Mumbai, India Report of what it's like to live there - 05/11/17
Personal Experiences from Mumbai, India
American School of Bombay (ASB)
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
I am a parent of children attending this school.
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
During the 2016-2017 year, I had children in the elementary, middle, and high schools.
3. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
Yes, there are a number of options in Mumbai for expat children. We chose ASB because it is affiliated with the U.S. Consulate, and most children of U.S. Consulate employees attend this school.
Admissions & Welcome:
1. Are the admissions and placement procedures clearly stated to prospective families, either on the school website or through other means of communication?
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Excellent. ASB has a fantastic admissions team, a line-up of volunteer "Parent Ambassadors" from every grade, and an excellent PTA. ASB has orientation for students and parents; it is a very welcoming community.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
ASB is very organized in communication -- weekly updates from each level are sent out every Friday via email and Google Doc. Teachers email parents on a regular basis.
2. Aside from school fees, are there required expenses such as uniforms, laptops/tablets, musical instruments, or field trips that parents are expected to cover? What are the approximate costs?
Yes, fees for uniforms, buses, and occasional field trips.
Academics & Resources:
1. What personal or academic counseling resources are available at this school? Is there a dedicated college counselor at the school? Is he/she familiar with universities worldwide?
Very good counseling resources at each level, with two counselors specifically at the high school level who are familiar with USA/UK/EU/Korea/Japan university admissions.
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
Excellent libraries at all levels -- lots of reading options for every grade. Students can take books home.
4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
Phenomenal tech teams and resources.
5. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
Every student from Grade 4 and up needs his own laptop. Excellent technology integration -- ASB is a leader among international schools on this front.
6. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
7. Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available in upper grades? If this is an IB school, is the full diploma required of all students?
ASB is an IB school; no AP courses offered. The IB Diploma is an option but not required for all students.
8. Are students generally challenged appropriately by the curriculum? Please describe any particular strengths or weaknesses in this area. Do you have any thoughts how the curriculum is applied and implemented at this school?
Yes, excellent curriculum which can be adapted for the needs of a child. For example, middle school math is broken down into leveled groups, so whether you child excels or needs additional support, they can generally accommodate.
9. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
Yes. Just fine at the elementary and middle school levels. Grade 9 and 10 are also fine. Grades 11 and 12 are tough due to the IB program.
10. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Excellent music and drama departments. ASB has a black box theatre, its own sound/recording studio
11. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
12. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
There are some services available for advanced students in middle and high school.
13. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Minimal services available at the school but I have heard of some occupational and speech therapists in the city.
14. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
Good, especially for elementary student. They also have ESL programs for parents.
15. What extra-curricular activities (including sports) are available at this school? Have your children participated in these activities? What activities do you feel are missing at the school?
Lots of sports available: soccer, basketball, swimming, volleyball, badminton. My son has loved the high school basketball experience--excellent coaches and great opportunities for competitions with other schools in Mumbai and around the region.
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
Over 50 nationalities are represented at ASB -- lots of integration.
2. Are there are any problems with exclusionary behavior, cliques, or bullying at this school? Please describe any problems your children may have experienced in this area.
I have heard of incidences of bullying but the administration takes is seriously.
1. What letter grade (ranging from A, excellent, to F, fail) would you assign to this school based on your overall experience? Would you choose it again?
We would go here again in a heartbeat, and would recommend it to anyone -- especially to anyone with middle and high school students. It's an amazing school! Although life in Mumbai (and in India in general) can be tough, the school makes it all worth it.