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Thailand: A Hot Education Destination For International Students

Are you looking towards Thailand as Study Abroad Destination? Well, perhaps you might be interested in knowing Thailand as a country, visa requirements, courses and colleges etc. Here is brief discussion about Thailand as I know it from different sources like Internet Databases, Books and Periodicals etc to help students looking for admission in Thailand.

Let's know about Thailand

The Kingdom of Thailand generally called Thailand is a nation in Southeast Asia. The capital of Thailand is Bangkok and also the largest city. Cambodia and Laos border Thailand to the east, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia to the south and Andaman Sea and Myanmar to the west.  Thailand was known to the outside world as Siam.  Historical evidences suggests that there was bronze culture in Thailand as early as 3600 BC, this proves from the excavation findings of 1970 in Ban Chiang in the northeastern part of Thailand which also suggest the existence of bronze culture in ancient days’ China and the Middle East. The findings suggests people of Ban Chiang had technical know how and they aware about the metallurgy of bronze and iron. The people were also skilled in making pottery, building houses and printing of silk textiles.

The early people who lived in Thailand are believed to come from the old Pamir Plateau; these people were migrated from southern China to mainland Southeast Asia. In southern China, the Thai people developed the Nan-Chao Kingdom but there were huge resistance from Chinese and Tibetans and finally Kubali Khan in 1253 displaced the Thai towards the south across the mountain passes into Southeast Asia. After entering the valley of the Chao Phraya River, they defeated and dispersed the Khmer settlers, ancestors of the Cambodians, and established the Kingdom of Thailand. By the middle of 14th century, the Thai expanded and established their kingdom at the expense of the Lao, Burmese, and Cambodians.

Thai made the business contacts with the Dutch, Portuguese, French, and British in the 16th and 17th century respectively but it stayed a feudal state  with a powerful court of nobles. Thailand came out of feudalism and came into modern world in the times of Mongkut (1851–68) and his son Chulalongkorn (1868–1910). In this period a committee of foreign advisers was formed and business pacts were signed with Great Britain in 1855, and with France and United States in 1856. The power of nobles was shortened, slavery abolished, and many court practices, such as prostration in the royal presence, were ended. The Thai government continued ruling as absolute monarchy despite the progressive policies of Mongkut and Chulalongkorn.

In 1932 a bloodless uprising of Westernized intellectuals led to a constitutional monarchy. Since then, Thailand experienced multiple constitutions, changes of government, and military coups. When World War II broke down, Thailand annexed the Burmese and Malayan territories and made an alliance with Japan and declared war on the United States and the United Kingdom. From 1932 to 1940, political power in Thailand was centralized around Pridi Banomyong and Marshal Phibul Songgram and thereafter around Marshal Sarit Thanarat, until his death in 1963.

Sarit's handpicked heir, Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, subsequently emerged  as the country's political leader. After the war Thailand became an associate of United States through their common membership in the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO), and various other bilateral treaties and agreements.  China declared the formation of the Thailand Patriotic Front in 1965, the purpose was "to strive for the national independence" of Thailand.

A limited revolution then developed in the North and Northeast, rising in strength in the late 1960s and early 1970s as the Southeast Asian conflict raged on Thailand's northern and northeastern borders.

As a SEATO associate, Thailand took a direct part in the Vietnam war and supplied a small number of troops in support of the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). Furthermore, it granted US forces the use of air bases in Thailand for massive bombing sorties against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Vietcong. In the 1970s, Thailand faced a series of political commotion.  In November 1971, Marshal Thanom, who had been reconfirmed as prime minister in the 1969 general elections, led a bloodless military coup that abrogated the constitution and imposed a state of martial law. By early October 1973, demonstrations erupted into riots, and on 14 October, Marshal Thanom resigned and quit the country.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej stepped in and named a national legislative assembly to draft a constitution. On 7 October 1974, the new constitution brought into effect. On 26 January 1975, Thailand held its first truly open parliamentary elections since 1957. In March 1975, Seni's government reconciled following a no confidence vote and a right-wing coalition government led by Kukrit Pramoj (Seni's brother) further assumed control, but it too resigned in January 1976. In April elections were held and Seni Pramoj came into power heading a four party coalition. Civil disorder broke out in Thailand and military led government declared Martial law.

Subsequently, in December 1978 constitution was promulgated which made the ways for elections in 1979, 1983, and 1986. On 9 September 1985, the military swiftly diffused the 16th coup within several hours.

In the 1986 elections, General Prem Tinsulanonda was appointed for a third term as prime minister.  In 1985 and 1986 the Progress party gained power when cabinet ministers were replaced. In July 1986, a general election for an enlarged parliament took place. General Prem formed a coalition government and served as prime minister. In 1988 General Prem dissolved the House of Representatives and called general election. In elections held in July 1988, the Chart Thai won over the largest number of seats, however, its’ leader, General Chatichai Choonhavan declared his unwillingness for the post of prime minister. General Chatichai took an active role in foreign affairs and made bold initiatives to improve relations with Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

 In December 1990, General Chatichai resigned as prime minister and reappointed in the next year again, which enabled him to form a new coalition government. On February 23 1991, a military coup led to the ouster of Chatichai's government. In March 1991, an interim constitution approved by the King was published; Anand Panyarachun, was appointed the prime minister. A draft constitution presented in November was approved on 7 December 1991.

In March 1992, General Suchinda became prime minister. Two months later, ajor General Chamlong called for the resignation of Suchinda and an amendment to the constitution at a rally attended by 100,000 demonstrators. On 17 May 1992, about 150,000 demonstrators met at Sanam Luang parade grounds in central Bangkok. At 4 AM on 18 May the demonstrators were counterattacked with armored vehicles and machine-guns. On 24 May, Suchinda resigned from power after political leaders assured official pardon to military officers who participated in suppressing the demonstrations.

On June 10, National Assembly approved an amendment in constitution. On September 13, 1992, general elections were held and Chuan Leekpai of the Democratic Party became prime minister. Chuan's policies emphasized four goals: to eradicate corrupt practices, to reduce the powers of the appointed Senate, to decentralize government from Bangkok to the provinces, and to enhance rural development. Of late 1994, the New Aspiration Party headed by Chavalit Yongchaiyadh left the ruling coalition. In May 1995, Chuan dissolved the parliament and called for new elections. Having served two years of a four-year term as prime minister, Chuan became Thailand's longest serving civilian leader in the modern era.

Banharn Silpa-archa became the new prime minister of the country in 1995.

In year-end 1996, the Banharn government collapsed and new election held on 17 November 1996. NAP, led by coalition parties, and Minister of Defense Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, emerged victorious in these elections. They swept into power going from 57 seats to 125. Democratic party came second in these elections. Chavalit, one of Thailand's more respected politicians, vowed to employ a cabinet of technocrats (he called them the "dream team") rather than cronies, and to rescue the Thai economy which had been faltering. However Thai economy faces a downturn later and Prime Minister Chavalit resigned on November 6 1997.

Chuan Leepkai formed a coalition government that included his Democratic Party, Chart Thai, the SAP, Ekkaparb, the Seirtham Party, Palang Dharma, the Thai Party, and a majority of the Prachakorn Thai Party. In March 1998, the ruling government survived a vote of no confidence motion. By May 1998, the Thai economy started reestablishing. In March 1999, a major privatization bill passed in the National Assembly, allowing government enterprises to become corporate entities without legislative action. On 5 October 1998, Chuan reorganized the government and invited Chart Pattana into the government, and increased the coalition member in the House of Representatives to 257.

In April 1999, the leader of the NAP, Chavalit temporarily resigned to prepare for upcoming general elections. In March 2000, first senate elections were held according to the constitution of 1997. In the general elections held in January 2001, the media Moughal Thaksin Shinawatra of Thais Love Thais
Party became the Prime Minister. The new party took 248 of 500 seats in the  House of Representatives, and Thaksin formed a coalition government with the Chart Thai (Thai Nation) Party and New Aspiration Party. In 2001 and 2002, the relations of Thailand with Myanmar strengthened. The border was reopened in October 2005.

Geographically, Thailand is located in the center of Southeast Asian mainland acquiring about 513 115 square kilometers. The boundaries of Thailand stretch 1620 kilometers from north to south and 775 kilometers from east to  west. Thailand is divided over four natural zones- the mountainous north
zone, the highland north plateau, the central plain and the peninsular south zone. The climate in Thailand is tropical, in March and April months temperatures varies from 28 degree Celsius to 38 degree Celsius and
humidity ranges from 83 to 73 percent with no rain. Rainy season prevails from June to October; winter occurs from November to February.

The vegetation in Thailand is linked with two types of tropical forests- monsoon forest and rain forest. About 20% of natural forest zone is covered with trees and 25 percent with Thailand’s land mass. The United Nation’s World Development report ranked Thailand 44th in terms of natural forest cover worldwide. Monsoon forest makes about one quarter of remaining natural forest cover; these forests are covered with deciduous tree species that throws their leaves during dry season to save water in them.  About 50% of all the forests are rain-forest; these are evergreen type. Northern, Eastern, Northeastern and Central Thailand contain monsoon forests mainly, while Southern Thailand is predominantly a rainforest zone. There is much
overlap of the two - some forest zones support a mix of monsoon forest and rainforest vegetation. The remaining quarter of forest cover comprises of freshwater marsh forests in the delta regions, forested crags amid the karst topography of both the North and South and pine forests at higher elevations in the North.

The most known flora in Thailand includes an unbelievable group of fruit trees, bamboo, tropical hardwoods, and more than 27000 flowering species including Orchid which is the Thailand’s national floral symbol. Flora in Thailand is rich and varied. Indigenous mammals include tigers, leopards, elephants, Asiatic black bears, Malayan sun bears, gaur (Indian bison), banteng (wild cattle), serow (an Asiatic goat-antelope), sambar deer, barking deer, mouse deer, pangolin, gibbons, manaques, tapir, dolphins and dugongs (sea cows). Herpetfauna in Thailand numbers around 313 reptiles and 107 amphibians, and includes four sea-turtle species along with numerous snake varieties, of which six are venomous: the common cobra (six subspecies),
king cobra (hamadryad), banded krait (three species), Malayan viper, green viper and Russell's pit viper. Thailand is rich in birdlife, with more than 1000-recorded resident and migrating species found here. The Southern peninsula is prime habitate for South-East Asian water flow. There found more than 6000 species of insects. Marine water is rich in different fish varieties and other water animals.

The different ethnic groups living in Thailand are Thai (80%), Chinese (10%), Malay (3%), and the rest are minorities (Mons, Khmers, hill tribes).

Buddhism is the religion of state. Only Buddhists are given employment in government settings. The Thai Monarch is also required to be a Buddhist.

According to year 2000 government record, about 94% people living in Thailand are followers of Buddhism. There also lives Muslims in small numbers. Among the other ethnic minorities, the Chinese practice a traditional mixture of Mahayana Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and ancestor worship.

Most of the Vietnamese living in Thailand is Mahayana Buddhists and most Indians are Hindus constituting to about 0.1 percent of total population. There are small Baha'i and Jewish communities. At least six tribal groups (500,000 to 600,000 people) are animists. Official language is Thai, widely spoken and written by vast number of Thai people. English is also used in different business communications. In capital Bangkok English is widely practiced on regular basis.

The constitution of Thailand bestows little power on King and makes him a symbol of national identity and unity. The King Bhumibol (Rama IX) is in command since 1946 with huge respect and moral authority which he use at times of national crisis to resolve the issues. The legal system in Thailand is a mix of typically Thai and western type. According to constitution accepted in 1997, the constitutional court is highest court of appeal in Thailand; however, its jurisdiction is limited to clearly well defined constitutional issues.

The court members are nominated by the senate and appointed by the King himself. The Courts of Justice have jurisdiction over criminal and civil cases and are organized in three tiers: Courts of First Instance, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court of Justice. Administrative courts have jurisdiction over suits between private parties and the government, and cases in which one government entity is suing another.
The Provincial Islamic Committees have limited jurisdiction over probate, family, marriage, and divorce cases. The National Assembly of Thailand is made up of 2 chambers- the Senate and the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives had 500 members, 400 of whom are directly elected from constituent districts, and the remainder drawn proportionally from party lists. The administration of Thailand is divided over 76 provinces including the Capital Bangkok.

Thailand has elevated from agrarian type economy to industrial economy. Now Thailand swanks a complex multi faceted economy with large number of growing industry types and modern technologies. Numerous factors have contributed for growth. Natural resources in Thailand are plentiful. The land in Thailand is fertile enough; Thailand is a major exporter of food items to different Asian countries.  Participation of private sector is enormous.

Government provides support for infrastructure development and other requirements to industries. Thailand is well known for fabric products, computers and related parts, plastic products, footwear, and processed
seafood. Some of the world's leading producers of cement, ceramic tiles, sanitaryware, bearings, printed circuit board assemblies and computer peripherals, hard-disk drives and varied agro-industrial products, are made in Thailand. Thailand is one of the world's largest exporters of canned tuna, canned pineapple and frozen prawns.

Tourism is also booming sector in Thailand. Capital Bangkok is preferred destination for making holidays and business trips. Some other places to see in Thailand are Suan Pakkad Palace, Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun, Wat Pho, Wat Traimit, Wat Traimit, Wat Mahathat, Wat Saket, Wang Suan Phakkard, Chiang Mai, Phuket Island, Phang Nga Bay, Khao Lak, Phi Phi Islands, Krabi - Simply gorgeous.  The Grand Palace is main center of tourist attraction in Thailand. Bangkok has more than 400
temples in different architectural style.

Visa Requirements To Study in Thailand

International Students planning to study in Thailand require obtaining a valid Visa from the Thai Government. For Non-Immigrant ED Visa application fee is $80 (at the time of writing this post). ED visa is issued to students, and candidates who need to attend seminar, training session, or internship in Thailand. Following given documentation required to apply for a Thai Student Visa

  • Valid passport
  • Visa application material
  • Recent (4 x 6 cm.) photograph of the applicant
  • Recommendation letter addressed to the Consulate
  • Letter of acceptance from the concerned academic institute/organisation
  • For those wishing to study in a Private institution, an official letter from the Ministry of Education of Thailand, or other sub-authorities concerned, approving the enrolment of foreign students and a copy of registration certificate of the concerned academic institute are required
  • Academic record and the Student ID (if currently studying)
  • For those wishing to attend seminar, or training session, or internship,  a recommendation letter from the concerned organisation addressed to the Consulate is also required

The validity of Visa is 90 days. In case further stay required, a candidate can apply for extension.

To apply for ED Visa to Thailand visit official immigration website of Royal Thai Government

List of Universities in Thailand

Thailand @ A Glance

Religion: Buddhism

Demonym: Thai, Siamese (archaic)

Government: Constitutional monarchy under military junta

Total Area: 198,115 sq mi

Population: 67,959,000 (2015 estimate)

GDP Per capita: US$16,081

Currency: Baht (฿) (THB)

Time zone : ICT (UTC+7)

Drives on the: left

Calling code: +66

Internet TLD: .th


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