Readers' Submissions

The Cost Of A Good Education In Thailand

  • Written by Anonymous
  • June 3rd, 2010
  • 3 min read


I’ve read a few submissions about how cheap, or expensive, it can be to live in Thailand, and I thought it might be helpful for anyone planning to live in the Land of Smiles to know what it costs to get a decent education.

Most men who move to Thailand end up settling down with a Thai girl and more often than not children arrive sooner or later. Yes, you can send them to a temple school, or to the local Thai school, or to what passes for an international school up country, for a few thousand baht a term.

But anyone who wants the best for their child is going to want to send them to a good international school – and believe me that doesn’t come cheap!

The one I know about is Bangkok Patana because that’s where my daughter goes. It’s one of the best in Thailand, but it comes at a price – now more than 600,000 baht a year! And most of the decent international schools in Bangkok charge the same.

To submit an application costs 4,000 baht. If your child is accepted – at Patana all British children are! – you pay a ‘signing-on fee’ of 250,000 baht. For the second and subsequent child this is reduced to 200,000 baht. That is non-refundable no matter how long your child attends the school.

You are then asked to pay a 400,000 Capital Assessment Fee (per child!) which is refundable when your child leaves. Or if you don’t want to pay the 400,000 up front (most parents don’t) you have the option of paying 15,000 baht a term, which is non-refundable. There are three terms in a year, so that comes to 45,000 baht a year.

The school fees start at 110,886 baht for Nursery, moving up to 135,835 baht a term for the second year of kindergarden.

By Year 1 (when the child is six years old) the fees are 155,695 a term, rising to 226,970 baht a term for Year 12. That’s 680,910 baht a year!

If in those early years your child needs to take English as a Second Language classes then that’s an extra 35,000 baht a term.

But the costs don’t end there. Most kids travel to and from the school by minibus – that costs 28,952 baht in Term 1 (the longest term), 22,184 baht in Term 2 and 16,544 in Term 3.

Most have school lunches – for secondary school after Year 2 that’s 5,005 baht for Term 1, 3,835 baht and 2,860 baht for Term 3. It’s a bit cheaper for the younger kids, I guess because they eat less!

So assuming that your child starts in Year 1 at six years old, you have to pay the 250,000 baht signing on fee, 467,085 school fees, 45,000 baht Capital Assessment Fee, 67,680 Transport Costs and 9,900 baht for the canteen.

Total costs – 839,665 baht or a shade under £20,000!

By Year 12 you’ll be paying 680,910 for school fees, 45,000 baht Capital Assessment Fee, 67,680 Transport Costs, and 11,700 for Canteen. A total of – 805,290 baht. That’s a shade over 67,000 baht a month.

And that’s at this year’s prices, which are up 3 per cent on last year.

That’s why I always smile at the people who claim they can live in Thailand on 30,000 or 40,000 baht a month. As soon as kids come along, the economics change dramatically.

Start saving!

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Stickman's thoughts:

Good on you for doing the best you can for your child. Those numbers come with a real ouch factor!

This site will end when / if kids come arrive. I'll be outta here and back to Farangland because I just could not afford that sort of money – and there's no way I would send kids of mine to a crap school.

Frankly, unless you're sending kids to Pattana (which I really do believe is the best school in Thailand), ISB or one of a few select other schools, then I really don't think your kids are going to get *anywhere near* as good an education as they could back home.

Some guy is going to have to pay the mother of all dowries to recompense the cost of your daughter's education!