who is staying in Thailand is required to report their address or residence to immigration every 90 days. Failure to report to immigration can result in a fine of up to 2,000THB and in some cases, endangerment or cancellation of your visa. 

We hope you found this information helpful. For those who are looking for the best Thai language or English schools in Phuket stay tuned. We will be publishing this in the upcoming months. In the meantime, have a wonderful day no matter where you may be.


Since 2012, we have been providing visa services for both Thai nationals who wish to travel abroad and for foreigners wishing to stay in Thailand.

Comments (1)

Muhammad Mujtaba Kazi

I wanted to know if I can work part time n Thailand to supplement my living expenses as a student in AIT

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