Read this first!
Some background info that you should know.
For international students, going to study at a Thai university needs some serious thoughts and some good preparation, as it would do for any other country as well. The text below on this page offers you important background information. If you miss something, please contact us. We will fill the gap as soon as possible.
Cost of Living is very affordable on an international scale, and so is cost of study (tuition fee) at most Thai universities. Thai universities are among the cheapest universities for international students worldwide, while maintaining an international accepted quality in their degree programs. Thailand is not really a 'cheap' country, however. As it is anywhere else, you get what you pay for. Prices vary widely, and so does quality, from 'Asian style' (rote textbook learning) to 'western style' (developing understanding and skills). This Web site aims to be your guide to making a qualified decision independent of whether you want to study a degree program, just spend one semester abroad as an exchange student, or take continuing education in the friendliest country in Asia. By the way, any foreign student is called an 'exchange student'. It does not need a formal exchange agreement with your university back home to study one semester abroad in Thailand: Study abroad in Asia!
Degree programs in English cover a wide range of academic fields, such as accounting, architecture, arts, biotechnology, business administration (marketing, finance & banking, general management, hotel & tourism, international business, and more majors at business schools and colleges), applied chemistry, economics, education, engineering (as well as nano-engineering; aerospace, automotive, manufacturing engineering), information technology, law, mass communications and journalism, medicine, music, nursing science, risk management, science and technology, and many more. Just use our Google Special, our search engine customized to show only pages relevant to international degree programs at Thai universities and colleges!
The degrees follow the US system with Bachelor (B.A., B.B.A., B. Ed., B. Eng., B. Sc. etc.) in undergraduate studies, and Graduate Diploma, Master (M.A., M.B.A., M. Ed., M. Eng., M. Sc., LL.M. etc.), and doctorate degrees (D.B.A., D. Eng., E.D., LL.D., Ph.D. etc.) on undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate level at graduate schools. The terms 'international college' and 'international graduate school' are not clearly defined in Thailand. Some international colleges only offer graduate studies. 'International program' and 'English program' are often used synonymously. That is misleading, since some universities offer international studies in a 'Chinese program', conducted in Chinese (Mandarin), or even in Arabic language or German language. 'Graduate school' and 'business school' are also term that are not clearly defined. M.B.A. programs are a very common choice of Thai students, by the way.
The most popular fields of study among foreign students are business administration, mass communication, marketing, business English, general management and international business management on undergraduate and graduate level.
While the Royal Thai Ministry of Education proudly publishes that one of the most sought-after degree programs of foreign students is Thai Language, we unfortunately could not find any proof of this. There are some, for sure, but very few here and there.
We often get questions from 'mature students'. As they say, a mature student is somebody who is out of formal learning for at least three years, but many of them are out of formal learning for 20 or even 30 years. They often fear they would not fit into an international program at a Thai university. We made a special page addressing the situation of mature students in Thailand, and some students even added their personal experiences to that.
Please note that you will often find Thai MBA students who graduated from a BBA program. Western HR departments would smile about such an education and, most likely, reject the job application. Such students may influence your experience in class since they are not much interested in learning anything new; they just want to obtain a graduate degree.
This is likely caused by one of two reasons. On the one hand, MBA programs are highly profitable for universities, and getting BBA graduates into them increases the quote of those who pass (and the MBA students don't need to fear failing very much - they basically study a very similar content again). On the other hand, you find plenty of civil servants in such programs. For a civil servant, any graduate degree leads to a rise in salary. The content, field, capability, or skills are not considered in such an automatic process.
The MBA program (weekend programs are often called Executive MBA or EMBA) may serve you as an example for a general advice. Don't choose your degree program or your university for a student exchange only after brochures or university Web sites. If any possible, pay them a visit yourself and meet the students who study the program that you would like to join. That way, you will quickly experience whether a particular program is the right one for you, or you better should take a look at another program.
Every country knows the phenomenon of the 'best university'. In many countries that are universities within the top-200 global rankings. In Thailand, it is Chulalongkorn University. As a foreigner, you will pay at Chula, as it is called in short, generally about double that much as Thai students do. Whether Chula is academically the best one or not is a question we cannot answer. Chula is, however, the preferred way to become a civil servant, a status that comes with plenty of benefits for a Thai and thus highly desirable.
One of the most important factors in degree studies in Thailand is the immersion into everyday life in a different culture. That is what will affect you and your skills the most, and that is also what international employers value the most. Whether you study marketing or accounting, media or management, obtaining a degree in Thailand is a strong asset in your CV. Less so, but still very interesting, is an exchange semester (everybody does one these days) or, on a different level, a Summer School that runs usually only a few weeks while the semester runs 5 months in Thailand.
Don't worry that your English language skills might not be sufficient for studying in an international study abroad program in Thailand! Our experience shows that every student has a quite impressive passive knowledge and just lacks speaking English language. The more English becomes your everyday language, the faster you will master it. It's a matter of weeks, rather than months!
We are looking forward to welcoming you in Thailand, be it just for a semester abroad or for a full degree program!