Moving your family to another country can be an adventure, and it brings a whole set of new challenges. For children, the stresses of moving and attending a new school are only amplified by doing so on the other side of the world. However, you can smooth things out by choosing the right school for your child. Here are a few tips on how to pick the perfect international school for your child in Thailand.
The Financial Considerations
Parents tend to choose schools based on reputation and cost. Before you pick a school based on its initial price tag, take the time to research all of the associated fees. Facility fees, extracurricular fees and other costs may be added to the final bill. Don’t pick a school based on your ability to pay the baseline tuition and have no money left over for anything else.
The best international school for your child will share the curriculum they were already enrolled in at home or match an internationally followed curriculum that they can stick with throughout their academic career. Know that some large international schools will give you a choice of two or more programs, while smaller schools will only teach according to one curriculum.
Bangkok in particular is known for its dense traffic. The perfect international school for your child should be close to home; ideally no longer than a ten-minute trip on public transit or by car. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a school that would be an hours’ drive back home since it could easily turn into a two-hour trip via bus or car in Bangkok. Some schools offer bus transfers or private busing, but you need to know this for certain before signing up.
Amenities and Activities
You shouldn’t pick a school for your child simply because it has world-class sports facilities or has a chess club. However, if you’re choosing between two international schools, one that lets your child play sports they love will have that in its favor. Learning to play a sport they’ll keep up throughout their school years is a great way to be able to bond with classmates wherever they end up.
A good Thailand international school will offer a variety of activities like sports, academic clubs and enrichments. The best schools have plenty of after-school activities to keep kids busy when class is out. Perhaps the school takes your children on field trips of local landmarks or to do charitable work. If you have a little artist, a strong arts program may help your child learn to love their new school.
On the flipside, expensive facilities aren’t a guarantee that a school has great teachers. And a school that has computers older than the students isn’t going to prepare them to keep up in an increasingly technology-oriented world. Also, if the walls are crumbling, for example, they probably aren’t able to afford good teachers either.
Create a list of all international schools in the area where you’ll be living. Then research the factors we’ve listed above to find the perfect international school for your child.