Mumbai, India Report of what it's like to live there - 01/13/19
Personal Experiences from Mumbai, India
American School Of Bombay
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
10-12th grade, 2016-2018
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?
This is pretty much the only option, there are German, French and British schools but too far.
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?
The school has a great business office and they are excellent with marketing and communication.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Excellent welcome for new students
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
Weekly newsletter conveys all communication
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?
Laptops required. Yearly mandatory trip which we have to pay out of pocket, this is only for US Diplomats as the school covers the trip but our Govt does not allow us to accept and we have to pay $800 out of pocket. Other field trips, which are not mandatory but hard to say no to as everyone goes.
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?
2 counsellors on staff however last year both were away due to job change and maternity and the school had someone else filling in, who was not as knowledgable.
2. Is there before and/or after-school daycare available? What are the costs?
Yes, free of charge
3. Does the school have a library? How large is it? How updated are the books? Can students borrow books to read at home?
4. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
5. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
The IT dept is not so good, on various occasions the lack the expertise to support.
6. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
Yes gym and a swimming pool. Recently, the air quality has been terrible and being outdoors is not worth it though.
7. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
8. 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?
IB available. However, there are many that are just doing the High School Diploma
9. 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?
The IB program is tough and not very well organized or coordinated between the teachers, in my opinion, which results in all the time-consuming work being piled on in the last year.
10. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
11. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Excellent Art, Music and drama programme.
12. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
The school is primarily an Indian school with an international IB programme. They market themselves as an American school and statistics will show a high number of Americans but in reality they are all NRI's who are culturally local and, in our experience, often not very welcoming towards expat kids. The school culture is primarily Indian.
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.
In our experience, we found drinking, drugs and smoking to be very common in the upper grades. Most families in this school are extremely wealthy and have a very different lifestyle compared to a typical American family.
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?
No I would not. As mentioned the school is run like a business.
2. Please describe some of your child's/children's highlights and challenges during their time at this school.
The teachers are good but the student body is not as diverse as a typical International school and it's hard for expat children to integrate.
3. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
Keep in mind that statistics showing a large American student body can be misleading.