Choosing an International
School in Bangkok
When it comes to selecting an International School in Bangkok , the city of Angels undoubtedly has the biggest choice. Whilst the majority run on a British or American curriculum and have a multi-national intake, there are also Australian, Singaporean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, French and Swiss/German curriculum based schools.
These schools do not share the same school year as the Thai academic calendar ( mid May through to mid March ) but are rather based on the international school year from mid August/early September to June/early July.
International school fees are not cheap but these schools do offer a good quality education. A cheaper alternative is a Mini English Program (MEP) which is a private program usually run within a Thai government school. A Mini English Program will offer tuition jointly in both Thai and English, with Math, Science and some Social Studies being taught through the medium of English and the rest of the curriculum being taught in Thai. Students attending an MEP program need to know sufficient Thai in order to be successful in their studies.
Tuition in the International Schools of Bangkok
No matter what curriculum, an international school in Thailand must teach Thai Studies. This is a requirement of the Thai Ministry of Education and regardless of which system an international school follows; its students must attend classes in Thai language and Thai cultural studies.
Philosophies and teaching methods in international schools are learner centered, with an emphasis on creating independent learners. The standard Thai system in government schools is still very much based on rote learning of the 'talk and chalk' variety, which explains why most students, even after 6 years of learning English, do not have communicative competence in a foreign language.
Which International School in Bangkok?
There have been international schools in Bangkok since 1957 and there is now a huge range of pre-schools, kindergartens, secondary schools and international programs at tertiary level. The majority of students attending international schools are multi-national, although some Thai parents also send their children.
A few of the more well known international schools in Bangkok are Shrewsbury International School (British), Harrow International School (British), The Regents School (British), International School of Bangkok (American), Ekamai International School (American), Australian International School of Bangkok, Lycee Francais International de Bangkok (French), Ruamrudee International School (German/Swiss)
St Andrews International School has four schools in Bangkok and also has a special needs support center. St Andrews provides assistance in seeking professional help for children with special needs and can also assist those attending other schools. Their website gives details.
The Concordian International School (CIS) in Samut Prakarn is unusual as it offers tri-lingual education in Mandarin, English and Thai. Aside from English, Chinese is the fastest growing foreign language currently being studied in Thailand, mainly due to China's expanding economic strength in the global market. Many students here are from a Thai-Chinese background. For more information visit their website.
An alternative to sending your child to an international school in Bangkok, is home schooling. If living in Bangkok, there is a support network for families who choose this route. This group meets twice a month.
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