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Education & Schools

Bangkok - Education & Schools

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Education is compulsory for all Thai children aged between six to fifteen. Government schools and public schools are free for Thai children only. Formal education in Thai government / public schools is at least twelve years, of which nine are mandatory for all Thai children.

Expatriates who wish to send their children to Thailand's local schools would want to note that the language of instruction is in Thai. In some schools, expatriate children are asked to take Thai language competency tests to ensure that they will be able to follow the lessons. There are government schools that run an English language program for expatriates, and the program varies from school to school. This is a less expensive option for expatriates, rather than sending their children to international schools. There are several international schools in Bangkok that are based on either the American or the British system, and some offer the International Baccalaureate program. All schools operating in Thailand both the international as well as the government / public schools - must include Thai studies as part of their education program.

The International Schools Association of Thailand has a helpful website with information on 45 international schools operating in Thailand. There is a search engine to help parents learn more about the international schools located in their region. For expatriates looking for a more comprehensive listings of educational institutions in Bangkok, try the Portal for Education in Thailand website. The website lists 72 educational institutions in the Bangkok region, and provides website links to the individual educational institutions. For more information about education opportunities, you may wish to contact the Thai Ministry of Education at Tel +02 281 3441.

All government / public Thai schools have two main holidays in a year in October for a month, and in March and April for two months. International / private schools operating in Thailand may or may not follow the government school's calendar check with the individual school of your choice. Do note that some popular international schools often have a long waitlist. In some cases, some expatriate parents book places with different schools, and hope for a place, as there is usually some shuffling between and during school terms, especially when expatriates leave the country.

For pre-school options, the number of establishments offering internationally recognized accreditation is always on the rise. Expatriates with pre-school children should not have much difficulty finding a suitable school. Many websites provide information and contact details of such schools. Try www.bambiweb.org, a website that is maintained by the Bangkok Mothers and Babies International. This website lists around 50 such schools according to region, and also organizes playgroups and offers resources for expectant mothers.

Expatriates wishing to attend tertiary-level education in Bangkok will find a decent range of choice. Some expatriates who are teaching in Bangkok take the opportunity to pursue a MBA at the same time. Bangkok is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious Thai universities, among them, The Chulalongkorn University (Thailand's oldest university and globally ranked 444th among 4,000 universities), Kasetsart University (globally ranked 544th) and The Thammasat University (globally ranked 850) has six campuses throughout Thailand, but its main campus is in Bangkok.

Expatriates wishing to enroll their children into schools (be it private or international) will need to bring along their documents such as valid visas, passports, birth and health certificates of the child(ren) and immunization records. To enroll in higher education schools, the additional documents will include school certificates (High school certificate or equivalent) and academic records from previous schools.

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

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Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.