Bangkok, Thailand Report of what it's like to live there - 06/05/18
Personal Experiences from Bangkok, Thailand
1. Are you the parent of a child(ren) attending this school? A teacher at the school? Or both?
I am a parent of an elementary aged child.
2. What grade or grades do/did your children attend at the school? During what year(s) did they attend the school?
Year 2 (U.S. Grade 1) - 2017 - present
3. What was your reason for living in the city where the school is located (e.g., government, military, corporate, NGO, retired)?
U.S. Government Embassy Employee
4. Are other schools available to expatriates in this city? Why did you choose this particular school?
There are many other schools available, however we choose NIST based on its location to our housing and because of high ratings from other embassy families and within the greater Bangkok educational community.
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?
Yes, everything is very straightforward. Because the school is highly sought after, make sure you submit a letter from Post HR stating that you're with U.S. Embassy to submit with your application.
2. How would you rate the school's support and welcome/integration of new students and their families, and why?
Your welcome and integration into the school as a parent will be what you make of it. There are many organizations and groups to join but if you don't engage, you will feel as if you don't know what's going on. For my elementary child, the student integration seemed to go fairly well. The size of the school was a big adjustment for our child but over time excitement for school returned.
Administration & School Procedures:
1. How is the overall communication between teachers and parents, and the administration and parents? How is communication facilitated?
There is an over-abundance of communications. I wish they combined some of them so I didn't get so many messages from the school in a week. I've made the mistake of ignoring them only to miss notifications about school closures not listed on the school calendar. Read all the darn emails!
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?
For my elementary child the required additional fees were: uniforms approx (3,000 baht); school lunch plan (25,000 baht for the year). There is a secondary account where you can add money for snacks in the cafeteria or library that the child can use their student number of finger print to order with. We added 2,000 baht per semester. School trips did not cost anything extra but there are a number of programs and sales that cost money throughout the year
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. 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?
There are 3 libraries. An elementary library, and primary (middle/high) and a parent/teacher library. Parents and students can borrow books.
4. How are information technology resources at the school. Are they up-to-date? Is there a computer lab?
High tech everything.
5. What are the technology requirements for students? Do they need their own laptops/ipads? How is technology integrated into the classroom and homework?
My elementary child is assigned an ipad to use on school property only. It does not come home. There is NO homework at this school in elementary.
6. Describe the physical education resources at the school. Is there a gym? A swimming pool? Are there playing fields or tennis courts available?
There are 2 swimming pools, and indoor gym building with 5 floors and two outdoor sports/gym spaces with tennis court, soccer field.
7. What is the approximate teacher-to-student ratio in the grades that your child attended?
22 children to 1 teacher + 1 aide per classroom plus an additional rotating teachers aid per grade level.
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?
Yes, IB is avialable.
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?
N/A for IB as my child is in elementary; however at her grade level, she is very appropriately challenged.
10. Is the amount and type of homework generally appropriate for the age and grade of the students?
My child has had only 1 homework assignment which was to interview someone who'd migrated from one place to another and submit the video to the teacher.
11. What fine arts electives are available (music, drama, visual arts)?
Music, Art, Drama, Coooking, Woodworking, Glassblowing; all available.
12. Are the teachers at the school required to speak English as a first language--or at least fluently?
Yes. All teachers speak English fluently.
13. What services are available for gifted/advanced students at the school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
14. What services are available for students with learning disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
15. What services are available for students with physical disabilities at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
16. What services are provided for speakers of English as a second language at this school? Please describe your experience with these services, if applicable.
17. 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?
so many activities I couldn't list them all. Check out the list of ECAs: https://www.nist.ac.th/ecas/
Social & Emotional Well-Being:
1. Do expatriate students socialize with local students at the school? Are both groups successfully integrated into the school culture?
Mostly. Segmentation happens naturally though.
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.
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'll be there until the end of our tour in 2021.
2. Please tell us anything else you think prospective parents and students should know about this school. Thanks for your contribution!
The school bus is safe; but if you have a younger child, be sure to request an assigned seat for them so they don't get stuck in musical chairs at the back of the bus with older kids!