Learn Thai in Thailand

Browse Programs

For centuries, the wonders of Thailand have captivated and drawn travelers from around the world. Many have fallen in love with the culture and hoped to learn the language as a way of getting closer to the country and its people. If this sounds like you, taking the time to learn Thai in Thailand is a great way to enhance your immersion and appreciation for Thailand.

The best part about learning Thai in Thailand is that you have lots of options. Thai language instructors and schools are common in all major cities, as well as many smaller towns and communities. Though the language might seem overwhelmingly complex at first glance, many fellow travelers and expats have successfully learned while in Thailand. When you're ready to take the leap and learn Thai, there's no better place to do so than Thailand.

Photo credit: Aziz J.Hayat.

Thailand's popularity as a destination for tourists from Western European and North American countries has made it one of the most welcoming for students who hope to learn Thai while in the country. The three main ways to learn Thai are through accredited universities, private language schools, and private individual instruction (or tutors).

Accredited University Programs

Several of the largest universities in Thailand (with branches throughout the country) have at least one Thai language department that focuses on teaching both written and spoken Thai to students. Given that these programs are accredited and supported through tuition payments, you can expect they might be higher in cost than other options, but also provide a consistently high level of quality in the education you'll receive.

Private Language Schools

Private language schools are by far the most common way that students can learn Thai while in Thailand. In Bangkok alone, there are several dozen that vary in price, quality, and the instruction they provide.

Some schools are comprehensive, allowing you to take classes from beginner through advanced skills; others are focused on helping professionals living in Thailand improve existing knowledge. Some focus solely on the spoken Thai language; others use set textbooks to teach written and spoken Thai simultaneously.

Finally, some offer classes "in English" to help you learn Thai, whereas others will only be taught in languages like Chinese, Japanese, or Thai itself. Be sure to research any specific schools you are interested in to learn exactly what they offer and at what price/value.

Private Instruction / Tutoring

There are also institutions that focus on providing individual instruction or matching Thai students with tutors in their area. This option's advantage is that it allows you to be matched with an instructor based on your individual skill level, move at your own pace, and support local Thai teachers in whatever region you live. As with language schools, these can vary in quality and price, so try to find reviews of specific teachers if you go through a matching program or website.

If you're looking for options, it's best to plan to learn Thai in Thailand's biggest cities. There, you'll find the widest number of universities, language schools, and private instructors who can help you master the intricacies of the Thai language.

Bangkok

The capital and one of Thailand's biggest cities, Bangkok is a natural landing spot for students who hope to learn Thai. As mentioned, there are dozens of language schools, as well as some of the country's best university programs.

Chiang Mai

Increasingly popular among travelers, many people who visit Thailand love Chiang Mai and want to stay forever -- making the Thai language an important part of their life! If you feel the same, Chiang Mai is a good spot to take language classes, as there are many universities, language schools, and private instructors in this travel hotspot.

Phuket

Another common destination for foreigners visiting or living in Thailand, Phuket also offers a wide variety of options depending on what type of instruction you'd prefer, as well as your current level of Thai knowledge.

Housing & Costs

In most cases, students learning Thai in Thailand will be expected to find their own housing, regardless of whether you're living in a big city or small village. The good thing is that the cost of living in Thailand is quite reasonable, with most people able to find housing in the range of $200-$400 and live comfortably on $600-$800 a month.

Tuition

Studying Thai in Thailand will probably be your biggest expense while living there. Most classes cost several hundred dollars for a few months tuition, depending on the skills you're trying to learn as well as the type of school you enroll at.

For the most part, scholarships aren't offered at private language schools or with private instruction. If you're enrolled at an accredited university in Thailand (especially in a degree program), you may have more options to help with financial aid.

Visas

Visas are a tricky business in Thailand. Many travelers can visit Thailand for up to 30 days without a visa, depending on your home country. After that, you'll need to find a visa that fits your life circumstance and allows you to stay.

Some language schools and most universities are authorized by the government to allow visa applications for students learning Thai, though it seems to be a requirement that you be enrolled for 400 hours of instruction in each year to qualify for the student visa these schools offer.

The good news is that even if you're already in Thailand, you can usually apply for a visa without leaving the country (unless you're already at your 30-day limit).

Contributed by Valerie Stimac

Showing 15 Programs

Thailand

Mind Your Language School - Thailand
Intensive Thai conversation course on Koh Samui, run by our founder and head teacher Jom at our Bophut School. 50 hours, 5 ho...

Thailand

Africa & Asia Venture (AV)
Cultural immersion is more than just being a tourist and seeing the sights, it's a unique opportunity to engage meaningfully...

Thailand

Sandee Thai Language School
Our course is unique because: - Learn how to speak, read and write in Thai while enjoying your stay in Thailand - Learn a sec...

Thailand

Mind Your Language School - Thailand
Mind Your Language School started in 2001 and is located on the beautiful island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. Our st...

Thailand

Default Program Teaser Image
AAA Thai Language School
AAA Thai learning courses is provided for the foreigners in order to help them understand Thai and be able to communicate wit...

Thailand

Patong Language School
Each student has their own learning goals which is why we offer a range of Thai language courses to suit all needs and abilit...

Thailand

VisionsTEFL
Study Thai at the VisionsTEFL center in Hat Yai and get granted an educational visa (that will enable you to study and live i...

Thailand

Default Program Teaser Image
University of Minnesota Learning Abroad Center
Study the Thai language while you explore Thailand, the only southeast Asian country never to be colonized by European powers...

Thailand

Mind Your Language School - Thailand
A journey through the customs, traditions and rules of Thai and Thainess A course for foreigners who want to minimize their C...

Thailand

Language Express School
Come learn the Thai language in the land of smiles - Bangkok, Thailand! Our school offers no hidden fees, guaranteed results...

Thailand

Default Program Teaser Image
Duke Language School
Intensive Thai language courses from beginner, intermediate to advanced. 20 days (60 hours) per course with classes 5 days a...

Thailand

Samui Language School
Our mission is to provide high quality language courses for our Students that meet the challenges of today’s global competiti...

Thailand

Mind Your Language School - Thailand
Course Structure Location: Mind Your Language School – Koh Samui (Thailand) Course name: 1 DAY A WEEK – Intensive Thai Conver...

Thailand

Chiang Mai University Language Institute
English for Conversation & Work Purposes English for General Conversation Intensive Grammar Review 4 Skills for Academic Engl...

Thailand

Default Program Teaser Image
Thai Language Hut
Introduction to Thai language with situational examples and a focus on basic conversation to help the student build a solid a...