How much do international schools in Thailand actually cost?

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As a parent, you naturally want what’s best for your child, and for many, that might mean sending them to an international school. But the problem is, how much does an international school cost in Thailand? The price tags are different everywhere. What’s the big number for tuition? And what about extra costs that pop up when you least expect them? Finding all of this out can feel like a lot to take on, but having a clear picture is crucial before settling on a school. In this article, we’re going to lay it all out for you so you can make the best choice for your child’s education in Thailand. From the standard yearly fees to the unforeseen extras, here are the real costs of international schools in Thailand.

What’s the average cost of international schools in Thailand?

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International school costs in Thailand have a broad range. The annual tuition fees can vary considerably, from as low as 100,000 THB to as high as 900,000 THB at top-end schools situated in Bangkok.

These costs might seem high for some families. However, compared to the education expenses in Europe and other parts of Asia, schooling in Thailand is considerably cheaper. The average cost of schooling in Thailand is 550,000 THB, keeping it cost-effective compared to neighbouring countries in Asia. In fact, the costs were 21.7% lower than those in Singapore.

However, understanding what these fees cover is also critical. Is it just tuition, or are extra costs included? In the following sections, we’ll look closer into the costs of international schools in Thailand with a breakdown of the overall cost of education at both primary and secondary levels.

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Different types of schools and their costs

The fees can be very different depending on the type of school and where the school is located. In Thailand, we see a mix of both non-profit and profit-making international schools. These schools are run by both independent groups and large education companies. Curriculums can also affect the cost of international schools in Thailand. For example, schools offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) programme tend to have higher fees because they need more teachers for each student, and they use more resources than other curriculums.

Moreover, there are some new schools that have large swimming pools, sports centres, modern art rooms and even special rooms for science, technology, engineering, arts and maths. These schools can be quite expensive. On the other hand, older schools with basic facilities are usually cheaper.

Some schools, such as Christian schools, usually have lower fees. Christian schools in Thailand usually follow the rules of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and many of them have lots of Thai students and teachers. Schools from Singapore and China also generally don’t have very high fees.

Fee variations across different grade levels

International school costs Thailand
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The fees of international schools in Thailand can also vary based on the grade or level your child is entering. There’s a noticeable difference in the fee structure when transitioning from primary to secondary levels. Taking as an example, the average annual fee for a Year 1 primary pupil can range from a base level of 67,000 THB to a maximum of 805,700 THB.

As your kids move to the secondary phase of education, school fees tend to increase. The average yearly tuition fee for a Year 7 student in a secondary school could be as little as 8,100 THB or as much as 904,000 THB. This is a significant leap when compared to the primary school costs.

An essential aspect to bear in mind is that the average cost for secondary education experiences an upward spike in the final two years, usually referred to as the ‘college years’ (Years 12 and 13). This increase could potentially contribute to a higher overall investment required for international education in Thailand.

Therefore, as parents, it’s crucial to consider the potential increase in school fees as your child progresses through their academic journey, ensuring you can comfortably cover the costs of their education.

What fees apply to international schools in Thailand?

International school costs Thailand
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Here’s a breakdown of the fees you’ll be required to pay when enrolling your child in one of the international schools in Thailand aside from tuition fees.

Enrollment fee

One of the primary charges to consider when enrolling your child in an international school in Thailand is the enrollment fee or admission fee. This annual fee, also known as a campus development fee, contributes to the school’s ongoing building and maintenance costs.

This fee can either be a one-off, refundable payment or a lower, non-refundable annual payment due at the start of every academic year. The amount varies across schools, and annual payments usually fall within 40,000 – 55,000 THB.

Mandatory fees

Besides tuition fees and enrollment fees, there are several other charges that can significantly increase the overall cost of education. These might include:

  • Application fees
  • Assessment fee
  • Registration or admission fee
  • Security deposit
  • Uniform costs
  • Book costs
  • Exam fees
  • Meal fees
  • School trips
  • Technology costs
  • Learning support fees
  • Graduation fees
  • PTA contributions

While some schools might include a few of these costs within the tuition fee, others will bill them separately.

Optional fees

How much do international schools in Thailand actually cost? | News by Thaiger
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Some charges aren’t required but might come up during your child’s time at an international school in Thailand. These extras are good to remember when planning your budget.

School transport

Many parents rely on the school bus service to take their kids to and from school. Depending on the school and how far you live from it, this could cost you anywhere from 30,000 – 110,000 THB per term.

Extracurricular activities

Schools often include after-school activities in the tuition fee. However, some special activities or classes from outside groups might cost extra. It’s best to check the school’s policy.

Additional language lessons

If you want your child to learn an extra language, you might pay for more lessons. These can cost around 30,000 – 130,000 THB per year.

Music lessons

If your child is interested in music, individual lessons may be an added expense over the regular school fees.

Boarding fees

If you live far from the school, or if you think your child would benefit from living at school, boarding might be an option. Many international schools offer day, weekly, and termly boarding options at varying costs.

Even though these charges are optional, they can add up. If you think your child would benefit from any of these extras, remember to add them to your budget.

Do international schools in Thailand offer discounts and scholarships?

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The answer in many cases is a resounding yes. Here’s the rundown of what you can typically expect.

Sibling discounts

For families with more than one child attending the same international school, a sibling discount can offer welcome relief to the overall tuition expenditure. This discount typically applies to the second child onward, reducing their fees to a more attainable amount. Parent tip: Be sure to ask about these opportunities when hunting for schools as the amount and availability of these discounts can vary from school to school.


If your child shines in areas like academics, arts, sports, music or drama, scholarships in international schools in Thailand might be an option. These scholarships, which are usually based on merit, can either partially or even fully cover the tuition and/or boarding fees. Scholarships are most commonly available to senior students, starting from Year 10.

However, earning a scholarship can be competitive due to the sheer number of talented students. Therefore, it’s crucial for families to familiarise themselves with the specific scholarship criteria and application process for each school.

Moreover, once a student secures a scholarship, they are usually required to maintain certain academic or behavioural standards to retain it. Scholarships can be a significant financial aid, so it’s certainly worth exploring if your child demonstrates exceptional skills or talent.

Accurately mapping out the costs of international schools in Thailand can be complex, but with a clearer understanding of the potential fees involved, making an informed decision should now be easier. Remember, considering all factors, from tuition to extracurricular activities, is key to ensuring you choose the best possible educational path for your child.

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