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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Allrite, here we go. First off thanks very much for this informative site. Ive found some good info but would like some personal answers.

I will be exiting the Marine Corps and am seriosuly considering moving to the Bangkok area. Once i leave the Marine Corps i have whats called the Post 9/11 GI Bill, i will get paid to go to school. How this comes to play in Thailand: If there is a sister college in Thailand of a school from the USA i will get 2000$ a month while in school, now if the school is just a Thailand school, i will recieve 1333$ a month. I think these are decent figures to live off of from what ive read, not including i could get a job. Reasonable Idea?

Reason for doing this:
Growing up in America we are spoiled wit so many luxuries that are completely unessecary, i do enjoy some but i would love to expirience a different part of the world and think it ould be amazing to go to school there. I just want to do something with my life instead of being like everyone else who takes everything for granted.

Housing:
If I actually go through with this i will have a Marine friend with me and obviously we would like to get a 2bedroom place, as long as its decently nice we wont complain, what can we expect to pay? Location im looking for is anything thats close to the schools or in a taxi ride away. I considered renting a room with others that are already established there, seems like i could get a nicer place that way. I am not sent on Bangkok but i feel thats where the most oppurtunity is. Pattaya would be nice if theres school in the areas.

Job:
This is a tough one. Havent noticed to many jobs but i also dont really know where to look other than craigslist. Now is teaching english a good idea or even possible, im in the process of learning Thai but i dont know how well i will be at it. what do you think would be a good monthly income to pull in to make living decent. I plan on bringing enough cash to at least pay 6months of rent up front and then some more for other expenses. If anyone has some contacts or info for me it would much be appreciated it.

Right now thats all i can think of but im sure im missing quite a bit. Please feel free to give me any advice or tips, leads on jobs, etc...but please do not come in here and post "dont do it, you will regret it", i dont need you to make the decision, ive already done that now im just looking into it more. looking forward to hearing some advice and any personal expiriences that may help in my future adventure.

Charles
Semper Fi
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Forgot to ask, could someone please explain the visa and work visa to me, and also would rather live in Pattaya or Jomtien but wasnt sure if there was any schools around
 
G

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Welcome to ExpatForum Charles...

The visa thing is going to be your biggest problem - otherwise you have a plan with every chance of success. Long-stay visas are hard to come by in Thailand - very hard. However you're on the right track - if you can locate a Thai school with US links and enroll for, say, a year-long course, then the school will usually go out of its way to sort out a study visa for you.

However there are restrictions - working, for instance. If you're studying you're not supposed to be working. And work visas are incredibly hard to get. Ok people cheat and work as 'illegal' teachers while not on a teaching visa, but the government is cracking down at the moment, and there is definitely anti-farang sentiment in some official quarters, so who knows how long foreigners (and the schools that employ them illegally) will get away with that.

Teaching legally involves having a TEFL-style qualification, ie teaching English as a foreign language, as well as an honours degree (subject matter pretty much irrelevant). Otherwise there's not much hope of getting a 'proper', above-board teaching job.

When you say you'll get 2,000 dollars a month, is that the total income you'll be receiving? Because the courses at the schools are not cheap, and if that's all you'll be getting in income - ie no other pension or anything - then it'll be a pretty tight budget once you've factored in all the other living costs.

Anyway when you've confirmed when your total monthly income will be, I'll post some more about your other questions on costs, accommodation etc............
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm sorry I should have been more clear, the 2000/1333$ is called bah (basic allowance housing) only
meant for rent, all other school
fees will be paid for
 
G

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Bangkok is pretty expensive in comparison to the rest of the country, but there have been discussion here about living costs in Pattaya for example - I'm sure you could find a reasonable 2 bed place for $400-$500 a month, if you don't need to live in the lap of luxury. Then you've electric etc on top, but they are pretty cheap. So if you've got $1,500 left a month after paying for accommodation, and your course is pre-paid, then you should be fine. You can still live very cheaply if you stick mainly to local food, and your visits to the bars aren't on a nightly basis! Otherwise the beer.... and other costs.... will soon make a huge hole in your budget ;)

How long will they subsidise your course? A full year? More?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would like to go as long as I can, depends how much I like it, what is offered. I'm in the process of looking for schools but can't find much info
 

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Allrite, here we go. First off thanks very much for this informative site. Ive found some good info but would like some personal answers.

I will be exiting the Marine Corps and am seriosuly considering moving to the Bangkok area. Once i leave the Marine Corps i have whats called the Post 9/11 GI Bill, i will get paid to go to school. How this comes to play in Thailand: If there is a sister college in Thailand of a school from the USA i will get 2000$ a month while in school, now if the school is just a Thailand school, i will recieve 1333$ a month. I think these are decent figures to live off of from what ive read, not including i could get a job. Reasonable Idea?

Reason for doing this:
Growing up in America we are spoiled wit so many luxuries that are completely unessecary, i do enjoy some but i would love to expirience a different part of the world and think it ould be amazing to go to school there. I just want to do something with my life instead of being like everyone else who takes everything for granted.

Housing:
If I actually go through with this i will have a Marine friend with me and obviously we would like to get a 2bedroom place, as long as its decently nice we wont complain, what can we expect to pay? Location im looking for is anything thats close to the schools or in a taxi ride away. I considered renting a room with others that are already established there, seems like i could get a nicer place that way. I am not sent on Bangkok but i feel thats where the most oppurtunity is. Pattaya would be nice if theres school in the areas.

Job:
This is a tough one. Havent noticed to many jobs but i also dont really know where to look other than craigslist. Now is teaching english a good idea or even possible, im in the process of learning Thai but i dont know how well i will be at it. what do you think would be a good monthly income to pull in to make living decent. I plan on bringing enough cash to at least pay 6months of rent up front and then some more for other expenses. If anyone has some contacts or info for me it would much be appreciated it.

Right now thats all i can think of but im sure im missing quite a bit. Please feel free to give me any advice or tips, leads on jobs, etc...but please do not come in here and post "dont do it, you will regret it", i dont need you to make the decision, ive already done that now im just looking into it more. looking forward to hearing some advice and any personal expiriences that may help in my future adventure.

Charles
Semper Fi


Chuck,

A few observations to [hopefully] assist you. Here is the URL for a site that lists US based colleges and universities with campuses in Thailand - I think there are only two...

University Courses in Thailand - Thailand Travel Information

...but there seems a real interest by many colleges and universities to start up campuses overseas. You may be a year or two early but if the existing schools DO offer your major then you've a real chance. If neither do offer what you want to study you might contact schools that do in the states and see if they are considering a campus in Thailand.

A word of caution. I don't mean to spoil your dream but you're making some major changes all at the same time and your chances of failure can be high. You're beginning your new life as a civilian where no one is going to be there to tell you what to do. In other words a LOT of freedom. Freedom is great but if you're lacking discipline [you shouldn't, having "graduated" from the Marine Corps but there will be LOTS of distractions - even in the US. Add being in Thailand to the mix and you're going to have some serious challenges. The biggest will be 90-100 lb creatures who, with a smile, can melt an iceberg. You're going to be in heavy seas and the temptations to concentrate on those "enemy combatants" will be tough. They usually win! They are young, they are lovely, they are very friendly and they can captivate all but the most determined. You have been warned! Your powers of concentration will be sorely tried. ;)

Finally there is the issue of a visa. Unless you're retired or working for a company that helped secure you a visa then getting one will be tough. There are some ways around that [being a full time student] but I'm not sure they give the same consideration to expats going to a US based university with a campus in Thailand or not. In any case, be aware that the government does not look kindly on us expats anymore. There was a time but sadly no more. Now most expats are tolerated by the government - no more. Even those married to Thais but the government does cut them a bit more slack.

I would add that the highest failure rate for new college students is the first year. It use to be about 1 in 3 failure rate due to distractions and lack of discipline. Not to be a wet blanket but you might be better served to spend a year or two stateside getting firmly grounded in being a civilian and student and once you are then look for an overseas campus to transfer to. It will increase the odds to your favor in lasting through graduation. Best of luck - and thanks for your service to our country!

Semper fi,

Serendipity2
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chuck,

A few observations to [hopefully] assist you. Here is the URL for a site that lists US based colleges and universities with campuses in Thailand - I think there are only two...

University Courses in Thailand - Thailand Travel Information

...but there seems a real interest by many colleges and universities to start up campuses overseas. You may be a year or two early but if the existing schools DO offer your major then you've a real chance. If neither do offer what you want to study you might contact schools that do in the states and see if they are considering a campus in Thailand.

A word of caution. I don't mean to spoil your dream but you're making some major changes all at the same time and your chances of failure can be high. You're beginning your new life as a civilian where no one is going to be there to tell you what to do. In other words a LOT of freedom. Freedom is great but if you're lacking discipline [you shouldn't, having "graduated" from the Marine Corps but there will be LOTS of distractions - even in the US. Add being in Thailand to the mix and you're going to have some serious challenges. The biggest will be 90-100 lb creatures who, with a smile, can melt an iceberg. You're going to be in heavy seas and the temptations to concentrate on those "enemy combatants" will be tough. They usually win! They are young, they are lovely, they are very friendly and they can captivate all but the most determined. You have been warned! Your powers of concentration will be sorely tried. ;)

Finally there is the issue of a visa. Unless you're retired or working for a company that helped secure you a visa then getting one will be tough. There are some ways around that [being a full time student] but I'm not sure they give the same consideration to expats going to a US based university with a campus in Thailand or not. In any case, be aware that the government does not look kindly on us expats anymore. There was a time but sadly no more. Now most expats are tolerated by the government - no more. Even those married to Thais but the government does cut them a bit more slack.

I would add that the highest failure rate for new college students is the first year. It use to be about 1 in 3 failure rate due to distractions and lack of discipline. Not to be a wet blanket but you might be better served to spend a year or two stateside getting firmly grounded in being a civilian and student and once you are then look for an overseas campus to transfer to. It will increase the odds to your favor in lasting through graduation. Best of luck - and thanks for your service to our country!

Semper fi,

Serendipity2

I assume your talking about the little hotties walking around, lol. Yea they will get some of my attention but come on, i live in san diego, california so nothing i havent seen anything i wont see before, just a little easier to take home haha. The discipline wont be a factor, i can control myself and temptations pretty well, i have so far in life in circumstances.

As far as the faliure rate..."if its easy then its not worth doing". Gotta take a chance sometime in life, worst that could happen is i cant make it then move back statside. I would hope my military back ground could help me over there, maybe land a job of some sort.

Does anyone here have any connections with jobs over there, also some good places to stay at, im researching as much as possible. thank you for your help!
 

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I assume your talking about the little hotties walking around, lol. Yea they will get some of my attention but come on, i live in san diego, california so nothing i havent seen anything i wont see before, just a little easier to take home haha. The discipline wont be a factor, i can control myself and temptations pretty well, i have so far in life in circumstances.

As far as the faliure rate..."if its easy then its not worth doing". Gotta take a chance sometime in life, worst that could happen is i cant make it then move back statside. I would hope my military back ground could help me over there, maybe land a job of some sort.

Does anyone here have any connections with jobs over there, also some good places to stay at, im researching as much as possible. thank you for your help!

chuck,

Have you been to Thailand? These "little hotties' would run circles around the babes in San Diego or any where else in the world. IT'S NO CONTEST. They're feminine, not trying to be our equal, they make a man feel important - even if he isn't and they're just flat lovely. If you've been to Japan or the Philippines you'll have an idea of what you'll be up against, but Thais are even better! :)

You can live fairly cheap in Thailand but be careful getting caught working - they can "export" you in a flash and you wouldn't even have to return to your flat to get your gear. Anyway, best of luck. That said I'm sure there are hundreds [thousands?] of expats managing to work and keep a low profile.

Serendipity2
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the advice...well have that many hotties around can't be too bad can it? Are u sayin they will con me out of money or what's the problem with them
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
What expenses am i missing that i wouldnt think about. Like every day stuff or small stuff, only things i can think of

rent+ utilities
food
transportation

really thats all i can think of, like i said this will be off of at least 1333 USD a month while in school, could be 2000 USD depending on wich school
 
G

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Did you check out the Study in Thailand website I gave you? It's the best one for finding study courses, and has loads of info, including on cost of living.

Rent, utilities, food, transport?

You need to factor in laundry. A bit more than 1 USD per kilo pre-wash, to have it washed and ironed. Very good price, but because of the weather you can get through several t-shirts a day sometimes.

Drinks (not necessarily the alcoholic kind, you get through a lot of water and sodas in this country). Bottled water is about 50 cents per litre bottle, but for some reason you can buy those really big 10 (?) litre containers for about the same money. Still, you need somewhere to put it. A can of coke will cost you about 50 cents, a litre bottle less than 1$.

Doctor and pharmacy costs. Pretty cheap, but you need to think about getting good medical insurance cover, just in case. Doctors vary in cost a lot - beware, one look at a farang coming through the door and the special price applies. That said if you look around you can find a good and honest doc for silly money. When I was last in Chiang Mai I had a full medical check-up, blood tests, X-rays, ultrasound, all for about $120 total. Very reasonable.

Most things that you would need a prescription for elsewhere you can get over the counter at a Thai pharmacy. Antibiotics, for example.

Internet? If you're staying anywhere permanent you can get it set up for around $25-30 per month. Beware the cheaper options, connections to Thai sites are ok but very slow for international sites. Otherwise you can go to internet cafes for around $1 per hour.

Books aren't cheap, if you read. But there are lots of second-hand English bookshops around, where you can get a book cheap, then return it and get some of your money back.

About utilities - electric is pretty cheap, but if you are the sort who can't do without aircon, that bumps up the monthly cost a lot. Personally I prefer a fan.

Massage. Ok it's hardly an essential, but if you don't make the most of living in a country where a two hour Thai massage costs as little as $8, then you're missing out! This made a fair sized hole in my budget because I had about four a week on average :). In fact I have been known to have a two hour session in the morning, then go back for more of the same in the afternoon ;).

Otherwise, your costs will depend on how much fun you like to have! That can make a biiiiiiiiiiiig hole in your budget :)

Clothes are very cheap. Most people go to Thailand with an empty suitcase, stock up there.
 

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Thanks for the advice...well have that many hotties around can't be too bad can it? Are u sayin they will con me out of money or what's the problem with them

chuck,

Thai girls con you out of your money? Possibly some could but that's not where the danger lies. They will distract you from your goal [college] with their charms, their femininity, their warmth and their - er, sexuality, to where you'll not know whether you're coming or going. And frankly won't care.

Unless you've been to Thailand before you cannot know. There is probably a reason there are more western male expats in Thailand that anywhere else in the world. The Philippines comes a close second. Good luck mate - you are in for some major distraction from studies. ;)

Serendipity2
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do you guys think BKK or Jomtien would be a better fit for me on my 1,333$ budget? as in finding a decent place and enjoying the night life

Colleges im looking at are Bangkok University, Barupha, and Asia University
 
G

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Do you guys think BKK or Jomtien would be a better fit for me on my 1,333$ budget? as in finding a decent place and enjoying the night life

Colleges im looking at are Bangkok University, Barupha, and Asia University
You will be very poor by US standards on that money in either place, the costs are comparable.
You will encounter more Ex Pats in Pattaya or Jomtien than Bangkok, not because there are more there but because they are all squashed into the same area. Jomtien is a bit boring but has plenty of apartments so renting is easy. Bangkok is more interesting because it is the center of most business and government in Thailand.
Biggest problem with Bangkok is the pollution, which is so bad that it is driving people out of the city.
The locals have no time for poor Farrangs or those that try to live like Thais. They like to see the Farrang bringing in cash and spreading it around. Also Thais are very racist, and see nothing wrong with it. At every TV break they advertise skin whitening make up for men and girls and present tanned Thai faces as lower class, undesirable or worse.
Before you make any plans to live and commit to somewhere that you have never been, you must take a trip and have a look. And like people on this forum are trying to tell you, the girls will have you, probably within the hour. I can see the post - well guys I met this really special girl and all my plans went out the window. No man can resist them. :eek:hwell:
If you cannot afford to travel by air out of the country routinely you will struggle for a visa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
You will be very poor by US standards on that money in either place, the costs are comparable.
You will encounter more Ex Pats in Pattaya or Jomtien than Bangkok, not because there are more there but because they are all squashed into the same area. Jomtien is a bit boring but has plenty of apartments so renting is easy. Bangkok is more interesting because it is the center of most business and government in Thailand.
Biggest problem with Bangkok is the pollution, which is so bad that it is driving people out of the city.
The locals have no time for poor Farrangs or those that try to live like Thais. They like to see the Farrang bringing in cash and spreading it around. Also Thais are very racist, and see nothing wrong with it. At every TV break they advertise skin whitening make up for men and girls and present tanned Thai faces as lower class, undesirable or worse.
Before you make any plans to live and commit to somewhere that you have never been, you must take a trip and have a look. And like people on this forum are trying to tell you, the girls will have you, probably within the hour. I can see the post - well guys I met this really special girl and all my plans went out the window. No man can resist them. :eek:hwell:
If you cannot afford to travel by air out of the country routinely you will struggle for a visa.
So your saying that on 1300$ a month i would have a hard time living in the Bangkok area? i figured rent 400, food 300, laundry 40, transportation 100, that right there is 840, am i forgetting anything,,,,i was told that you can easily survive on 25,000 Baht a month, was i missinformed? Im sure i am forgetting quite a bit, but i put rent more than i plan to spen, i dont need anything special by any means.
 

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So your saying that on 1300$ a month i would have a hard time living in the Bangkok area? i figured rent 400, food 300, laundry 40, transportation 100, that right there is 840, am i forgetting anything,,,,i was told that you can easily survive on 25,000 Baht a month, was i missinformed? Im sure i am forgetting quite a bit, but i put rent more than i plan to spen, i dont need anything special by any means.

chuck, I would add for water [lots of bottled water or a machine at your digs + when you're out and about. You will need money for medical or at least a fund in case you do get sick, break a leg or other malady. You should plan for dental - if nothing else, a couple of exams each year. You will have "entertainment" costs - even if you do not have a girl friend which may consist of beers, massages and other "necessities" of life as an expat. You will have a major cost in renewing a visa unless you score an education visa which will include physically leaving the country [transportation, food, departure tax (if by air) and such. Money will melt away like snow on a hot day. Those are just a few things I can think of but there are many more. Internet? Telephone? Telephone contract? Television? Books for classes, tuition, lab fees, expenses for field trips? Shoes? Clothing? Electricity for fan or - when it's REALLY hot - air conditioning.

I'm sure others can add to this list - I know I'm missing quite a few items that are necessary. Search around on other sites but I think you'll find templates or lists of expenses. And add to those! You will also need a return ticket or money for one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
chuck, I would add for water [lots of bottled water or a machine at your digs + when you're out and about. You will need money for medical or at least a fund in case you do get sick, break a leg or other malady. You should plan for dental - if nothing else, a couple of exams each year. You will have "entertainment" costs - even if you do not have a girl friend which may consist of beers, massages and other "necessities" of life as an expat. You will have a major cost in renewing a visa unless you score an education visa which will include physically leaving the country [transportation, food, departure tax (if by air) and such. Money will melt away like snow on a hot day. Those are just a few things I can think of but there are many more. Internet? Telephone? Telephone contract? Television? Books for classes, tuition, lab fees, expenses for field trips? Shoes? Clothing? Electricity for fan or - when it's REALLY hot - air conditioning.

I'm sure others can add to this list - I know I'm missing quite a few items that are necessary. Search around on other sites but I think you'll find templates or lists of expenses. And add to those! You will also need a return ticket or money for one.

So in your opinion, 1,333$ a month isnt near enough. well thats not good to hear....ill have to see what else i can come up with, All my school stuff is covered by the GI bill, so the 1333 a month is what i have to live off of.
 
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