More and more families are turning to the expat life, as the tax free salaries and numerous perks allow you to actually save money, rather than struggling to meet the rising cost of living in the UK. While Bangkok is a great place to work and certainly has lots to offer the expat, choosing the right school for your children is not something to be taken lightly, and if you and your partner have secured a great expat package in the City of Angels, here’s a rundown of the top 5 international schools, and some details about what they have to offer the young expat learner.
- NIST International School – The campus is located on Soi 15 on Sukhumvit Road, and this forward thinking school is actually a non-profit organisation that offers a total of 3 world class International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, and with easy access via Nana or Asok BTS stations, the campus is ideally located. The school is a firm believer in active learning and their focus is to help their students reach their full potential, and with a dynamic curriculum that is delivered by qualified UK teachers, the students are encouraged to ask questions. NIST understands that good education requires the participation of the parents, teachers and students, and they are dedicated to creating and maintaining the ideal learning environment. The school accepts students from Year 1 to Year 13, and they have an impressive record of academic excellence, with many NIST students going on to study at world famous universities around the world. The school grounds house excellent sporting facilities, with a soccer pitch, swimming pool and, of course, tennis courts, and with project-based learning playing a major role, the grounds are often used instead of the classroom.
- Bangkok Prep – Bangkok Prep is located in Sukhumvit Soi 53, which is but a few paces from Thong Lor BTS station, making for a very convenient way for the students to travel to and from school, and they accept students from the start of primary right through to the end of the secondary section, (3-19 years of age). The school offers a British curriculum, which is the preferred direction for a vast majority of expat parents, as they themselves received an education based on the same principles, and as far as education goes, the UK has a world class reputation. When you first arrive at the school entrance, the large expanse of the grounds becomes apparent, which houses a state of the art sporting complex, a large auditorium, a block of well equipped IT rooms, and an outdoor swimming pool. The grounds are beautifully kept and the students enjoy being surrounded by nature, and if, like the majority of parents today, you feel a traditional Britsh education is the right path for your child, Bangkok Prep is the school for you.
- Bangkok Patana – The word “patana” means to develop in Thai, and this school seems to have the all the ingredients for a top class educational institute, and has been empowering young learners for more than 50 years, making it the oldest international school in Thailand. The campus is a little out of the way in Sukhumvit Soi 105, which is about 3km from Bearing Station on the BTS line. Bangkok Patana accepts students from 2-18 years and has all the facilities and amenities you would expect from a leading international school, and the non-profit school has an excellent record of achievement in academic, artistic and sporting areas. If ever there was a sports oriented school, this is it, and aside from their state of the art sporting facilities on campus, just across the road, they have use of a large sports complex, so if your child excels at sports, Bangkok Patana would be the obvious choice.
- St Andrews International school – Although St Andrews is situated in Sukhumvit Soi 107, it is only few steps from Bearing BTS station, making it accessible to students all over the city, and the school is set in a very large campus with soccer pitches, tennis and basketball courts and, of course, a swimming pool. The school follows an interactive approach, with IT playing a major role, which is a critical section of education, and the school offers the English National Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme, which are both globally recognised. St Andrews adopts a whole child policy and believes in strong leadership, with moral education playing a role, and their academic record is second to none.
- ELC City School – This is the only school on our list that doesn’t accept secondary students, and once the child has a solid primary foundation, they move on to the secondary school of their choice, having had the best possible start. The school is located in Sukhumvit Soi 49, very close to both Phrom Phong and Thong Lor BTS stations, making for convenient travel, and the landscaped terrain offers a breath of nature within the confines of a busy urban setting. As the school only accepts elementary students, the focus is more on social skill development than academic excellence, which provides the children with the necessary social skills to develop into well balanced individuals.
There are many things to consider when selecting an international school for your child, and with a combination of academic excellence, top notch facilities, an active learning approach, and a convenient location, your child will continue to develop into a caring and successful adult.