Chiang Mai Thai

Ever wanted to learn Thai, in Chiang Mai? I did just that from November 2010, returning home in October 2011. If you don't want a headache, start HERE, it will explain the preceding posts. I'm Snap, Stray's other half. COOEE is our (other) travel blog.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thai Language Schools - First impressions, from a distance

WARNING - this post will be incredibly boring for those who aren't looking for a Thai Language course in Chiang Mai.

Since the slow and painful death of my Thai Language course I've been trying to flush out the best alternative over the Internet. I know, I know, all may not be what it seems, but, I've contacted a few via email anyway. I'm looking for an equivalent course = One Year Thai Language course with visa support.

First impressions go a long way, but they are by no means the full picture!

Walen - email response time, 2 days, both times. I questioned the need for an outbound flight (*an apparent requirement of entering LOS on a tourist visa) and also about their banner advertising, stating a "'free ED visa', does Walen pay for my visa?"
Pros -They provided clear and concise information, answering only the questions I asked and provided no extra information. Courses start every week.
Cons - I haven't read very positive reviews about their actual Thai Courses and no, they don't pay for the Ed Visa. Also, part of their banner advertising states 'unlimited stay in Thailand'?????
Website - well constructed, easy to navigate and multi lingual
Lessons/cost - 180 x 50 minute lessons for 24,960 Baht
Refund policy - '100% refund if your Ed Visa is denied.'
Class size - minimum of 5 students to open a class

Pro Language - email response time, same day. Extensive details provided, outlining the visa procedures, class hours and prices.
Pros - I have read positive reviews about Pro Language on the Internet.
Cons - none that I've found
Website - well designed, easy to follow and available in a few different languages.
Lessons/cost - 180 lessons x ? minutes for 25,000 Baht
Refund policy - No terms and conditions that I could find, although I was sent some by email. 'If MOE did not approve your documents, deposit will be refunded 100  %.'
Class size - 4-6 students
If you'd like to know a little more first hand, visit Talen's Thailand Land of Smiles. Talen is currently attending Pro Language in Pattaya.

The lesser known (to me) Cornerstone Coaching Centre - email response time, same day. Extensive details provided after asking for more, outlining visa procedures, class hours and prices.
Pros and cons - not enough information on the Internet to form any opinions, although I'm never keen on organisations that use hotmail email addresses. Having said that, their email responses were quick.
Website - menu links were broken, so very hard to navigate.
Lessons/cost - 'student who need a visa, need to buy 200 hrs @ 150.-baht for a whole course and the total is 30,000 baht for a tuition fee plus process fee 5,000 baht (for single)'
Refund policy - No mention of refund terms and conditions.
Class size - can't find it anywhere

Payap University - Unfortunately I have not contacted Payap, but have read good things about their course. I hope to pay them a visit next week.
Pros - none so far
Cons - Only term/condition I found was 'All fees are nonrefundable except when the course is cancelled'. A bit unsettling if your visa is rejected.
Website - easy to get around.
Lessons/cost - 'Two successive courses in one enrollment (120 hours), visa, handouts and application fees included 20,200 Baht'
Refund policy - couldn't find one
Class size - 6 - 12 students

AUA (American University Alumni) Language Centre. Sorry to say I haven't contacted AUA, but there is quite a bit of info out on the net. The Chiang Mai Centre has their own website, why, I'm not sure. Visit WLT for more info on their teaching techniques.
Pros - this language centre has been established for many, many years. In CM, since 1985.
Cons - see Refund Policy
Website - more than one?? one per location.
Lessons/cost - maybe you can work it out
Refund policy - Deposit the full tuition fee into our bank account. These fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.
Class size - at least 5 paying students to open

Well....I hope this has helped someone? If not, I'm sure all is as clear as mud by now! Hopefully I'll have made my choice by the end of next week.

*I was never questioned about NOT having an outbound flight at the Thai Consulate in Brisbane.

 See what else we're up to at Cooee!


  1. AUA in CNX is not the same as AUA Thai in BKK. Vast differences. Walen has nto turned out any people who ahve passed the PS 6 test (this is the indic ator if the progrma is any good). CMU throughout all fo the foriegnersw and scammed money--that program is not the same. Payap runs on very specific dates and is considered to be good. Corner stone is a former Missionary only Thai Program (so they had to produce results). YMCA also runs a program in CNX that is cheaper than all fo the rest (no ed visa possible, though). Pro Lang in CNX has sturggled to run Thai Classes . This info is ofl Aug 2012. There are manya other palces that will teach Thai (most money is made from teachign English--so they doulbe up).

  2. Thanks for your input Anonymous, the more opions and evaluations of Thai Language schools, the better for those contemplating signing up :)

  3. Very helpful, I didn't even know about half of these programs. This will give me quite a bit more to look into before I hop on that plane. Also HAHA at the weather app in the sidebar that says its 27 degrees in Chiang Mai right now, Wunderground has it at 90 degrees.

  4. Hi Anon, thanks for stopping by. You might want to get used to celcius, not farenheit, before visiting Thailand. Wunderground and the weather app might not be in agreeance ;) I hope you revisit and fill us in on your experiences, I'd love to hear about them :)

  5. if you're not successful with learning Thai language at other schools in Chiang Mai. Try 'Talk Talk Language'. Free trial for all courses! We're the best Thai language school for speaking,reading and writing skills! just go to "" for further information. :)

  6. Walen Thai language course is really bad! 100% of my class were really dissapointed, most of us hired private teachers or even went to other language schools part-time to learn. The "teachers" just read to the class from a book for 180hrs! No theory whatsoever, no daily conversation, and they don't even explain about the Thai tones! Waste of 26000 baht

  7. Does anyone know if it is possible to go through Pro Language but split your classes between Chiang Mai and Pattaya? (i.e. 90 courses in Chiang Mai followed by 90 in Pattaya?)

    1. I'm sure there would be. You'd just need to go into one of those offices to confirm, before enrolling, to make sure.


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