School system

In Thailand, compulsory education is 9 years:

  • Compulsory education: 9 years (levels 1–9)
  • Basic education: 12 years (levels 1–12)
  • Free schooling: 15 years (kindergarten 1/2/3 and levels 1–12) 

Children who are not Thai citizens are not admitted to public primary schools. For language reasons, private schools that follow the Thai curriculum are also rarely an option for foreign children. Teaching methods do not correspond to modern Western standards.

International schools

There are good international private schools in all major cities. Some of these schools follow the Thai school and holiday calendar. One such school is RIS Swiss Section – Deutschsprachige Schule Bangkok, a school with a German-language curriculum supported and recognised by Switzerland and Germany. There is also the Goethe-Institut, a Lycée Français which follows the French school system, and several British and American schools. In Chiang Mai there is a Christian school with a German-language curriculum. There are also international schools with an English language curriculum in Chiang Mai, Pattaya and Phuket. Annual school fees range from CHF 7,000 to CHF 20,000, depending on the school and the child's age.

Swiss school

The Federal Office of Culture (FOC) provides financial support for Swiss schools and Swiss education projects abroad provided they meet the requirements of the Federal Act on Promoting the Education of Young Swiss Abroad (Swiss Abroad Education Act). It provides support for 17 Swiss schools abroad. In Bangkok, there is a Swiss school that offers a primary, lower- and upper-secondary level curriculum. The RIS Swiss Section – Deutschsprachige Schule Bangkok offers an international-level bilingual education in English and German that provides students with a solid foundation in the arts and sciences. Successful graduates of the school's bilingual programme obtain internationally recognised diplomas and certificates and can choose to go on to university or enter the labour market in Thailand or abroad.


As the admission requirements vary considerably from one university to another, prospective applicants should inform themselves about application requirements well ahead of the deadline. You should generally contact the student office at least eight months before the start of the programme you are planning to apply for. Before commencing your studies, you will need to obtain a student visa (Non-Immigrant-E) from your nearest Thai embassy or consulate, for which you will have to present supporting documents. Some Thai universities offer programmes taught in English. Several Swiss universities have exchange programmes with Thai universities.


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