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Epsom College Malaysia

(14 Posts)
Avebury Wed 02-Mar-16 08:34:47

Just wondering if anyone has any knowledge of this school or advice about living in Malaysia in general.

DH is a teacher and has spotted a job he is keen to apply for and I have no idea whether to support or discourage.

We have three primary aged DC and whilst part of me would be up for a big adventure and to give them the chance to experience a different culture the other part of me wonders if it would just be 'too' different for us all.

Any inside info much appreciated.

fatowl Wed 02-Mar-16 11:13:36

I've lived in Malaysia for 12 years.

DHs job brought us here originally but I am now a Governor at my DDs' school and I teach ESL and English Lit at another smaller school.

Epsom is still a newly established school (been running 3ish years)
I've heard good things about the senior school but heard there were issues around the prep school, the head was unpopular (with staff and parents) but has now gone but there have been some ongoing staffing issues.
It is still not full apparently and feels a bit "empty".
It's a long school day 8.15-6pm (but I think this is normal for boarding)
It's near Sepang, so it is a good way out of KL centre and transport links are minimal, so you would have to drive to social events, or live further away and commute to school. (As it's a boarding school, you might have to live on site, this would mean your entire social life is based around the school- and you are a long way from anything else, except the F1 circuit)

There are a lot of international schools in KL recruiting - also look at ALice Smith, Garden International, Desa Park City School, British School of Kuala Lumpur. All good, reputable schools. All competing for well qualified experienced UK staff for next academic year.

Living in Malaysia is fine, when job seeking, check if you will be paid in £, $ or RM (the exchange rate is not good atm), you need medical, housing, and education for all your dc as a minimum.

Regarding whether it would be "too different", that would depend entirely on your approach. You can very easily live in an expat bubble or embrace the culture completely. Most people do something inbetween.
My DC go to one of the major expat schools and most of my good friends are also expat (though not all British by any means), my local experience comes from work - I am at a much smaller "international" school, which is totally aimed at the local market (the state system is not fit for purpose) and I'm the only expat on the staff. You know you're in proper Malaysia when you are no longer surprised that someone has left you a bag of dried fish on your desk.

Kuala Lumpur itself is not that interesting a place after a while, but it's a great base to travel from - Singapore, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam all accessible easily.

Avebury Wed 02-Mar-16 11:18:12

Very helpful - thank you so much. And the dried fish comment made me smile!

fatowl Wed 02-Mar-16 11:28:31

The dried fish is the local equivalent of bringing someone a stick of rock back from holiday. Our staff room always stinks of dried fish first day back.

Bet it doesn't at Epsom though

Avebury Wed 02-Mar-16 13:50:02

I can't say that the smell of dried fish is selling the place to me....

Avebury Wed 02-Mar-16 23:23:52

One more question - sorry. Are flight prices to places like Bali, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia reasonable enough to make travel viable?

Laptopwieldingharpy Thu 03-Mar-16 00:23:18

Have a look at the following airlines.
Use malaysia as your home site
Tiger airways
Jet star
Air asia

There are also lots of national carriers that use KL as a layover or major asian destinations as layovers en route to and from KL.
We use skyscanner to find those flights

NatD1 Thu 03-Mar-16 07:40:06

Hi. I've just moved to KL. No idea about Epsom - sorry. BUT I'm loving the cheap flights prices! Already have 2 trips booked. I'd say that's a huge advantage of being here - the opportunities for travel.

fatowl Thu 03-Mar-16 07:41:54

Air Asia will be your friend. As good (and sometimes better than MAS) and prices comparable to RyanAir/Easy Jet.

Avebury Thu 03-Mar-16 08:37:20

Brilliant - thanks all.

Lolarhamster Sat 02-Jul-16 12:32:55

Maybe too late for your application but to set the record straight. It's a good school - the kids are thriving. First results out this summer.

It is a growing school and numbers increase with intakes twice a year.

Staff benefits include discount on tune and airasia. Staff travel extensively.

Small class sizes in some year groups mean less marking and more time to know the students. This is win for teacher and students. Working in a boarding school includes duties. Currently - running /helping at a CCA twice a week from 4-530. Boarding House homework supervision evening duty from 6-11 once a fortnight. One Saturday afternoon from 1-4 once a 1/2 term. One Sunday 9-5 once a 1/2 term.

Old head was fab - the staff were gutted when he returned to the UK for family reasons.

No one, who had their eyes open to the boarding side of it, are disappointed in the move to Malaysia. Adverts have been to increase numbers not to replace many staff. Staff retention is high and the common room are a good bunch. They play sports rugby, football, cricket, squash, netball, basketball once a week and they have a staff band etc; they also have social time together in the on site common room. The staff children are all friends ( older ones babysit for younger ones) and also have a good social life.

The location is out of KL town and does involve a special trip to an expat supermarket (30 mins), but car hire is cheap, or buying a car is reasonable, petrol is cheap. Fast train to KL is 20 mins. You can jump the train at 6pm on a Wednesday (ladies drink free in some places so the wife likes it) and be eating and drinking in KL by 7pm. Taxi back to Epsom is about 80-120 rm.

Hope this helps. Check out the FB and Twitter too - it's good to work here!

Avebury Sat 02-Jul-16 14:30:35

Very helpful - thank you. Would you mind if I sent you a pm?

Lolarhamster Sat 02-Jul-16 14:40:49

of course.

Lolarhamster Sat 02-Jul-16 14:41:38

That should have read - of course you can or of course not grin

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