Expats in Thailand need to have sufficient knowledge on important things such as health care, purchasing property in Thailand and the education system (in cases where they move into the country with their schooling children). This article briefly describes health care, buying a house and types of schools for expats in Thailand.
1. Health Care
Expats in Thailand can access both government-funded and private sector health care. Like in most countries, government-funded health care is cheaper than private health care. However, normal charges apply for non-Thai citizens – foreigners pay higher fees than locals. One disadvantage of the government-funded health care facilities is that they are crowded. Also, only doctors speak English – the nursing staff predominantly speaks Thai. Although private health care is more expensive than the government-funded one, expats might find it more convenient and preferable in terms of crowding and better facilities and services.
2. Buying a House
Foreigners in Thailand, especially in Bangkok, mostly purchase condominiums. One can purchase a condominium in their own name so long as they follow the correct procedures required for foreigners in purchasing property. For example, they have to ensure that the condominium falls under one of the foreign quota of allocated condos. Prior to signing an agreement, expats need to ensure that the house is really a condo, because some properties are registered as condos yet they are not. The minimum amount transferred from an escrow or overseas account is usually about $20,000. This amount should be clearly stated that it will be used in the purchase of the condo; otherwise, a foreigner could have problems with the department of land.
3. Types of Schools
Expats can move into Thailand with their families and enrol their children into local schools. Thailand has many private and public schools. However, private schools arguably offer a high quality education because they have access to teaching and learning facilities of very high standards. The classes are also of very small sizes. This creates a very good platform for easy and free communication between students and teachers, and students and their colleagues.
Thailand has over 70 private international schools in Bangkok alone. Some can also be found in Chiang Mai, Phuket and Hua Hin. Therefore, expats have the opportunity to select the school that they feel best suits the education needs of their children. For example, they can select schools depending on the curriculum offered, ranging from AP, to IGSCE to GCE “A” Level and the IB.
Of course, there are requirements that non-immigrant foreigners have to follow before enrolling their children into these schools. For example, they would need non-immigrant ED visas and to pay an international admission fee before the schools admit their children.