Moving to Bangkok with 2 kids...(43 Posts)
DH has been offered a job in Bangkok...we have 2 DDs (2 & 4) and I wanted to find out if anyone had recommendations on international schools/ places to live (his office is in the centre of the business area).
Feel a bit overwhelmed so any advice would be much appreciated!
My name is Jenna and I am an international student in Bangkok. I currently attend Patana and so I would definitely send my own children to it, if I was given the chance. Commute to and from Patana is relatively easy, the school now runs a shuttle bus service to and from the BTS (Skytrain) before and after school, so it is not difficult to get to at all. I live right bang smack in the middle of the city (Phloenchit) and getting to and from school only takes me about 30 minutes.
Patana has so many wonderful facilities and extracurricular activities (my favourites are horseriding, acrylic painting and Model United Nations) and a large community. Our headmaster, Mr. Mills, is one of the friendliest people I've ever met. He knows just about every student and seems to permanently have a smile on his face.
Even though Patana is a non-selective school the academic standards remain quite high. This however does not mean that the best excel while the rest are left trailing behind, quite the opposite in fact. Everyone cares about their grades a healthy amount in Patana, and peers constantly nudge eachother to study or to complete homework. As a result of this, and because of great teachers, the average Patana student achieves good grades easily since it is the norm.
Although NIST is centrally located, it is also quite small. Nists central location also means that the school has a bit of a partying reputation. ISB has a wonderful community however it does tend to feel a little TOO close knit, Nichada (the neighborhood the school is in) is very closed off from the world and so students rarely ever leave that little bubble.
Good luck in choosing a school!! No matter what school you chose, you're kid's going to love thailand
Thank you so much for your very helpful reply. I feel better about it already. Much appreciated!
International Schools usually have strong Parents' Association and lots of fellow expat mums (and dads) in similar situations. There are also all the Clubs (for ladies who lunch) that organise lots of events outside of school, particularly for patriotic events (you'll have something for Australia Day and the Melbourne Cup, no doubt!)
Yes, Bangkok is smelly, frantically busy with traffic and non-existent footpaths, but it is a great place with so much to do and see, both in and outside of the city. NIST has a great reputation and my friend's DC are happy there.
Good luck for your move. My DC are older, but if you're lonely when you arrive, PM me and we can meet up ( I think yours will love Kidzania at Siam Paragon - expensive, but hours of fun for them). Also look at Bangkok Expats facebook page.
I've visited Bangkok 4 times now and it's an amazing city, you shouldn't worry about those things because it's not typical at all in my experience. My grown up DS has lived there in the past and it's the most fabulous place, you have an exciting time ahead of you!
Hi there. We will be moving to Bangkok with kids aged 11, 8 & 5. I didn't have much time to research before the decision had to be made. 24 hours to be precise! People are keen to tell me now that my kids will see prositutes on the streets, rats, a constant smell of drains & lots more. I'm sure there is an element of truth to this but can anyone tell me if it will really be that terrible? Is it possible to shelter the kids to a certain degree? We will be living centrally and hoping to get the kids into NIST so that all 3 can go together. Is it easy to find a network of fellow expats mums without having a baby or toddler? I wonder what my life will be like with all 3 kids at school & it's a little daunting! Grateful for any insights/advice 😊
ooops - read the year wrong !
imagine you're already there and have made your choice by now LOL!!
I have heard that of the two St Andrews schools in Bangkok, the one on soi 71 is the best (owned by Nord Anglia Education) and not 107. This has been pretty consistent feedback from all the people I have spoken to about schools in the city.
It may all be hearsay and incorrect, but I think if you have a chance to investigate other options.
Also consider if you want IGCSE/A levels or IB style curriculum. or something else entirely... if your 13 y.o is going into Year 10 and starting GCSEs, does the school have the Y12/13 programme you prefer?
Happy school hunting. We are moving to BKK in July/early August too!
I have been reading all your conversation and advises on schools. We are moving in July to BKK with 2 daughters, 9 and 13. I was looking at the schools you have mention but for the location we are considering St Andrews International School, Sukhumvit 107. Does anyone have any good advise as a parent from there? Many thanks, Ana
As mentioned Bambi is definitely worth talking to before coming out. For a really quality school at a lower price take a look at British Early Years Centre. The owners are qualified teachers and they are really up to date with current trends. The school offers a 100% organic menu and uses allergen free cleaning products. www.beyc.co.th/fr/organic.html
Hi, we are moving to Bangkok in feb 2014 and we like the look of Thonglor - Ekkamai. We have 2 kids under 3. Can anyone recommend a great complex for us to live with other expat families? Thanks
Also, I would recommend getting hold of the Bangkok Guide, produced by the ANZ Women's group - it has tons of information, very detailed and helpful and a huge section on settling in. It has just been republished so the info is very up to date
We have been here 6 months and are settling in well. Our girls are happy here, but as ripsishere said, we don't often go to parks unless it's early morning...although having said that, it's quite a lot cooler here at the moment. We have a pool so the girls swim lots, and my older girl does a few after school activities - so usually by the time school has finished and we are home they just need some down time. We have decided to join the British Club as somewhere else to go at the weekend - fab pool, baby pool, playground and cafe. It's not cheap to join but we have been there a few times already with friends and spent the whole day there so it should be a good option for weekends/ school hols.
I take my youngest to a playgroup once a week and we also do swimming lessons...so there is a fair bit to do, and I have found people to be, in the main, extremely welcoming and it has been pretty easy to make friends.
Also, having help at home is a huge benefit - it means family time is spent doing fun things rather than chores
Feel free to PM me
There are parks, but TBH, unless you are there super early or relatively late in the afternoon they are too hot. OTOH, my DD never seemed fussed by the heat.
She spent more time at the Children's museum at Chatuchak than anywhere else. She also went to Bambi playgroups and started school ASAP. More for the socializing than anything else since she is an only child.
I envy you.
Btw - if any one could share what they do with their kids day today that would be great - just wondering if there are green open play areas, toddler groups, activities for kids. Is it too hot to be outside with them loads etc? I'm finding it really hard to think how life will be as only ever visited BBK prior to have kids! Thanks xx
I know u posted a while a go but I am really intrigued to know how things worked out for u and ur family in Bangkok. DH just been offered job there and we also have two little ones (18 months and 4). Just be great to hear ur experience of settling in with kids etc so far. Xx
Thanks for the information, it has really helped, I am starting to get excited now, but I may have a
Few more practical questions at a later date if you don't mind lovely ladies
Happy see you re-assured. Bangkok is a very friendly place.
Am also one who feels much safer walking the streets of Bangkok than those of many European capitals. No hordes of moody hooded teenage yobs and a funily very relaxed pace in such a busy urban environment.
cant offer advice on schools, i guess it depends a bit on where you want to live.
I stayed with a friend in December and really liked the condos in the back streets of the Sathorn area.
Ekkamai is turning into a trendy euro enclave and also feels very relaxed considering its so central.
We lived in Bangkok for four years. I felt safer there than I did in either Switzerland or Belgium.
We did have a car and it was useful to get around, although the traffic is so horrendous sometimes it seems unecessary.
If you are at BPS, the skytrain goes right out to the end of Soi Bearing which is the road that runs parallel to Soi Lasalle.
DD had all her vax and medical treatment at BNH or Samitivej.
She had her rabies vaccinations before we got there at the London hospital for tropical diseases. They were painless.
Thanks again that is reassuring, really am very grateful for your comments.
And definitely contact Bambi, very helpful at showing new expats around:
I wouldn't worry too much if you are coming as teachers, though. Teachers are the largest expat profession in Bangkok and British ones are very common. You certainly won't be a target, and unless Patana have suddenly got very generous, you won't be living a lifestyle that warrants much attention. You are likely to be comfortable and not have much to worry about financially, but nothing that will make anyone stalk you or anything! So no need to worry about that. And you will be living in a sociable community with plenty of opportunity to make helpful and gregarious friends. Good luck!
If your husband is working at Patana, you will probably be living in Bang Na or nearby. I would say a car is a must. You can rent rather than buy from Budget, which may be easier. It's expat central round there, no shortage of Brits!
Do feel free to PM, happy to show you the ropes a bit when you get here.
Thanks for your information that really helps, school would be bps where dh would be working and we d be put up in a complex / flat near by. I guess I am simply scared of the unknown.
Can I barge in here and ask if anyone knows where the UK diplomatic staff in Bangkok send their children to school? As this would be sensitive information, if anyone knows, could they send me a pm please?
Btw, there are 1000s of British expats living in Bangkok, its really not unusual. You will find it harder to make Thai friends than you will to make British ones.
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