Thailand News

Koh Samui Language School closed on Songkran

No Classes on 13th April

We would like to inform you that on 13th April 2018 Koh Samui Language School is closed for Songkran, the Thai New Year’s festival.

Classes will resume on Monday, 16th April.

Enjoy your holiday and remember to be safe.

Happy Songkran!

Krabi Language School

 

NEW SCHOOL

 English and Thai classes

 

 

K

oh Samui Language School are proud to present our sister-school, Krabi Language School, which will be opening soon!

Our new language school provides up to date, affordable courses in Thai & English for both children & adults, using a combination of conversational and textbook teaching.

Due to our excellent relationship with the Ministry of Education we can help you attain an Education Visa, also known as a ‘non-immigrant ED visa’, which can allow you to live in this beautiful country for up to 5 years.

 

Thai and English Partnership

Having both Thai and English owners, we get the best out of both mentalities in their approaches to school management. Which can be felt in our style, values and interaction with our students.

Easy Enrollment

Unlike our competitors, having both Thai and English management & staff makes dealing with us that much easier. Have your pick of a native Thai or English speaker to help you through the enrollment process.

Relevant Courses

At our school we keep our resources up to date by using the latest Longmans, Oxford and Cambridge textbooks, while following the official European recommended language course framework.

More information coming soon. Watch this space!

School Comparison

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Koh Samui Language Schools

 

Look! here we found really useful school comparison list It’s in Russian, so we translated it into English.

Many people go to Thailand not only to relax, but also to learn something new.
This article explores options for learning languages on Koh Samui. 

 

By studying at a school in Thailand you can be granted a student visa, which is convenient in allowing you to live in Thailand for a longer period of time than a normal tourist visa. If a child’s parents study in Koh Samui, the child can also obtain a visa known as a Non-O visa, which is a visa for an accompanying family member. 

 

In order to get an education visa, you just need to follow a few simple steps. First and foremost, you must determine the school that you will attend. We will give you all the inside information in this article to help you make an informed choice. Once you have chosen your school, they will provide you with all the documents for the necessary visa and then you can get your head down and start learning. 

 

Below is a list of schools in Koh Samui that are licensed by the MOI (Ministry of Education), whereby admission into the school allows you to obtain a student visa. At the time of writing, July 2017, it was possible to find information about 7 schools issuing education visas in Koh Samui. Of these schools: 

  • Thai solutions has already closed 
  • Walen is closing due to financial loss and is not accepting any new students 
  • The school of Joy is under threat of visa being cancelled due to the sale of documents for an education visa without providing real lessons 

 

The information for each of the researched schools can be found below, followed by a price comparison table. 

 

Koh Samui Language and Vocational School


Address: 11/8, Moo 1, Maenam, Koh Samui, Surat Thani, 84330, Thailand,
tel. 077 248228077 248228 and 086 947 2883086 947 2883
In Maenam opposite store “75”
Website – http://kstvs.com/  
Group on vk – https://vk.com/kstvs 
Page on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kstvs 
Page on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/kstvs/  


KSTVS are the oldest school on the island. They have the most students of all the schools and are recommended by the immigration office on Koh Samui. They are the only school on the island who regularly post training content in English, including video reviews from their students. 


Mind Your Language


Web site – mindyourlanguagethailand.com/ 
Address: 142/7 Moo 1, Bophut, Koh Smui, Surat Thani 84320
Working hours:  Monday-Saturday 9-18
Sunday: Closed
Phone: 077 962 088


Samui Language School

Samui Language School
Website: www.samuilanguageschool.com/ 
Address: 142 / 24-25, Moo 4, T. Maret, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84310 Working hours:
Working Hours: Monday to Saturday  9-18
Sunday: Closed
Phone: 077 960 103

 

A New Language School


Address: 123/152 Moo 1, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320
Working hours: Monday-Saturday 9-18
Sunday: Closed 
Phone: 077 426 981 

 

 

Walen


A branch of a famous network of language schools in Thailand.
You can learn Thai, English, Chinese, and Spanish.
Address: 17 / 11-12 Bophut Road,
telephone +66 (0) 77 310 724 + 66 (0) 77 310 724 and 077310-725,
e-mail: walensamui@gmail.com
The general site of this network of schools is http: www.thaiwalen.com/?lang=en 

The school is not accepting new students and is sending new students to KSTVS. All existing students will finish their paid courses. 


The School of Joy


Web site – www.theschoolofjoysamui.com
Address: Surat Thani, Donsak Pier – Koh Samui,  Tambon Bophut
Working hours: Monday – Saturday  9-18
Sunday: Closed 
Phone: 077 960 776 

According to rumors, there is a risk of visas being cancelled for those buying visas only and not attending real classes. During the last two inspections, the officers did not see any classes at the school and were not satisfied.

 

 

We spoke with a student who is currently registered with The School of Joy. They told us: 

“If you are not going to study, but just want to get a visa, the price is only 15,000 baht”

We also spoke with the immigration department who, in accordance with the law, stated: 

“The minimum standard for obtaining an annual visa is 400 hours of training. If requirements are not met, visas will be cancelled” 

Please view the table below for a comparison of the cost of education in language schools in Koh Samui. They take into account the individual features of pricing and duration of studies in different schools in Koh Samui. For ease of comparison, it is displayed as the cost of education per hour (60 minutes) in THB.

Immigration ED visas

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Immigration are important for Education visas!

We have a great relationship with immigration here in Koh Samui for ED visas.

Probably the best relationship of any school on the island.

 

ED visas

We have had several visits from our immigration friends recently to check that you’re all attending your classes for your ED visas.

Don’t forget that it is part of your ED visa regulations to attend your classes every week. Other schools are being closed down because students aren’t attending! So, please help yourself and us by attending as many classes as possible to ensure there aren’t any problems.

Immigration like to see photos of you all, so we will be taking photos at the end of every class to send to them.

 

 

 

Most of all, it makes us happy when you come to class!

 

We hope to see you soon.

 

 

Changes at Immigration

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Over the past couple weeks I’m sure most of our students, in fact most of the students on Koh Samui have noticed a sudden change in the way the Royal Thai Immigration Department works. The management of Koh Samui’s immigration department has been changed, and so rules new to Koh Samui are now being enforced, rules which were recently were put into effect in Bangkok and Phuket.

This change has brought about many things, panic in both the students and the schools, un-certainty with regards to extension of many visas, a large question mark on the future of the Education Visa, and confusion on how the system is now actually working. I write this now to clear up the facts, put down miss-information and hope to reinsure many unsure minds.

Extensions

Contrary to general opinion, people are still allowed to extend their visa up to a maximum of 1 year. No official rule has changed in this regard. However, a couple changes have been implemented;

Extend in Person: Before, you used to be able to let your school go to immigration for you, now this has changed. You must go to the immigration department in person to extend your visa.

Cost: The cost of extending visas is 2,000 THB. You can no longer pay ‘extra’ to have to done right away, no questions asked. The cost is now transparent so people know exactly what is being paid for.

Interview: When extending your visa most students will be asked to interview. In these interviews the student will be asked a series of questions about the following;

  1.  Their stay in Thailand.
  2.  Their stay on Koh Samui.
  3.  Their reason for studying.
  4.  Their reason for being on an Education Visa.
  5.  About their financial situation.
  6.  And other general questions about their life.

 

Test: Students are now subject to be tested on their language of studying.

  1. English Students: Students studying English will have to write a short essay, A page of A4 paper at most, to demonstrate their English skills. The topic is your choice, but something about your stay in Thailand is always better to show immigration. Immigration’s ability to check the test is limited due to non-native speakers working at the immigration department.
  2. Thai Students: Students studying Thai will be expected to know some level of spoken Thai and be able to write all 44 consonants and 6 commonly used vowels. Their ability to check this test is far better when compared to the English test. As the staff can actually speak Thai they can assess fairly accurately the level of ones Thai.

Attendance: It is now required by law for students to attend school 4 days per week, 2 hours each day. Immigration will ask to see this when extending your visa, and expect to see your attendance above 75%. This is law and so the school can do nothing regarding changing it. However please ask in school for more details about the change in study hours.

Denial: While many students are worrying about being denied and told to leave the country, this has not happened yet. All students who have been to extend their visas have done so successfully. The few students who have been ‘denied’ at immigration have been so because of other issues, mainly behavior and attitude when at immigration.

How to act

When attending immigration please remember this simple rule.

  • Behave yourself – Do not become aggressive or rude with the staff. You are asking them to extend your visa, key word being ‘ASKING’. They DO NOT have to extend it, so if you are rude to them, they can simply say no. Almost 95% of all students denied by immigration have been so because they have been rude to the wrong person.

Be patient, they have a lot of work.

Be understanding, they are only doing their job.

Be calm, getting angry solves nothing.

Be respectful, they are an official government body.

5/12/14 – Crackdown in Phuket and Bangkok

The latest reports out of Phuket and Bangkok, the most notorious places when it comes to Ed-visa violations, suggest that within their regions the 1 year Non-immigration Ed-Visa will no longer be available, to anyone, no matter the course length. These reports come only a short time after official laws were introduced, lowering the maximum 5 year stay to the current max 1 year stay.

Right now the reports have only been coming from students within the schools effected, as nothing official has been announced by the Immigration department nor the Ministry of Education. Highlighting the positive aspect in which most other regions in Thailand be most probably not be affected. Helping people realise that if this was a direct order from head office was, than an announcement would have precluded the reports, not the other way around.

One student wrote ‘ ( I )wanted to find out about upgrading my package to their unlimited so I can stay the full year. He said 1 year ED visas aren’t around anymore. It doesn’t matter if you have an unlimited or 400hrs of study, after 6 months you need to leave the country & apply for a new 6 month ED visa.’

While his school and others in the Bangkok and Phuket regions are obvious going through a localised crackdown, minds still rest easy in the rest of Thailand, as Ed-visa violations aren’t even half as prolific.

The one year Ed-visa has caused a lot of trouble in the past months, since the Coup crackdown on corruption the ‘farang’ visa situation has been highlight as a main area for the new sheriffs in town to focus on. The decision to reduce the 5 year max Ed-visa to 1 year was only taken 5 months before these reports, showing another sign of inconsistency behind closed doors.

While the visa situation is still prone to change, the situation has become more stable since the announcement of the minimum 400 hours year stay, which while still unenforceable, is in the process of being implemented by many law abiding schools across Thailand.

 

 

Sourced From ThaiVisa

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781616-1-year-ed-visa-nope-its-not-true-anymore/

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/781533-new-rules-for-ed-visa/

22nd October-Full Moon Party Monitoring

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In a recent change of fashion the immigration office has officially decided to ‘monitor’ the Full Moon parties around the Islands of Koh Samui, Koh Taow & Koh Pang Yang, in what appears to be a backlash against the recent attacks of the two British tourists who were tragically killed after attending a Full Moon party in September.

This controversial move by the office will cause a big wave across the Full Moon party culture, as drunken and drug fuelled tourists will not only be the target to protect, but as most raves go, will also become the targets of the polices unavoidable law enforcement. Where before the ‘mob rule’ effectively policed these events, allowing for revellers to partake in most substances as long as they behaved, now the sight of any elicit substances will force the police to act, taking out one of the major attractions which draws many of a devil-may-cry tourist to the events.

Not only will this new ‘protection’ operation hurt the very tourists it plans to protect, but they plan to impose and ‘entrance fee’ and taxes on all alcohol served. Which ultimately will disgruntle many of a Thai bar owner who will see their profits shrink beyond recognition. And with the combination of the immigration police charging the 100 baht ‘entrance fee’, a strong feeling of resentment towards the officials will not be easily forgotten.

Official offices all around Thailand are on a clean-up operation ever since the Coup not 6 months ago, with statistics since the takeover showing an estimated 400 out of 700 official departments in Thailand having revived a corruption or negligence complaint. In light of this many departments have taking big, but carful steps, with the aim of ‘cleaning up’ in mind.

While this new interest in the Full Moon Parties from the immigration police is expected to cause a stur, party tourism to these islands is expected to rise in the coming months, forcing the police to walk a tightrope of law enforcement without destroying all their tourism economy, a delicate game indeed.

Confirmation of New Education visa immigration Rules

New rules are once again being rolled out through as immigration offices begin to impose a 90 day max extension to education visa, now while to most education visa holders this will be nothing new, there are immigration offices which have been known to give more, those offices are now under the watchful eye of the ‘clean-up force’.

Another aspect of this change is simply once you have been in Thailand for 1 year, since your first entry. You must leave, and then re-apply for an education visa. No matter what you used to do, you can now only have a maximum of 1 year in Thailand, from your first entry date.

While this isn’t a massive problem for most education visa holders, it does put you under the scrutiny of the border immigration officers, who have the power to refuse anyone entry, even if you have a valid visa, simply because they have suspicions you are not here using the correct visa. All fair I know, but unfortunately innocents get caught up along the way, and some perfectly legitimate students can be turned away from Thailand, playing havoc on their near future.

Finally the 8 hour a week study quota is being approved as I type, making students have to study for 8 hours a week, not the traditional 4 hours students have been used to up till now. This extra 8 hours, while not confirmed if you can have your lesson spread over 2 or 4 days, will for sure increase all fees for standards courses, simply due to the higher teacher hours, classroom hours, and increased course material necessary.

Original Source:

http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/750734-the-new-extension-rules-for-people-studying/

22nd September – Russians’ allowed to continue with border runs

Lt Gen Sakda Chepakdee, high ranking member of the recent Coup and currently acting commissioner in charge of Thai immigration has recently confirmed that Russians can in fact enter Thailand as often as they like, under the last agreement between Russia and Thailand on visa exemption rules.

After the Russian foreign Ministry recently responded to the new changing of the ‘border run’ rules, by stating that Russia and Thailand have a ‘specific’ agreement which states that Russian citizens may enter Thailand visa-free as often as they like, each time using the free 30 day entry stamp, since the agreement has not been deemed invalid by either the Thai or Russian government. Effectively this allows Russians to continue to use the recently banned “out-in” border runs, and they can use it “as many times as they like”.

However this comes with a gentle reminder that the rules are being strongly followed since the Coup, with Gen Sakda adding that “They need to show proof that they are entering for tourism purposes”, a gentle reminder that anyone in the country live or working on a tourist visa will be routed out. Going on to say “We have found that [a lot] do not come for tourism purposes. Lots of them are working illegally and are doing ‘out-in’ visa runs”… in order to carry on living and working illegally in the Kingdom.

Despite Russia and Thailand’s ‘close’ friendship, Gen Sakda points out that Russians will have to follow the rules like everyone else, and nothing was agreed which states Russians will not undergo the same entry tests as everyone else. With Lt Somchai Jitsa’ngop, Deputy Commander of immigration point out that, “the normal conditions for tourists who want to travel in Thailand apply. Russia is not a special case. If Russian tourists want to travel in Thailand, they have to ask.”

The rules clearly state that the re-entering Russian ‘tourist’ will have to show proof of hotel bookings and sufficient funds to support themselves while in county, if they do not have this they will not be allowed in. Lt Somchai mentioning that “Tourists can come to Thailand but they have to inform us about their accommodation plans.” This type of strong, rule following talk is typical of the governing body since the overthrowing of the last government, which Thailand under their rule was thought to be ‘corrupt’.

We will just have to wait and see what happens to this agreement, most likely the temporary Thai government won’t interfere with any prior international agreements or treaties, but instead clamp down on the illegal actions, a noble course of action the military have claimed to be their main ambition of their Coup-de-tar.

29th August – New Visa Rules

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Effective from the 29th of August this year, the Thailand authorities once again implemented a new set of rules for visa extensions, outlining who can, and more importantly, cannot, extend their visa in the Kingdom of Thailand. They are as follows;

  • Anyone in the Kingdom who are nationals of ‘certain’ countries who are permitted 30 days entry upon entering Thailand, can only extend this once, not exceeding 30 days from the expiry of the entry stamp.
  • If the tourist is not granted the extension due to incomplete qualifications, then the alien shall be granted 7 days extension to be used to leave the Kingdom.
  • Anyone seeking an education visa shall only be granted 90 days, 3 months, at one time. And so can extend this visa up to a maximum of 1 year. At which point the alien will have to leave and re-enter Thailand with a new visa.
  • Anyone under taking work for a charity organization, a foundation, a non-government organization, an association, a foreign chamber of commerce or the Federation of Thai industries, without a letter from a relevant government department, shall be granted no longer than 90 days, but are able to extend their visa up to and not exceeding 1 year since the entry date to the Kingdom.

While these extension rules have been made clear and officially are the only set of rules in place, it still begs the question of how long they will be imposed for before another set of rules is rolled out.

While these rules are clear and un-doubtably fair, it still won’t guarantee entry to someone following them to the letter, as different visa departments and different border crossings are interpreting the new rules as they see fit, while trying to refuse entry to enough tourists to make it look like they’re doing their job.

At the moment all we can do is hold our breath as we go for those dreaded visa extensions, a deadly game a Russian roulette follows, with the denial stamp being held at your head, and you’re only thought is a small prayer hoping it hasn’t been inked to stamp. And maybe this time, you’ll get away, miss the shot, but next time it’s a whole new game.

 

New visa Regulations

New visa Regulations