Moving to another country can be an exciting and scary thing. So much to do! Pack up the house, pack up the kids, make sure visas are in place, and find a good school for your children. For expats that move to Thailand, many parents prefer international schools over Thai private schools.
While private schools may be cheaper, most follow a Thai curriculum, and the majority of the language within the school that is spoken is Thai. If your children aren’t Thai, this will be an overwhelming and seemingly impossible challenge for them! There are a few things to check when choosing an international school in Bangkok that is appropriate for the whole family. Most parents prefer international curriculums that top-tier international schools offer.
Make the Curriculum A Priority
Many top international schools in Thailand will follow one of the three Western countries to adapt their curriculum from—either an American, British, or Australian curriculum. If you are moving from one of these countries, it might be good to find a curriculum that matches your home country. Your children are already familiar with the concepts and can usually blend in seamlessly to their new school.
If you don’t come from these countries, you may want to research each curriculum to find out which one might be the best fit for your child. Choosing from one of these three curricula is a great place to start when looking for international schools.
Check What Extras are Offered
Many international schools will offer much more beyond just the curriculum. It’s important to know all that can be offered to your child.
Research and be sure to ask about:
- ECA’s (extracurricular activities) and after-school clubs
- Sports teams
- Performing Arts offerings: School bands/orchestra, Theatre groups, etc.
- Special events and activities throughout the year
- PTA groups
Many international schools will offer at least a few things on this list. Well-established schools that have been around for over a decade will typically be supported enough to offer all of the above and more.
Think About Nutrition
It might sound a bit strange but be sure to check out the kitchens and see what menus are available! In Thailand, the main courses are rice and noodle-based with usually pork or chicken accompanied on the dish. Some quality international schools will offer a Western menu in addition to Thai food, so picky eaters will have a more balanced meal.
In researching beyond just the academics, it can really improve your results to find a school that truly fits your child’s needs and aspirations.