International School Admissions Thailand

How to Apply to International School in Bangkok, Thailand

As an expatriate parent who relocated to Thailand, I know that choosing the right international school for your child is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. The school you select will shape their education, development and future opportunities.

At, we empower families to embrace life abroad. In this article, I’ll draw upon my experience navigating international school admissions as an expatriate in Thailand. I aim to provide insider guidance on key factors like curriculum options, application timelines, entrance criteria, costs and considerations for selecting the ideal school.

Whether you seek rigorous academics, arts and athletics, or a balanced approach, Thailand offers top-tier international schools to meet every family’s needs. While the admissions process takes planning, it’s an investment that pays dividends in your child’s growth and learning overseas. Let’s explore how to find your child’s home away from home.

International School Admissions Thailand refers to the process of enrolling students in international schools located in Thailand. These schools offer an international curriculum and cater to expatriate families, as well as local students seeking a global education.

Key Takeaways

  • Thailand has over 60 international schools, with concentrations in Bangkok, Phuket and other areas
  • Schools offer American, British, International Baccalaureate or other national curriculums
  • Apply 12-18 months in advance given high demand for limited space
International School Admissions Thailand

International School Admissions in Thailand

Thailand has become a popular destination for expatriate families seeking an overseas living experience. The tropical climate, rich culture, and friendly locals appeal to many. When relocating abroad with children, a key consideration is schooling. Thailand boasts numerous high-quality international schools to meet families’ needs. This article explores Thailand’s international schools – curriculums offered, admissions process, costs, and more.

Overview of International Schools

Thailand has over 60 international schools, clustered in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Chiang Mai, and Hua Hin. The most popular curriculums offered are:

  • American – Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum leading to US university preparation.
  • British – A Levels and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum for UK university preparation.
  • International – International Baccalaureate (IB) only.
  • National – Following the curriculum of another country, e.g. German, Japanese, French.

Schools range from small, with a few hundred students, to very large with over 3,000 students. Facilities are modern and high-tech. Almost all schools offer extensive activities, sports, arts, and Academies.

Here are some of the top schools by region:


  • Harrow International School – Founded in 1998, Harrow offers a traditional British boarding school experience. With over 700 students spanning Early Years to Year 13, the school provides first-class facilities on its park-like 11-acre campus. Harrow is renowned for its performing arts program.
  • Concordian International School – Established in 1931, Concordian uses an American-based curriculum culminating in the High School Diploma. The school’s new state-of-the-art campus opened in 2016, featuring collaborative learning spaces, a black box theater and Olympic-sized pool.
  • NIST International School – NIST opened its doors in 1992 and today teaches over 1,200 students using the British National Curriculum and IB Diploma Programme. NIST is respected for its rigorous academics, exemplary IB results and emphasis on community service.
  • Bangkok Patana School – Founded in 1957 as the British Embassy School, Patana has a long-standing reputation for high quality British-style education. With over 1,000 students, its innovative teaching approaches and new Thailand Innovative Learning Centre set students up for 21st century success.


  • Headstart International School – Founded in 2004, Headstart is the only International Baccalaureate school on Phuket. With under 500 students representing over 30 nationalities, Headstart provides personalized learning in a nurturing environment. Its Eco Club and sustainability initiatives have earned awards.
  • Kajonkietsuksa International School – Established in 1992, KIS delivers an American curriculum for Nursery to Grade 12 culminating in a High School Diploma. As Phuket’s first international school, KIS integrates technology into all aspects of learning. It offers students a 1:1 laptop program.

Chiang Mai

  • Prem Tinsulanonda International School – Founded in 1992, Prem Tinsulanonda is the only IB boarding school in Northern Thailand. Its stunning hillside campus houses over 800 students. Prem is known for its community service initiatives, such as the Prem Environmental Club and Model United Nations program.
  • Grace International School – Grace International opened its doors in 1995, offering a US-based curriculum. With rigorous AP courses, 100% of graduates have gained admission to selective universities worldwide. Grace cultivates excellence with low student-teacher ratios.
  • Prince Royal’s College – Established in 1882, PRC is the oldest British school in Thailand. With average class size of 15 students, PRC provides individualized learning. Its CARE (Creativity-Action-Research-Enterprise) system develops students’ talents.

Hua Hin International School

Hua Hin International School is located in the beach town of Hua Hin, Thailand. With competitive fees, Hua Hin International School provides high-quality education programs based on the International Baccalaureate framework. Small class sizes and individual attention allow students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. Facilities include smartboards, science and computer labs, swimming pools, sports fields and courts, and an eco-friendly campus. Hua Hin International School offers excellent value for money for families looking for an international school experience.

Timeline for Admissions

Applying well in advance is crucial, as demand exceeds supply at top schools. Follow this timeline as a guide:

  • 12-18 months before – Research schools and curriculum options. Plan campus visits.
  • 12 months before – Submit applications to 2-3 target schools.
  • 9 months before – Interview at schools. Take entrance assessments.
  • 6 months before – Receive decision letters and accept offer.
  • 3 months before – Complete paperwork and apply for student visa.
  • 1 month before – Attend orientation programs. Buy uniforms and supplies.

Apply early, even if moving is still tentative. Schools can rapidly reach capacity especially at certain ages.

Admissions Criteria

When evaluating applicants, factors international schools consider include:

  • Academic records – Transcripts from current school are required. Strong grades in core subjects are important.
  • Entrance assessments – Tests evaluate English proficiency, math skills, general knowledge and learning readiness.
  • Student interview – Assesses verbal skills, attitude, interests and personality.
  • Parent interview – Discuss family background, educational goals, student needs.
  • School recommendations – Input from current teachers validates applicant details.
  • English fluency – Vital for learning and integrating in an English-medium environment.

Priority goes to students with strong academics, English skills, entrance exams and interview performance.

Costs and Fees

Cost is a major factor when selecting a school. Tuition fees vary greatly, ranging from ฿150,000 to over ฿1,000,000 per year. Additional costs may include:

  • Application and enrollment fees
  • Capital fees – large upfront payments
  • Facility/technology fees
  • Transportation fees
  • Uniforms, books, supplies
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Meals

Many employers provide education allowances. Research schools’ fee structures and assistance policies. Budget accordingly.

Key Decisions and Considerations

Choosing the right school is crucial. Factors to weigh include:

  • Curriculum – American, British, IB, other? Match your university goals.
  • Location – Where you’ll live and commute needs.
  • Student profile – Age, academic and English levels. Special needs?
  • School culture – Size, academic rigor, discipline, facilities.
  • Cost – Budget realistic tuition fees plus extras.
  • Activities – Arts, sports, clubs that match child’s interests.

Visit short-listed schools and attend open houses. Meeting teachers andtouringcampuses helps determine the best fit.

Application Documents Needed

Applications require submitting various documents:

  • Student application form
  • Recent photo
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport
  • Current home address proof
  • Recent school records
  • Teacher/principal recommendations
  • Standardized test scores
  • School entrance exam results
  • English proficiency scores
  • Parent employment letter

Prepare copies of documents translated into English if needed. Submit organized, complete applications.


Top International Schools in BangkokCurriculum
Harrow International SchoolBritish
Concordian International SchoolAmerican
NIST International SchoolBritish + IB
Bangkok Patana SchoolBritish
Estimated Annual Tuition Fees (฿)Additional Fees* (฿)
Over 1,000,000250,000+
International School Admissions Thailand

International School Admissions Thailand FAQs

Q: How do I apply to an international school in Bangkok, Thailand?

A: To apply to an international school in Bangkok, Thailand, you can follow the step-by-step admissions process provided by the school. This typically involves submitting an inquiry form or contacting the admissions team directly. They will guide you through the application process and provide all the necessary information.

Q: What is the tuition fee for international schools in Bangkok?

A: The tuition fees for international schools in Bangkok vary depending on the school, grade level, and the programs and services offered. It is best to contact the school directly to inquire about the specific tuition fees for the academic year you are interested in.

Q: How can I contact the admissions team of an international school in Bangkok, Thailand?

A: To contact the admissions team of an international school in Bangkok, Thailand, you can visit their website and look for the “Contact Us” page. They usually provide phone numbers, email addresses, and other contact information for you to reach out and inquire about the admissions process.

Q: Can I schedule a visit or school tour before applying to an international school in Bangkok?

A: Yes, most international schools in Bangkok offer the option to schedule a visit or school tour. This allows you to explore the campus, meet the staff, and get a feel for the school community before making a decision. Contact the admissions team to inquire about scheduling a visit.

Q: Is English the primary language of instruction at international schools in Bangkok?

A: Yes, English is the primary language of instruction at most international schools in Bangkok. However, many schools also offer additional language programs, including Thai as a second language or English as an additional language, to support students from diverse backgrounds.

Q: What is the admissions journey for students applying to an international school in Bangkok?

A: The admissions journey for students applying to an international school in Bangkok typically involves submitting an inquiry or application form, scheduling a visit or school tour, completing any required assessments, and providing necessary documentation. The admissions team will guide you through each step of the process.

Q: Are international schools in Bangkok inclusive of students from different nationalities?

A: Yes, international schools in Bangkok have a diverse and inclusive school community, welcoming students from different nationalities and backgrounds. They embrace cultural diversity and create an inclusive learning environment for all students.

Q: Is there an application fee for applying to international schools in Bangkok?

A: Many international schools in Bangkok require an application fee as part of the admissions process. The fee may vary depending on the school. Contact the admissions team to inquire about the application fee and payment details.

Q: Is there a specific deadline for applying to international schools in Bangkok for the 2023-2024 academic year?

A: The specific deadlines for applying to international schools in Bangkok for the 2023-2024 academic year may vary among schools. It is advisable to contact the admissions team of the school you are interested in for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding application deadlines.

Q: How many students are enrolled in international schools in Bangkok?

A: The number of students enrolled in international schools in Bangkok varies depending on the school. Some schools have a large student population, while others may be smaller in size. Contact the admissions team or visit the school’s website for information on the number of students attending the school.


Finding the perfect international school match in Thailand takes research, but the reward is giving your child a home away from home. As an expat parent, I know how crucial, yet daunting, this decision can feel. Rest assured – with careful consideration of your family’s needs and values, campus visits, and applying early, you will find a school where your child can thrive.

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