Finding an international school in Bangkok

 

 

Bangkok, the melting pot of Asia and one of the world’s expat havens, would understandably abound in international school options for students of various nationalities.

With the many expatriates who come to Bangkok as employees of multinational corporations, the abundance of competent and well-equipped international schools is indeed a convenience and a comfort.

Because of the big expat population, Bangkok also offers a wide range of international schools. Topping the list is the Harrow International School, which originated from London. It is a coed institution patterned from the curriculum of the British public school system. The International School of Bangkok (ISB) is another good option. It is recognised as one of the finest international schools in Asia since 1951. IBS on the other hand, follows the American educational system though most of its experienced teachers came from different countries. 

Here are some fast facts about the international schools dotting the city of Bangkok.

Criteria

Although there is never a dearth of international schools to choose from in Bangkok , the lack of clear-cut criteria for classifying a school as “international” has led some to question the international status claims of some schools. The International Schools’ Association of Thailand lists some 75 member schools as of the year 2006. The following are the widely acknowledged criteria for the inclusion of a school into the International Schools category:

• The curriculum in use must either be British, American, Australian, Swiss or German.

• It should be duly accredited by foreign accreditation bodies.

• There are a higher percentage of foreign students, mostly children of embassy officials, foreign businessmen and foreign missionaries.

• There are a higher percentage of foreign teachers.

Grade Levels

International schools provide education to all ages - from as young as 18-month old preschoolers to college students and advanced study.  The grade levels are outlined in the following hierarchy:

• Nursery, Day Care and Pre-kindergarten Schools - for children 18 months to 3 years old

• Kindergarten, Play Group and Pre-school - for children of ages 3 to 6 years

• Primary or Elementary School - grades 1 to 6

• Junior High School or Middle School - grades 7 to 9

• Senior High School - grades 10 to 12 or 13

• College - undergraduate and post-graduate

Curricula

The curriculum in use could be British, American, Australian, French or Swiss/German. Or it could also be based on a particular sect such as Protestant or Catholic. There may be some overlaps as some boarding schools also function as Christian schools and vice versa.

• International Boarding Schools offer bed and board for live-in students. Within Bangkok, there are two international boarding schools - the American School of Bangkok and the Rasami International School.

• American International Schools are accredited by US accreditation organisations as well as by the Royal Thai Ministry of Education. There are about 10 American schools in Bangkok City.

• Christian International Schools are based on Christian educational principles and could be Catholic or Protestant. There are about 8 such schools within Bangkok.

• British International Schools particularly abound in Bangkok due to the historical ties between the royal families of Thailand and Britain. There are about 15 British schools in Bangkok.

Tuition

Tuition fees vary from as low as 2,000 Baht to as high as 700,000 Baht.

Some Notable International Schools in Bangkok

International School Bangkok (ISB)

  • Existing for half a decade now, the International School of Bangkok has a solid reputation for being a premier international school.  Using a North American curriculum, this international school boasts a faculty body possessing the most advanced education and a student populace of high aptitude. Set within a 35-acre campus, ISB offers elementary to high school education, catering mostly to children of expatriates. Facilities include sophisticated computer labs, computers in every classroom and an enormous library.

Address: 39/7 SoiNichadaThani, Samakee Road, Pakkret, Nonnthaburi

Tuition: 4,500 to 743,000 Baht

Shrewsbury International School

  • A first-rate international school which has a British curriculum is Shrewsbury International School. It is known in Bangkok as a school which produces well-rounded students, excelling both in academic as well as extra-curricular and community outreach activities. The school has European-grade facilities such as modern science labs, a fine music school, an 800-seat auditorium, a gym, a swimming pool and several sports fields. Admission requirement is strict as older children are admitted only when they have good command of the English language. Shrewsbury offers kindergarten to high school education.

 

 

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