Advice on International Schools in Bangkok please

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Advice on International Schools in Bangkok please


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Old 26th November 2015, 03:04 PM
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Default Advice on International Schools in Bangkok please

Hi, I am hoping to move to Bangkok with my husband and two boys. We currently live in Kolkata India and the selection of international schools is very poor here. It seems that unless you choose one of the top 3 schools it's impossible to get a decent international education. And that obviously entails large fees, which is fine if you're on an expat package but we won't be. I expect this may also be the case in Bangkok (and this is what I've read on the web). So I have a couple of questions...

Is it possible to get a good education at one of the international schools in the middle of the price range?

Does anyone know if the mid-range schools would be able to cater for a gifted child?

Is it possible to live close to a good school? We would like to get housing in the mid price range (I understand we can get a reasonable 2 bed property for around 40,000 per month) and live quite close to school, does anyone know if this is a possibility? (can you advise on areas/schools?)

Oh and one more kids related question but not about schools - where do kids play outdoors? Do apartment blocks / condos usually have any outdoor space / playground? Or do kids usually go to the park?

Thanks, Lia

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Old 27th November 2015, 07:10 AM
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Hi, you don't mention the age of your boys so we don't know if you need primary or secondary schools, but anyway...

There is a large variety of schools in BKK, from progressive learning systems to UK traditional public school style education.

We also have two boys and looked at several options and actually we found that the prices were failrly similar (meaning that they were all so expensive that if you could pay for the "cheapest" it wouldn't be much of a stretch to pay for the next one up).

There may be more price variance in secondary schools as our boys are primary age.

We live about 40m from the school that my boys attend (but we do pay around double the budget you are suggesting, for a three bed). The traffic is so bad in BKK that this was a precondition for us. We would not allow our kids to lose an hour or more of their day commuting to school. Childhood is too precious for that.

Our kids play in a mixture of places. Indoor play parks are very common. Most condos also have a small play area, but it may or may not be well maintained and safe and thay won't stand it there for long. The pool area is the most popular. BKK is not famous for public parks, but there are some and they can be quite pleasant and have children's play areas, but you may have to travel to get to them.

I won't comment on the "gifted" child capabilities of schools (in my experience, most "gifted" children are actually just normal children that their parents are, justifiably being their parents, glorifying).

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Old 27th November 2015, 08:37 AM
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Doh...yeah ages of the boys might have been helpful alright! They are 6 and 3.

That's interesting that you found the prices similar...did you also find that the educational standard is similar between schools?

Ha ha, yes I would imagine that there are plenty of parents who 'glorify'! I've been shying away from the gifted idea for a long time because I've been scared of falling into the glorifying trap but lately I'm starting to wonder if he may actually be gifted after all. We don't have a diagnosis as such yet....it still may turn out to be a learning disorder! It seems though that schools are better equiped to handle learning disorders than giftedness, so I thought I'd better check it out before I make any assumptions! I suppose that question might be better directed to schools themselves.

Have you come across any schools that you would definitely advise against?

How do they operate in Bangkok, do they keep a few places open year round to cater for international students arriving half way through the year?

Are there particular areas of town that expat families live as opposed to childless expats? In Kolkata we are not very close to the expat community and it's been difficult for the kids to make close friendships so I'm keen to avoid that happening again. The ideal would be to live close to school and close to the expat community and I'm not sure how easy that will prove to be.

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Old 27th November 2015, 09:46 PM
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Hey, Have you came across St.Andrews Intl School?(sukhumvit 71 campus) It is a pretty decent school since I spent 6 years there, so I am speaking from experienced. it is a medium sized international school. It is not as expensive as Harrow, Shewsbury or Bangkok Pattana.

You can definitely get a place arojnd 40k around the school. Either Ekamai or Thonglor is fine.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I am a local Thai living in Bangkok.

Tom

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Old 5th December 2015, 05:38 AM
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Thanks Tom, I'll look into St Andrews. Can you recommend any other mid-priced schools to me? (I'm sure St Andrews is fine, but just in case they have no places or some other problem)

So there are expat families living in Ekamai and Thonglor?

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Old 18th December 2015, 07:20 AM
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You will also need to consider where you want to live in Bangkok, it is a very big city. For example if you want to live in the centre say around Sukhumvit, then that would instantly discount many schools such as Harrow which is a long way from there.

I am assuming either you or your husband have been offered a job out here, it is worthwhile seeing if the company offers any kind of education financial support for relocations.

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Old 18th December 2015, 07:28 AM
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Thanks Andyw1981, that's pretty much the point, I'm trying to figure out where we can move that will be close to a good school and expat families. Here in Kolkata we messed up, we're not close to the good schools nor the expat families. I want to make sure that doesn't happen again! Are there one or two areas where expat families are located?

We haven't got a job there yet. There's a possibility my husband may be able to move out there with his current company as they want to start something in Bangkok, but even if they decide not to then we will still be looking for jobs there.

<Snip>


Last edited by Asian Spirit; 18th December 2015 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 18th December 2015, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delancepants View Post
Thanks Andyw1981, that's pretty much the point, I'm trying to figure out where we can move that will be close to a good school and expat families. Here in Kolkata we messed up, we're not close to the good schools nor the expat families. I want to make sure that doesn't happen again! Are there one or two areas where expat families are located?

We haven't got a job there yet. There's a possibility my husband may be able to move out there with his current company as they want to start something in Bangkok, but even if they decide not to then we will still be looking for jobs there.
Hi,

Sorry I don't normally use any forums, I was just passing by while looking for some information on something different, and thought I would try and help.

I live in a complex of one of the schools as my wife is a teacher. Often around the international schools expat communities exist. You would really need to find out where in Bangkok your husband is likely to be working. Otherwise you run the risk of either the school run taking a couple of hours each way, or your husbands work commute taking as long instead. For example where I live if I want to travel into Bangkok to Sukhumvit area, on a good clear day with no traffic I can get there by taxi in 45 mins, during rush hour that's going to more like 2.5 hours.

In terms of fees from what I have found you really will get what you pay for, simply because the international schools, need to pay big wages to lure the good teachers over from the UK.

Andy


Last edited by Asian Spirit; 18th December 2015 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 18th December 2015, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ptp.unha View Post
Hey, Have you came across St.Andrews Intl School?(sukhumvit 71 campus) It is a pretty decent school since I spent 6 years there, so I am speaking from experienced. it is a medium sized international school. It is not as expensive as Harrow, Shewsbury or Bangkok Pattana.

You can definitely get a place arojnd 40k around the school. Either Ekamai or Thonglor is fine.

Feel free to ask me any questions. I am a local Thai living in Bangkok.

Tom
I think you might be slightly mistaken, St Andrews fees are around 500k thb per year. It may have been subsidised when you went there. However I agree it is still cheaper than the top schools.


Last edited by Andyw1981; 18th December 2015 at 07:44 AM. Reason: more information
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Old 18th December 2015, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Andy, this is really helpful. Yeah I know from my brief visits that traffic is an issue and it's really important to me that we don't end up spending half our life in traffic. I was thinking it might be best to choose a school and house on the bts line (even though I know this will be more expensive).

I think you're right, it would be best to have an idea of where my husband will be working. I'll have to get him to talk to his boss and see how things might pan out.

So in terms of schools then, I'm assuming from your comments that I should eliminate the cheapest of the international schools. As you say the most expensive ones should logically have the best teachers, but as someone who lives there, do you know if the schools in the middle of the price range are any good? (Here in Kolkata everything is topsy turvy and I've learned never to take anything for granted, instead always get first hand advice!)

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