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International Schools in Chiang Mai


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Dear The Thaiger,

I've been living in Thailand since 1990 with my American wife and we moved to Chiang Mai with our organization in 2016. Our youngest two children began to go Grace International School when we moved. Our daughter began 10th grade and our son 7th grade. There are currently at least ten international schools here in Chiang Mai - PREM, Grace, CMIS, Nakorn Payap, American Chinese, Unity, Lanna, Satit Rangsit, Varee and Momfort (I'm sure I am missing a few.) These schools have to be barely surviving if at all. I'm very surprised that nothing is being written about the long term financial impact not allowing these schools to meet in person is going to have on the city of Chiang Mai. All of these schools had hundreds, if not thousands of international students before COVID19 hit. As a person who lives in Chiang Mai, I can tell you that not only has the tourist sector been decimated, but the expat community has also mostly due to schools being forced to close and not being allowed in person classes. My son's senior class went from 75 students in 2019 to now about 50. This is happening in all the international schools here. Economically, this means 25 families in just this one grade are not coming back to Chiang Mai. This means that 25 homes aren't now being rented that were rented before, 50k baht of money that on average would be spent her per month, isn't being spent. I can take you through 100's of high end villages here where houses are empty and are now owned by Thai banks. This means they are "bad" loans. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out it's all coming crashing down. But nothing is being written about it except on expat you tube channels for retired people. I personally can't see people paying $5,000-$10,000US to send their child to an online international school with poor quality of education. Would love to see real numbers and real impact of all this. If all these schools close, it will affect 100's of high paid Thai educators/staff at these schools. 

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