So it seems there'd be worse places to knock about than Thailand for a year or so, and I'm pretty much done with hellish visa runs, so I'm weighing up options.
A 1 year education visa looks like the go for me - not too expensive (1900thb per 90 day extension) and the tuition itself comes to about 25k thb. I'm looking at the Walen school right now
Does anyone have any experience with the Walen institution?
OR any advice in general about studying Thai in Thailand?
I don't have experience with the Walen school, but at least for comparison check out the AUA Language Center website. Both of their Thai language programs look pretty similar, so it may come down to price or location or which one gets you the visa with the least effort.
I did an extended stint with the AUA Language Center years ago. The real advantage was that it was co-located with their english training center, so I got to meet lots of people and practice speaking on breaks. Great staff too.
Anyway, good luck and let us know how it goes. Give my regards to David Sidaris. Cheers.
I liked the idea of studying with Walen because you can chop and change the schools you study at (they have schools in various parts of TL) - meaning I could pick up and live in Phuket, Bangkok or Chiang Mai and still meet the study/visa obligations.
I'll check out AUA for a price comparison though.
Looks like AUA charges 25 000 baht a year too.
They also have schools all over the country... but not in Phuket
School looks a lot more "official" and established than Walen, but, hmmm...
"Please be aware that you must pay the extra processing fee (2,000 Baht) to AUA every time you extend the visa, plus 1,900 Baht as the visa extension fee at the Immigration Office"
Ummm, ok, so there's a big difference right off the bat - an extra 2000 thb every 3 months. Better check if Walen require that also.