Thailand has grown in stature in terms of its role on the world stage and has now become one of ASEAN’s dominant players and indeed all of Southeast Asia. Bangkok has a thriving and bustling business district home to multinational companies operating in every business sector. Startup and SMEs also enjoy significant success, and Thailand’s is regarded as being economically strong compared to other countries, not just in the region but also around the world.
Multinational organisations and SMEs often rely on expats’ expert knowledge, and indeed the fact that Bangkok is an incredibly cosmopolitan city is an appropriate illustration. As many of these expats have families, it is vital that their children can enjoy high the highest levels of education. Of course, this is has been recognised by all conglomerates, the BOI and all other relevant stakeholders. As such, Bangkok arguably has some of Southeast Asia’s top international schools. The quality of some international schools in Bangkok is often one of the deciding factors for foreigners looking to work in Asia.
International schools in Bangkok
Fortunately, Bangkok has an abundance of excellent international schools catering for expats from around the world along with local children whose parents are determined for their child to get a better standard of education. Bangkok has a large Japanese and Korean community as well as Europeans speaking a variety of languages. Naturally, all of these groups need to be accommodated for, and you will find international schools providing provision for all nationalities.
English and American schools are amongst the most prevalent with parents from various countries favouring their curriculum. Although many of the schools are based in and around downtown Bangkok, there are plenty of schools in the outlying districts such as the Harrow International School, conveniently located in the Don Mueang sub-district. In many ways, these schools are preferable due to the better air quality and less congestion when travelling to and from school.
What different curriculums are available?
Bangkok is one of the most multicultural cities in the region. The English and American curriculum are the most popular; many expats prefer their children to be taught along the lines as they would in their “home” country. There are Japanese schools in Bangkok, Thai-Singaporean, and various European language schools and schools teaching international baccalaureate. It is something that brings reassurance to parents as well as boosting Bangkok’s standing on the international stage.
Many international conglomerates already have deals in place with international schools in Thailand that can benefit parents and students alike. However, if you need to find a school for your child, teaching a specific curriculum, several websites can assist you. Of course, we would always recommend visiting any school first, getting feedback from other parents and doing further due diligence by researching reputable online review sites. Planning which school to send your child to is never something that should be rushed.
Most international schools in and around Bangkok boast world-class facilities that would be the envy of others around the world. A lot of this can be attributed to the funding that they receive in terms of tuition fees, but also, it is partly down to the relatively low cost of land which is available for educational establishments. Outstanding facilities will undoubtedly be a tremendous asset when it comes to delivering a quality of education. While international schools in other parts of Southeast Asia have great facilities, they are often not the same standard as those available in Bangkok.
Schools such as Harrow International School Bangkok have large, expansive campuses which are superb learning environments. Several schools have fantastic sporting facilities and the latest technology that assists in most subjects, particularly the sciences. Extracurricular activities are offered that also help broaden students horizons and give them a solid foundation for their further educational needs and prepare them for adulthood.
Quality of teachers
Of course, having superb facilities is fantastic, but they are no substitute for quality teachers. The best international schools in Bangkok only employ native teachers who have gained their teaching qualifications back in their home country. It should be appreciated that this in itself is no guarantee for the quality of the teaching, as this is mostly down to the individual. Still, it does give a solid baseline upon which teacher selections can be made. All teachers employed at the top schools will have undergone a rigorous interview process to ensure that both parties are the ideal fit.
Fortunately, Thailand and Bangkok, in particular, is an attractive proposition for young, ambitious and skilled teachers. It results in a large number of applications for each post, most coming from high-calibre individuals. As such, schools are blessed with the opportunity to pick from the “cream of the crop” which reinforces the point that international schools in Bangkok are amongst the best in Southeast Asia.
Strengthening Thailand’s position
Finally, the role played by the government and BOI shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to the point of international schools. For several years, the country has been keen to encourage overseas investment, and they have recognised the importance of quality schooling when it comes to strengthening Thailand’s global position. While schools predominantly recruit foreign or mixed-race students, an increasing number of Thais are now attending, further bolstering the country’s talent pool.
Thailand now has some of the most promising graduates in the fields of engineering, science and technology and many will have been educated at international schools within Thailand. It would have been inconceivable a couple of decades ago to discuss the local talent pool in the same breath as Singapore, Japan and perhaps even Malaysia and Korea, but that is no longer the case. Thailand is one of the dominant forces within ASEAN, and this is in no small part down to the quality of the education offered by international schools.
It is a growing trend and something that will continue for years and decades to come, making Bangkok the home of some of Southeast Asia’s top international schools.