A Guide on Choosing International Schools in Thailand as an Expat
If you’re one of the many expats looking to move in to Thailand, arranging the education of your children is of utmost importance. For most people, enrolling their children in an international school is the most popular choice. It’s important to do your own research to find out which school provides the best learning experience possible for your children. Whether if you’re looking for international schools in Nonthaburi or Bangkok, this guide will help you make an informed decision about choosing the right international school for your children.
International Schools in Thailand
Many expats choose to enroll their children in an international school in Thailand for good reason. International schools adopt different international curriculums such as Edexcel, International Baccalaureate, or any other national curriculum. The advantage is that your children can continue their education in Thailand with a curriculum that they’re already familiar with.
This allows overseas children to have a seamless transition when it comes to studying in Thailand. International schools mainly focus on teaching in the English language, but other languages such as Thai are often taught as well. International schools also have an advantage over public schools in terms of facilities and the overall quality of teaching and education. If you’re looking to secure a better education for your children in Thailand, enrolling them in an international school is a good idea.
Thailand’s International School Tier System
The international schools in Thailand are categorized into a tier system which goes from Tier 1 to Tier 3. Factors that affect the tier ranking of an international school are its facilities, funding, quality of teaching, and many more. Here are the general guidelines for the tier system of international schools in Thailand:
The best schools in Thailand fall under the Tier 1 category. International schools in the Tier 1 system usually receive a number of different accreditations that are both national and international. The quality of education is very high and admission to the best schools are very competitive through an entrance exam. Entrance fees in Tier 1 schools are expensive which is to be expected since you’ll be paying for top-notch learning experiences for your children.
Only highly qualified teachers are selected to teach in Tier 1 schools, mainly Western educators who have the ability to greatly inspire and educate their students. Schools in this category are usually owned by wealthy individuals or they operate as foundation schools.
Schools that are owned by big corporations or investors fall under the Tier 2 category. The quality of education is very good and you’ll find most students to be Thai who are interested in learning in an international environment. International schools in the Tier 2 system usually have fewer accreditations compared to Tier 1 schools, with at least one international accreditation and a number of national certificates.
School fees at Tier 2 schools are still high, but are starting to become more affordable compared to the expensive Tier 1 schools. You’ll also find fewer Western teachers in Tier 2 schools.
Tier 3 international schools are the most affordable out of the 3 and hold only local accreditation certificates. Here, you’ll find most of the teaching faculty are comprised of local Thai teachers and the fees are pocket-friendly compared to the previous school tiers. The quality of education is good when compared to public schools, but is nowhere near as good as the previous tiers mentioned.
Still, if you’re looking for a school that’s affordable and provides an international learning environment for your children, Tier 3 schools are a good option. Keep in mind that the Tier system is a general guideline only and should not be used as the final hammer of judgment.
Curriculums offered at International Schools in Thailand
International schools in Thailand use a wide range of different curriculums depending on which school you choose. It’s important to know the curriculums so you can make the best decision regarding your child’s education. Usually, expats enroll their children in international schools so they can continue learning under the same curriculum as that of their home country, which makes the transition phase much easier.
The three main curriculums international schools in Thailand are:
- British Curriculum
- American Curriculum
- International Baccalaureate
The most common curriculum is the British curriculum which accounts for more than half of the international schools in Thailand. The second most popular is the American Curriculum followed by the International Baccalaureate. Other curriculums are also available like German, French, Australian, Singaporean, and many more. Choosing a school which offers a curriculum your child is familiar with allows them to continue their education without having to study new subjects.
School calendar in International Schools in Thailand
International schools in Thailand adopt an academic calendar that is quite similar to Western schools. The school year begins in August and ends in June, with semestral breaks during the Christmas season and Easter. In comparison, the traditional Thai school calendar begins in May and ends in February, with students having semestral breaks during the month of April.
With the growth of international schools rising and the demand for the English-medium education increasing, expats can confidently enroll their children in international schools and receive quality education. Securing a better education for your children is an important factor to consider so take the time to do your research and choose an international school that you believe fits your children best.
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