The LAND of Smiles for some U.S. Schools- A snapshot of the Thai Education Market

California ETEC has had a long association with the Thailand Office of Civil Service and the annual student fair they sponsor.  In the past seven years,  we have coordinated the exhibits of more than 40 U.S. schools at the annual OCSC Student Fair and an adjoining reception with TIECA Study Agents.   Literally we stumbled upon the OCSC Fair in 2004 and have made this event a staple of our S.E. Asia marketing campaign ever since.   While the OCSC Fair annually draws 25,000-30,000 students and is the primary platform by which the Thai Office of Civil Service connects more than 300 full-ride scholars with overseas institutions,  marketing in Thailand is not without challenges. In 2008 the OCSC Fair coincided political upheaval that shut Suvarnabhumi Airport and last October the event was postponed due to unprecedented  flooding in Thailand.  Despite these unconventional obstacles, a small core of U.S. schools continue to promote in Thailand and such perseverance  has led to recruitment success.   The latest Open Doors Reports indicated more than 10,000 Thai students are currently studying in the U.S. and this number has been remarkably consistent the past decade.

Thailand Education Market Summary

  •  Thai students offer diversity to already large and growing student populations from China, India and Korea.
  • Thais generally do not choose to attend U.S. Community Colleges, but the trend may be changing.
  • Demand for U.S. boarding schools is growing, but English speaking competitors are highly targeted in this market space.
  • Opportunities avail for schools who pay commissions to agents or can design marketing contracts in lieu of commissions. The Thai Overseas Education market is very mature and most successful recruitment campaigns are done with the aid of agents.

* If you are seeking introduction to vetted agents, please contact for a list of agents who attended the January 20th ETEC-TIECA Reception.


Re: California ETEC enters the blogosphere!

California ETEC has decided to start an ongoing blog to help stimulate discussion that will assist U.S. student exchange and recruitment efforts globally. California ETEC( formerly Education and Training Export Consortium) was started with the intent to maximize branding and marketing efforts of California and U.S. institutions in Asia. As our organization has grown, we have continuously learned from both our marketing successes and mistakes.  We hope to use this forum to share our insights and those of our stakeholders in an effort to help schools identify ways to establish or expand student recruitment efforts with limited resources. In future blog posts we will identify ways that California ETEC is meeting this challenge and country specific information that might help schools new to international exchange and student recruitment succeed, too.