Starting your new life in Thailand brings many considerations. One important consideration is your children and their education now or in the future. We’ve investigated the costs of some of the popular international schools in Bangkok and other factors that may help you decide where to educate your children.
We would strongly advise you to consider private education in Thailand if your budget allows. Governmental education in Thailand is adequate, but some standards are still sub-par such as math and reading levels. Moreover, general conditions within Thai schools are in need of an overhaul. For example, a UNESCO GEM report in 2017 showed that only 45% of schools in Thailand have basic sanitation facilities and 60% had access to drinking water. Would you want your child subject to those conditions?
In this article, we look at the cost of private education and its benefits. Furthermore, we provide a handful of examples of high-quality schools in Thailand for your information.
Structure of the Thai Formal Education System
Before we look at the associated costs, we will briefly describe the Thai Formal Education System. The below is the current structure together with age range:
As you can see the education system is broken down into 5 different stages. It is important to note that from the ages of 7 to 15, education is not compulsory. This is reflected in the fact that only 85% of children complete lower-secondary education.
Costs for Private Education in Thailand
So what costs can you expect? How much must you put aside if you wish to push your children through private education in Thailand? If you don’t want to spend a penny (or baht) up until higher education; the Thai government provides education for free. You obviously have to contend with the above issues of cleanliness and sanitation, however. For your benefit, we have broken down the associated costs into the five different stages of Thai education:
*Important Note: the below prices are for tuition fees ONLY. There are usually other associated costs which we have listed in the Misc section*
Kindergarten or Early Childhood education typically runs from 3 years to 6 years of age. Many international private schools cover the full age range from 3 to 18. Below is a list of example tuition fees per year for private international kindergarten schools:
– NIST International School: 515,600 THB p/year
– Regents International: Between 349,000 – 489,000 THB p/year
– Bangkok Patana School: Between 421,500 – 526,500 p/year
– KIS International School: Between 347,400 – 574,300 p/year
Elementary education runs from the ages of 7 through to 12. The grades are known as Prathom’s and run from Grade 1 through to Grade 6. Below is a list of example tuition fees per year for private international elementary education:
– NIST International School: 660,000 – 698,900 THB p/year
– Regents International: Between 489,000 – 643,200,000 THB p/year
– Bangkok Patana School: Between 613,000 – 679,000 THB p/year
– KIS International School: Between 670,000 THB p/year
Lower-Secondary education runs from the ages of 13 through to 15. Grades in lower secondary are known as Matthayom’s and run from Grade 7 through to Grade 9. Below is a list of example tuition fees per year for private international elementary education:
– NIST International School: 791,000 p/year
– Regents International: 643,200 THB p/year
– Bangkok Patana School: 679,200 THB p/year
– KIS International School: 680,800 THB p/year
Upper-Secondary is vocational education and runs from the ages of 16 through to 18. As with lower-secondary, these years are also known as Matthayom’s 10, 11 and 12 respectively. Below is a list of example tuition fees per year for private international elementary education:
– NIST International School: Between 860,200 – 937,900 THB p/year
– Regents International: 655,200 THB p/year
– Bangkok Patana School: Between 773,800 – 820,500 THB p/year
– KIS International School: Between 680,800 – 731,300 THB p/year
Tuition fees for universities can vary greatly. Public universities are cheaper, but there could be hidden expenses such as textbooks and admin fees. Typically, public university fees range between 15,000 to 300,000 THB per semester. Private Thai universities usually charge per credit hour with fees ranging between 2,500 to 4,500 baht.
We mentioned above about additional fees. Private schools in Thailand usually charge a set fee per term or year. Aside from this, most private schools will charge a multitude of other fees for various things. Some of these fees are optional, some are not. We have compiled a list of other charges you may expect:
– One-off Application Fee: Usually around 4,000 – 6,000 THB
– One-off Registration Fee: Usually around 150,000 – 250,000
– Refundable Development Fee: Usually around 250,000 – 500,000
– School bus transportation: Between 30,000 to 50,000 per semester / term
– School meals: Usually around 120 THB per day (can be paid per semester / term)
– Additional language fees: Usually between 35,000 to 90,000 per year depending on the language
This is truly what you can expect to pay for private education in Thailand. To place a total figure per year we would approximate $25,000 per child. This would not include estimated initial compulsory fees of $15,000 (some of this would be refundable i.e. the development fee).
For these figures, your children will gain a fantastic education via internationally renowned educational establishments. The cost may look steep, but the general cost of living in Thailand is much cheaper than in the western world so the overall cost of relocating your family could still be appealing.
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