After living in the same city in Thailand for the last 2 or 3 years I decided that a change is needed. My plan is to head up to Chiang Mai in the next 2 or 3 weeks and invest in a year stay or more if I really enjoy the city. I have visited it in the past and have always liked the laid back atmosphere of the city and it seems to have a number of good markets, gyms, malls, and things to do and of course schools. I have already been in contact with a few schools through email and I plan to visit each one of them when I arrive. A couple of the schools wanted me to apply online to join their school but I rather check them all out before I make a final decision.

Golden stupa, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Golden stupa, Chiang Mai, Thailand

I am hoping that the students in Chiang Mai are more willing to learn the Thai language then in my present city of Pattaya, Thailand. I am not going to bad mouth Pattaya as I actually enjoy it here but many of the students that go to the schools in Pattaya are here to get the 1 year visa so they can have fun in this tourist/party city. I have noticed from experience that students in Pattaya are not as serious about learning and just want to have fun. I have had classes of 10 students drop down to just me and have been in many classes where the students are all different levels because some are just too lazy to learn. Since Chiang Mai is not really a party city I have a feeling and this is just a feeling that there will be more students looking to actually learn the language.

I have been in touch with a few schools such as Pro Language, Easy Study Thai and Effective Thai all which say I can get an ED Visa with them for a year either private or group classes. It seems from initial research that the group class at Pro Language is rather big from about 10 to 12 people and the other schools seem to make them a little smaller around 3 to 6. I personally like group classes, it gives me the ability to meet new people, converse with other students and have some fun as well as learning. Whalen School is in Chiang Mai as well but I personally do not like the method of Whalen School. There is nothing wrong with their method but I know what works personally for me and their particular style is not a match for me.

royal pavilion chiang mai thailand

Royal Pavilion Chiang Mai Thailand

There are also a couple of universities that also teach the Thai Language to foreigners. One is Chiang Mai University has a cultural program for learning Thai and also learning about the culture. It is a very interesting course but they start right from the beginning of someone that has no knowledge so I don’t think it will be a good fit for me. For someone learning for the first time it looks like a great course. Unfortunately, they do not have any higher level courses so will probably pass on checking this school out.

Another course it the Intensive Thai Course from Payap University. This course is of great interest to me because it is quite intense and basically forces you to really learn the Thai Language from what I have heard and read. It is not a laid back class like much of the schools you go to but a full on 5 times a week course consisting of Thai Levels 1 to 8, with 3 hours a day of class and homework as well. The problem with this course is I can’t get a 1 year visa. You can only get a visa per course which is month to month and each level is not always available and it is also quite the investment in time, but I have a feeling it is probably one of the best ways to learn the language. It is also more expensive at about 8000 a month. This course is also offered in Bangkok but the Intensive Thai course there is a whopping 27 000 a month, I am not sure if it is much different but that price range is out of my league.

Chiang Mai City At Night

Chiang Mai City At Night

I am also not sure what level I would be put in but they have an interview with the teacher to figure out what level you would be best suited for. I think at this time my plan is to sign up to a regular Thai learning school such as a Pro Language and also check out the Payap University and try one of their Intensive courses as you do not need a visa with them to attend. This will be quite the committed for me because I will have to go to both the regular school such as Pro Language and the Intensive Thai course, so we are talking about 7 times a week and two of those days I would have to go to school twice. I guess I will have to figure it out more when I get up there.

In any case I am not going to review the schools here but in future posts I will tell you of my experiences when I get to Chiang Mai, which school I selected and why and keep everyone updated on my learning Thai. I am excited for the move just looking at shipping my motorbike and my stuff up to Chiang Mai and find temporary place to live while I seek out a condo to stay for the year, Wish Me Luck!

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