Time to pay up, again

February 12, 2013

Periodically each student at Sasin will receive an email from the University, and this email will have more impact than the average spam mail we receive regularly with announcements about an upcoming seminar or symposium. The email I am talking about is one of two types: it will contain a grade of a course we just finished, or it will contain the friendly request to register for the upcoming quarter and pay up. For most students the first type of email will be most dreaded since it might contain a bad grade which you will have to explain to your parents later on, the second type of email, requesting payments for coming quarter, will not have much of an impact though on the average student, since they just hand it over to daddy with the request to pay it as soon as possible so they do not lose face at the Finance Office of Sasin.

The dreaded email telling me to pay for next quarter's tuition.

The dreaded email telling me to pay for next quarter’s tuition.

For me it is different, I mostly dread the second type of email since I am actually paying for this MBA myself. And every quarter I have to pre-pay for the upcoming classes, a bill that generally comes to about 235,000 baht (almost 6,000 euro’s). And that’s for one quarter which, most of the time, contains just  4 courses. A simple math exercise tells me that’s over 50,000 baht a course on average. Doing this exercise also makes me think twice about the value we get for the money we pay, some courses are worth the 50,000 baht since I really see the added value of the material instructed, but to be honest, other courses are not worth that amount of money in view, especially not when the course is just an introduction in an area of which I know the basics already.

The KTB branch where I got my Cashier's Cheque so I could pay the nice people at Sasin my MBA tuition fees for Q1.

The KTB branch where I got my Cashier’s Cheque so I could pay the nice people at Sasin my MBA tuition fees for Q1.

But in order to ever reach the end of this MBA it will be necessary to follow all the mandatory courses, and to pass all the exams for these courses. So without whining any further I just printed out all the payment instructions and went to a local branch of KTB bank where I opened a bank account before.

If you don't feel like paying electronically or by Cashier's Cheque, you can also just get a pile of cash and bring that to the Finance Office. Not sure if they will appreciate if you get it in 20 baht bills or in coins.

If you don’t feel like paying electronically or by Cashier’s Cheque, you can also just get a pile of cash and bring that to the Finance Office. Not sure if they will appreciate if you get it in 20 baht bills or in coins.

There are several ways to pay your tuition fees; you can transfer the money to their bank account directly, buy a Cashier’s Cheque, or pay in cash. The costs between the methods do not differ much, or to be honest I was too lazy to find out if the prices differ much, so I just opted for the method that sounded easiest to me: buy a Cashier’s Cheque.

And that’s where I went wrong. It all sounded so easy, and the bank teller completely understood what I wanted and started to work on the Cashier’s Cheque right away. After a couple of minutes he asked something to his colleagues, who all seemed to respond negatively,  and started to pick up the phone to make some phone calls. Next he showed me the half-finished cheque and explained he needed a second authorized signature on it, and told me to wait a minute while he walked out of the bank.

From there on it took a good 15 to 20 minutes, and just when I started to imaging what he might be doing out there with my money, he came back in the bank, with a wet shirt since it was raining outside, explaining he had to walk to the nearest KTB branch to find a colleague who was also authorized to sign. Maybe for next time I should consider just getting the money in cash, even though this would result in a huge pile of bills.

The final result of all the waiting... :)

The final result of all the waiting… :)

So the following day I could pay my tuition fees at the Sasin Finance Office, and I registered for all classes for the coming quarter. Why we still have to register for the mandatory courses in the coming quarter beats me, we all have to do the same courses and there will be no exceptions made. But at least I don’t have to worry about this for another couple of months; until the second quarter starts at least that is.

For questions/remarks you can contact me at: eric@stuckinthailand.com

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