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  1. #1
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    Question Ramkhamhaeng University - any experiences?

    Hello,
    This may be a tad out of place since it's the "Teaching In Thailand" room not the "Studying in Thailand" room, but I couldn't find the latter and this was the closest thing to it.

    My wife and I are considering a move to Thailand next year and looking at the possibility of studying there to get education visas to stay in-country.

    Has anyone here had any experiences with RamKhamhaeng University? We've looked at the website thoroughly and they have an International Studies Dept with all English-language taught classes by professors from US/Canada/EU. Lots of foreign students.

    We've also scoured YouTube for videos from the place and it looks ok.

    Reason we even know about it is due to a friend of mine who went there. They only offer majors in English, Business and International Journalism or something, but we're really more concerned with finding a way to live in Thailand for a while than the "Harvard Education" to put it bluntly.

    I'm ex-US military so the GI Bill will pay for my tuition plus a monthly living allowance. For my wife we'd pay the $1200/semester out of pocket, but that's affordable enough.

    Does anyone on here have experience with the school? Can you offer any insights on it? Would be much appreciated, thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by fareastcoastmover
    we're really more concerned with finding a way to live in Thailand for a while than the "Harvard Education" to put it bluntly.
    Quote Originally Posted by fareastcoastmover
    I'm ex-US military
    should be as good as anywhere with your credentials

    why don't you just try for a 90 day visa and skip the school. you would not be tied to one location

  3. #3
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    [quote=Lorenzo;1888866]
    Quote Originally Posted by fareastcoastmover

    should be as good as anywhere with your credentials

    why don't you just try for a 90 day visa and skip the school. you would not be tied to one location
    Thanks for the reply Lorenzo, but I hardly have any "credentials" to speak of, lol (err, maybe that was your point and I missed it)

    Anyway, good question.

    Here are the answers:

    Because my wife is Filipina and I believe she would need a proper visa----like an education visa----to stay in the country.

    Also, because I do want to take advantage of my GI Bill benefits before they run out (only have 15 years from date of separation from the Military to use them up)----and it would provide a nice additional income while we'd be living in Thailand.

  4. #4
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    Ramkamhaeng is a huge university with a lot of international contacts. Its not one of the most expensive ones but has a good reputation, because u dont need only money to study there (like in the Thai ivy league unis) but also some brain. For you also a course at a language school would be an option to get a visa.

  5. #5
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    If you are over 50 with a little money in the bank you should have no trouble obtaining a multiple entry non immigrant visa for you and your wife. ( 3 ninety day visas back to back )

    I live here full time on the above visa and just do 3 visa runs to the border every year. Pretty easy and inexpensive plus you don't have all the paperwork to deal with.

    Alternatively, if you have around 800,000 baht ( forget the exact amount ) you could apply for a retirement visa.

    Going the educational visa route might be unnecessarily complicated and tie you down to living within reach of the Ramkamheng Campus.

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    I am currently a student at Ram. There are a few people here on the GI bill. As far as education is concerned I would not recommend it. The standard of teaching with IIS is very low. From what I gather; people on the GI bill can choose anywhere they wish to study. With this in mind I would suggest you look at one of the foreign univerisities operating here in Thailand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesch4ever View Post
    Ramkamhaeng is a huge university with a lot of international contacts. Its not one of the most expensive ones but has a good reputation, because u dont need only money to study there (like in the Thai ivy league unis) but also some brain. For you also a course at a language school would be an option to get a visa.
    Hmm, that is slightly at odds with what I've heard. My friend who went there said you don't need much brain-power at all, haha. That's right up my alley

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bangyai View Post
    If you are over 50 with a little money in the bank you should have no trouble obtaining a multiple entry non immigrant visa for you and your wife. ( 3 ninety day visas back to back )

    I live here full time on the above visa and just do 3 visa runs to the border every year. Pretty easy and inexpensive plus you don't have all the paperwork to deal with.

    Alternatively, if you have around 800,000 baht ( forget the exact amount ) you could apply for a retirement visa.

    Going the educational visa route might be unnecessarily complicated and tie you down to living within reach of the Ramkamheng Campus.
    Bangyai,

    I'm only 31 so that won't work for me. Thanks for the input though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fareastcoastmover View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesch4ever View Post
    Ramkamhaeng is a huge university with a lot of international contacts. Its not one of the most expensive ones but has a good reputation, because u dont need only money to study there (like in the Thai ivy league unis) but also some brain. For you also a course at a language school would be an option to get a visa.
    Hmm, that is slightly at odds with what I've heard. My friend who went there said you don't need much brain-power at all, haha. That's right up my alley
    To be honest, I didn't study or teach there myself. I also don't know the side of a Falang doing International Studies there. I just heard from some Thai guys that it's quite hard not to flunk and pass exams and that therefore graduates of Ramkamhaeng are valued on the Thai labout market. But anyway you may be right. BTW several international colleges in BKK have programs with US veterans running.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    I am currently a student at Ram. There are a few people here on the GI bill. As far as education is concerned I would not recommend it. The standard of teaching with IIS is very low. From what I gather; people on the GI bill can choose anywhere they wish to study. With this in mind I would suggest you look at one of the foreign univerisities operating here in Thailand.
    GoldenBoy,

    Thanks for the reply. So you're going to Ram now? Interesting. What major are you taking? How are the classes? The teachers?

    You mention the "standard of teaching is low"; yes, that is more in line with what I have heard from my friend there and what I've read online.

    We can choose to go almost wherever we want, as long as the institution is accredited by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Association for the GI Bill. Rham is on the list of schools in Thailand that are.

    This is going to sound utterly stupid, but at 31 yrs of age, never being one to enjoy school and being the consummate underachieving slacker-shammer that I am, Ram sounds like the perfect place for me, haha.

    I am not very interesting in spending all my time in Thailand with my nose in a book or classroom. I'm more interested in enjoying the experience of living there for a few years. Any actual education is just a bonus.

    Also, it will give my wife something to do and she'll be happier being closer to her family in the Philippines.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesch4ever View Post
    To be honest, I didn't study or teach there myself. I also don't know the side of a Falang doing International Studies there. I just heard from some Thai guys that it's quite hard not to flunk and pass exams and that therefore graduates of Ramkamhaeng are valued on the Thai labout market. But anyway you may be right. BTW several international colleges in BKK have programs with US veterans running.
    Ah, ok Mike. Maybe things are different for the Thai's curriculum's opposed to the falang-classes. What I have heard is more in line with Golden Boy's reply here.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesch4ever View Post
    Ramkamhaeng is a huge university with a lot of international contacts. Its not one of the most expensive ones but has a good reputation, because u dont need only money to study there (like in the Thai ivy league unis) but also some brain. For you also a course at a language school would be an option to get a visa.
    I think Ramkan is open enrollment meaning they will take anyone. Attendance in class is optional. Many of the freelancers in BKK go to Ramkam when the are not busy. Education is like USA grade 11 and 12.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorenzo View Post
    I think Ramkan is open enrollment meaning they will take anyone. Attendance in class is optional. Many of the freelancers in BKK go to Ramkam when the are not busy. Education is like USA grade 11 and 12.
    Yes it's open university and mass education. The level in overall Thailand is quite low and starts maybe at grade 12 western countries. Hence Ram. has some good sides: it should be easy going there, if you just need kind of an excuse to hang out in Thailand it should be a good choice. If you study at some expensive International College you need to attend class regularly, pass exams etc.

  14. #14
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    ^ hard to beat, mostly girls there also

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorenzo View Post
    I think Ramkan is open enrollment meaning they will take anyone. Attendance in class is optional. Many of the freelancers in BKK go to Ramkam when the are not busy. Education is like USA grade 11 and 12.
    Perfect!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesch4ever View Post
    Yes it's open university and mass education. The level in overall Thailand is quite low and starts maybe at grade 12 western countries. Hence Ram. has some good sides: it should be easy going there, if you just need kind of an excuse to hang out in Thailand it should be a good choice.
    This.


    Quote Originally Posted by mikesch4ever View Post
    If you study at some expensive International College you need to attend class regularly, pass exams etc.
    No thanks! haha

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorenzo View Post
    ^ hard to beat, mostly girls there also

    Ooohh, that could be trouble

    *looks down at balls...notices wife's tightly clenched fist locked around them*

    Ah.....maybe not.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fareastcoastmover View Post
    I'm ex-US military
    Thanks for your service

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chitown View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by fareastcoastmover View Post
    I'm ex-US military
    Thanks for your service

    Thanks for that sentiment. It was an honor and great experiences.

  20. #20
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    I was never in the military, but they shot at me on occasion

  21. #21
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    The 'teachers' at Ram IIS are prdominantly Western with most coming from the U.S. It always arouses my suspicions when these teachers/professors claim to have been former lawyers, judges, or to have been involved in some other high flying careers. Why would you leave that to come and earn 40k baht a month at Ram? There are a few fakes there I reckon.
    That said though, there are a couple of great professors there who really know their stuff, and usually flip between Ram and a university somewhere else in the world throughout the year.

    I would say that if you're looking for a few easy years for the GI Bill then Ram is ok. Your degree probably will not be held in very high regard though. It is for this reason that I am having to continue studying for a Masters degree next. You should note though, that immigration to call up to check attendance, and that Ram are pretty serious about attendance.

    For me, I chose Ram because it was cheap. I am 31 years old and wish to start teaching here. The idea was that I would get the correct qualifications desired by the Thai Government and thus not get labled as one of these 'no good, unqualified farang teachers'.

    The BA English focuses on subjects such as; Linguistics, Syntax, Contempary Literature, Classical Literature to name but a few off the top of my head. I reckon I have learnt a lot about what not to do in a classroom, and have gained valuable insight into to how Thais and their education system both think and work.

    Anyway, that's my take on it. Hope it helps.
    Last edited by Goldenboy; 30-09-2011 at 01:53 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    The 'teachers' at Ram IIS are prdominantly Western with most coming from the U.S. It always arouses my suspicions when these teachers/professors claim to have been former lawyers, judges, or to have been involved in some other high flying careers. Why would you leave that to come and earn 40k baht a month at Ram? There are a few fakes there I reckon.
    That said though, there are a couple of great professors there who really know their stuff, and usually flip between Ram and a university somewhere else in the world throughout the year.

    I would say that if you're looking for a few easy years for the GI Bill then Ram is ok. Your degree probably will not be held in very high regard though. It is for this reason that I am having to continue studying for a Masters degree next. You should note though, that immigration to call up to check attendance, and that Ram are pretty serious about attendance.

    For me, I chose Ram because it was cheap. I am 31 years old and wish to start teaching here. The idea was that I would get the correct qualifications desired by the Thai Government and thus not get labled as one of these 'no good, unqualified farang teachers'.

    The BA English focuses on subjects such as; Linguistics, Syntax, Contempary Literature, Classical Literature to name but a few off the top of my head. I reckon I have learnt a lot about what not to do in a classroom, and have gained valuable insight into to how Thais and their education system both think and work.

    Anyway, that's my take on it. Hope it helps.
    Great insights Golden Boy. Good to hear from someone who actually went there. And we're exactly the same age too.

    My friend went through the English program there at Ram,and he is having to go through getting his masters now also. (maybe you know each other?)

    I understand they have a Business program too. That is what I think I would be going in for. For my Filipina wife, however, perhaps the English program would be better? Not sure. We'll see.

    Anyway, thanks again for the info.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenboy View Post
    The 'teachers' at Ram IIS are prdominantly Western with most coming from the U.S. It always arouses my suspicions when these teachers/professors claim to have been former lawyers, judges, or to have been involved in some other high flying careers. Why would you leave that to come and earn 40k baht a month at Ram? .

    Boy Oh Boy...

    That hurt, I am sure there are a few TEFLer's blushing right now

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    Made their fortune and want to enjoy life in a Great Kingdom. Teachers never quit. Money is never an issue. Education has it's rewards.

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