Children integration in a new school in Thailand

Hello everyone,

Moving abroad can be particularly hard on children. For any parent planning a move to Thailand, it is of utmost importance to make sure they do everything in their power to make sure their children’s transition is as smooth as possible. Would you be able to give a few tips to parents planning to move to Thailand by answering the following questions on children integration?

What does one need to factor in when choosing a new school for their children in Thailand?

How does one prepare their children for the transition into a new school in Thailand?

How does one help their children integrate into their new school? Any tips to help a child transitioning into a completely different new program or curriculum?

Is there an age period during which a child really should change schools?

What are the signs that a child is having trouble transitioning into their new school?

Tell us how it went for your child in Thailand.

Please share your experience,

Bhavna

What does one need to factor in when choosing a new school for their children in Thailand?    Which curriculum are you looking for? Location is the most important factor because of the heavy traffic most of the day.  A school located with easy access from your home.

How does one prepare their children for the transition into a new school in Thailand? The International schools are very good and take care of your child well with his / her transition.

Is there an age period during which a child really should change schools? I don't understand this question.  I assume if you are moving to Thailand the work you are starting dictates when your child will start school.  If not, the best time to move school would be to start the school year that for most International schools is early August.

What are the signs that a child is having trouble transitioning into their new school? Don't know since my sons did not experience any problems.

Tell us how it went for your child in Thailand. Both my sons loved the school they went to from the start.

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  Moving abroad can be particularly hard on children. For any parent planning a move to Thailand, it is of utmost importance to make sure they do everything in their power to make sure their children’s transition is as smooth as possible. Would you be able to give a few tips to parents planning to move to Thailand by answering the following questions on children integration?

  Moving abroad isn’t just hard on children, it could be even harder for adults. Kids usually adapt pretty easy, of course depending on their “new environment.”  If the new home is in Bangkok, you’re facing quite a few problems. Starting from where you’re planning to “settle down to the parent’s workplace and then, of course, the location of the school.

What does one need to factor in when choosing a new school for their children in Thailand?

Anybody with such a plan has to consider many things, let’s start with the traffic jams in Bangkok. If the apartment/condo/flat, the workplace and the kids’ school is easy to reach via the underground, or sky train, you’ll have it a lot easier. The school must be good, not only the teachers but also the facilities. You don’t want your kids sitting in a very hot classroom with 50 others, where basically no learning takes place, more a bow down and believe all that some uneducated teachers tell them, nothing else than brainwashing. But good schools are expensive and it takes a while to find the right school near the area where you’re living.

Then, of course, the financial aspect, there are schools that charge a lot of money, but the kids are taught Tinglish by Filipinos who’re often on forged degrees. The MOE (Ministry of education) doesn’t have the manpower to check on that and it’s usually the schools that have to check on a degree if it’s real or fake. I’ve made my experiences and many schools lie to you and tell you that these people would “only teach subjects”, and not English, but in reality, they don’t want to pay 40 K+ for an NES. And 40 K isn’t an amount where you’d find an experienced and licensed NES teacher with experience. Such positions are usually taken by some uneducated guys who were born in an English-speaking country, but that alone doesn’t make one to a teacher, right? The white face show!

Next problem people have to find out before they send their kids to a school is if the school is using an agency that sends Russian teachers to schools, selling them as NES teachers. It’s unbelievable what’s currently going on, corruption didn’t decrease, it increased. Money rule sand certain school have teachers who buy books much cheaper and sell them for a lot more to your kids. I know it sounds insane, but it’s true and I can prove it.

Don’t send your kids to school when they’re very young, at many schools the Kindergarten is just a place where they learn almost nothing, have lunch at 11 am, then sleep until an hour before the parents pick them up and all looks great. But it’s just window-dressing, nothing else.


How does one prepare their children for the transition into a new school in Thailand?

A strange question. You could start to learn Thai with your kids to get them familiar with a new/second language for them and they’ll have it easier to grow up bilingual. Even when some people believe that speaking English alone would be enough, it’s very stupid not to learn the language, so earlier so better.
There’s not much you can do to prepare a child for life in Thailand, to be honest. Kids are flexible and the transition might be easier for them than it is for adults.



How does one help their children integrate into their new school? Any tips to help a child transitioning into a completely different new program or curriculum?

That all depends on the children’s age. Important is that the parents explain as much as possible about the new country they’ll live in, the different culture, what they may do and what is considered as good, or bad, polite and impolite. If the children are already teenagers, it’s important to find a good school where students from other countries are who’ll then help their kids with certain things.


Is there an age period during which a child really should change schools?

What a question! Kids start with Kindergarten/Anuban then primary school from grade one to grade six. High school starts with grade 7 and goes to grade 12. There’s not enough info in your question to be more precise. They can go to a vocational college once they've finished M3, which is grade nine. When they finish high school, or grade 12, the next destination would be a good university.

What are the signs that a child is having trouble transitioning into their new school?

These children, of course, depending on their age will show changes in their behavior. There are some schools where kids of foreigners, they call them Luuk Krueng, which means half-bread ( Luuk for son/daughter, Krueng for half) undergo a very strange kind of mobbing, especially when some other kids don’t like them. Their life can change in a way that they either don’t want to go back to that school or show signs of psychological changes that the parent hadn’t experienced before. That’s why I believe it’s important to find out as much as possible before the kids start at a particular school. Some schools’ websites or brochures look fantastic, but there’s neither toilet paper, nor soap to wash their hands. Bullying is a big problem at many schools, so it’s important that the parent spends a lot of time with their kids to have their trust that they tell them all and everything.

Tell us how it went for your child in Thailand.
I’ve met my wife when her son just turned four. Even in primary school (an ordinary government school) there were kids but also teachers who were different from our son. When he attended high school, there’s an older boy who said things, like his mom would be a whore who worked in a bar before where she met her husband in Pattaya, or Nana Plaza Bangkok, etc. Such a stigma is something foreigners in Thailand have to live with because the majority of men living here, indeed found their wives at a bar. Our son had to see the director after he’d hit an older and much bigger boy right in his dumb face after the boy said something bad about me and his mom. My wife had never worked in a bar, but it’s too obvious that a lot of wives were bargirls before. You can get them out of a bar, but you can’t get the bar out of their brain, comes to mind. It's so true, but too many people just don't get that. I've been living here for 17 years now and been teaching for 14 years, so I believe I know a bit about the whole situation.

Hi Bhavna,
    I am sure that by this time you have received a lot of tips and recommendation concerning your inquiry. But I suppose, the first thing to do is to evaluate the child concern. Though you will received a few good recommendation or tips it still depends on the child ability to cope. One may ask, if he/she has a talent to mix easily, does he/she have the friendly and respectful attitude to others, does she/he never look down on anybody, does she/he a self center? All the question of " does he/she" must be taken into consideration first. I should say most of the school's aim are the same it only differs on their standard of teaching and the school ranking. 
   I hope this will help in your studies or thesis should you are doing one.

Hi Everyone and those intending to be in Thailand,

We have lived here for more than 20 years, my sons grew up here finishing their IB's after IGCSE at Bangkok Patana, one this is for sure, International schools are really expensive.

Children have to speak English, don't expect to come learn here.
Otherwise you have to get your kids to do extended or additional language classes.

Try and live where most expats stay as it gives you and the kids ease of adjusting to life in Thailand.
You can find your own way once you are established.

Be also prepared to abruptly pack and go if the company you work for suddenly cancels your contract or does not extend it. Tax is very high here so get a contract that pays for your kids education directly and not thru you as then it becomes your income.

Finally, if you are on a short trip , keep your kids in the country of origin where you are from and get them to international or private schools.

Hope this will help some of you.
Regards
Silva

Hi there.

This is never an easy subject.

Ive lived here for 9 years.

Advice number 1, do not move here unless your marriage is rock solid. 

Now saying that there are pros too...

Advice 2. You will not get your kids unless infants into a thai school without a thai person pushing it.

Advice 3.  Thai school is very basic, everything must look good but no content.

Advice 4. International schools teach mostly cambridge.

Advice 5. Most kids in school come from (i do not like to use the term this way but "wealthier people". You get rich kid issues.
Designer clothes pressures
Typical western kid pressures, except it makes no sense as they are raised in thailand, where most people do not earn over 15,000 baht.

Advice 6: living here will be the best eye opener and experience for them.

Advice 6:  international schools range 65,000 baht per term to 220,000 per term, per kid. You do get a discount for a second and third.

advice 7: work.... Three choices really, hotel, holiday clubs or teacher.
Working as a teacher has it perks as your kids get to go school for either a discount or whilst you work there.
You need, criminal record check
Passport (transcribed, although not always asked but mostly)
tefol/ tesol.

Advice 8: you and your children will never be inclusive of the culture. I am teacher, I communicate,  but your kids will be called falang, in school.  Nursery kids all play together, but as they grow up they divide.  International schools you do not always get this, but they are mostly half Thai and western and these have their own semi culture, they are neither embraced by or embrace their thai culture  and they are not western and understand little interms of their western culture except for their dad (sorry to say rare for it to be a western mum).

I have loved it here in Thailand and do not regret our decision. 
It is not easy to live here, lots of visa paper work.  Learning to be patient, learning to deal with things we do not understand.
My final advice: keep things simple, sometimes do not try to understand as it not logical... You will always hear "it is Thailand". It is. Accept the ways. It is their culture.

Hi,

I've been asked to the International school in bkk which is can apply for moving kids to thai for studies. And nothing with do with parents need apply job visa permit or others same issue. Mind to keep in touch with me Bhava?

Sure

psy10145 :

Hi there.

This is never an easy subject.

Ive lived here for 9 years.

Advice number 1, do not move here unless your marriage is rock solid. 

Now saying that there are pros too...

Advice 2. You will not get your kids unless infants into a thai school without a thai person pushing it.

Advice 3.  Thai school is very basic, everything must look good but no content.

Advice 4. International schools teach mostly cambridge.

Advice 5. Most kids in school come from (i do not like to use the term this way but "wealthier people". You get rich kid issues.
Designer clothes pressures
Typical western kid pressures, except it makes no sense as they are raised in thailand, where most people do not earn over 15,000 baht.

Advice 6: living here will be the best eye opener and experience for them.

Advice 6:  international schools range 65,000 baht per term to 220,000 per term, per kid. You do get a discount for a second and third.

advice 7: work.... Three choices really, hotel, holiday clubs or teacher.
Working as a teacher has it perks as your kids get to go school for either a discount or whilst you work there.
You need, criminal record check
Passport (transcribed, although not always asked but mostly)
tefol/ tesol.

Advice 8: you and your children will never be inclusive of the culture. I am teacher, I communicate,  but your kids will be called falang, in school.  Nursery kids all play together, but as they grow up they divide.  International schools you do not always get this, but they are mostly half Thai and western and these have their own semi culture, they are neither embraced by or embrace their thai culture  and they are not western and understand little interms of their western culture except for their dad (sorry to say rare for it to be a western mum).

I have loved it here in Thailand and do not regret our decision. 
It is not easy to live here, lots of visa paper work.  Learning to be patient, learning to deal with things we do not understand.
My final advice: keep things simple, sometimes do not try to understand as it not logical... You will always hear "it is Thailand". It is. Accept the ways. It is their culture.

Great post and advice, but a TEFL, or TESOL isn't really a requirement to teach. A BA in any field will buy you 2 x 2 years on a waiver ( Provisional TL), or a BA in education the full teacher's license.

While some great points have already been made, some of the information here isn't entirely accurate.

1: International schools do not "teach mostly Cambridge". Of the international schools and kindergartens in Bangkok, just under 40% are British. Another third are American, and the remainder represent a wide range of curricula.

2: The costs can unfortunately be much higher than 220,000 per term at some schools. In fact, it's more than double that at the top end. That being said, there are options in the range mentioned, but what usually suffers are the resources, scope of services and recruitment standards.

3: The culture of each international school can be radically different, as can the demographic mix. Only a very small number of schools such as NIST and ISB have very high expatriate populations (75% or so), with a high number of Western nationalities represented (and neither parent holding a Thai passport). Most others are the reverse, and also often have a significantly higher percentage of Asian expatriates. Some of the larger British schools are between 80 to 90% Thai.

4: There are numerous employment options beyond teaching and the hotel/holiday industry. There is a common misconception in Thailand that foreigners cannot be hired in almost any industry due to the restrictions on certain professions. This is not the case. It's dependent on the ratio of Thai to foreign employees. A very large number of the non-Thai parents at my school are employed across a range of industries: banking and finance, engineering, oil and gas, IT, construction, logistics, business consulting, art, health care, etc. While many were hired from overseas, others became employed by those companies after moving here.

5: If one of the posts is referring to international schools in the following claims, I strongly disagree with all of them: that schools are furtively hiring Filipinos and Russians, that this is not monitored by the MOE, and that children typically don't learn anything in kindergarten. I'd respond to each of these at length, but this would end up being quite long...


The bottom line is that the public education system in Thailand does indeed have significant issues, and would be a challenge for any child moving here, both because of the language and culture barriers. They would likely still experience some of this in private bilingual and smaller international schools as well. However, at the middle and higher end of the price, the quality of education, support and more defined school cultures provide learning environments in which most expatriate children would have the opportunity to flourish. It may not always be the case, but it certainly isn't as dire as the picture painted here.

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