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Education is a high priority for expats moving to Thailand with children. Public schools in Bangkok are usually overcrowded, internationally uncompetitive, and teach only in Thai. There is, however, a host of suitable schools in Bangkok for expat parents to consider for their children.
International schools in the city offer expat parents all that they would expect of a good school, including high-quality amenities, a wide selection of extramural activities and highly qualified teachers.
Public schools in Bangkok
Public education in Bangkok is free for Thai nationals up to the age of 13, whereafter most schools will charge fees. The language of education in public schools is Thai, and the standards of teaching may not be what expats would expect in their home country.
These issues have left most expats restricted to choosing between the private and international schools in Bangkok, which are thankfully plentiful and usually have a good reputation.
Private schools in Bangkok
Many students attend private schools in Bangkok which follow foreign curricula. The private schools in Bangkok are usually popular with wealthier Thai families and give expats a cheaper alternative to international schools.
The fact that local children usually make up the majority of the student body means that expat students will be exposed to local culture more than they might be in one of the international schools in Bangkok.
International schools in Bangkok
Bangkok’s international schools usually follow the curriculum of other countries, the most popular being the British and American systems.
The vast majority of international schools in Bangkok will require prospective students to write entrance tests and undergo a rigorous application process due to the limited number of places they offer. Some international schools will only accept students of a particular nationality.
The International Schools Association of Thailand (ISAT) lists all the member schools and, although there are other schools that offer a good standard of education, all ISAT members meet international standards. The best international schools in Bangkok can be very costly, depending on the age of the child, and will usually have a fairly long waiting list.
Are you an expat living in Bangkok?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Bangkok. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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