schooling in paradise city ...
Increasing numbers of Westerners are retiring early when they still have children of varying ages so information about the educational facilities in Hua Hin, that we supply in the following sections, will hopefully be of use.
It's important to state at the outset that Hua Hin is still developing and the educational establishments in town will not measure up to what you can find back home.
However, they are improving and as the demand for good-quality, recognised curricula increases, so the chances of Hua Hin getting a good international school are better. For the time being, Bangkok has the best selection, some of which have boarding facilities, although they can be very expensive.
Currently, some residents in Hua Hin are trying to organise teaching from home for the international community and we will bring you updates on the situation as they occur.
As a final note, the teaching profession has unfortunately been getting a bad press lately in Thailand - especially amongst the English teaching community. The current government is addressing this serious issue at the moment though and standards are likely to improve.
Don't be afraid of asking questions on our local forum. Many expats have been through the treadmill of finding decent education for their children and will be only too happy to offer their advice and details of their experiencs.
If you have children already, it's important to realise that they will undergo a significant change in their lives when they come here. The language will be confusing, to say the least, so you may well have to help them understand Thai, or get a personal tutor to do so. Films, educational videos and books that explain the cultural differences will also help your child develop here.
There will be many factors to consider when you choose a school. Probably the most important will be the quality of the teachers and you will have to judge that for yourselves. Attending parent-teacher meetings, sitting in on a couple of classes and even eating the food in the canteen are good ideas to give you a "feel" for the establishment.
Thailand can offer a number of different curricula. These are split into three categories:
This ensures education until the age of 16 and it's split into the following stages:
2-5 years - kindergarten.
5-7 years - years 1 and 2.
7-11 years - years 3 to 6.
11-14 years - years 7 to 9.
14-16 years - years 10 and 11.
Seniors - years 12 to 13.
There is a broad spectrum of topics taught until the age of 14 when assessment is made on the basis of GCSEs or "O" Levels examinations, also known abroad as IGCSEs (International). Based on these, students will be "streamlined" towards specific strengths. These will form the basis for university or further education.
In America, the education system is decentralized and the grades are:
Elementary - kindergarden to Grade 5.
Middle school - grades 6-8.
High school- grades 9-12.
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Primary Years Programme (3-12 years) - an inquiry-based approach to learning.
Middle Years Programme (11-16 years) - promotes self-reliance and responsible participation in society.
The IB Diploma Programme (16-19 years) - an intellectually stimulating course in preparation for entrance to university.
Not all schools in Hua Hin will offer these courses, so the choice you have for your children will be somewhat limited. There are plenty of schools in Bangkok that do offer them, however. International education in Thailand can be extremely expensive with the top schools in Bangkok charging over 30,000 baht per month.
Hua Hin sadly is not ready to compete with other developed destinations in Thailand in terms of international education standards.
Read more about schools in Hua Hin »
Whilst you will find that English is quite widely spoken in Hua Hin, you should really try to learn some Thai if you're going to be living here. If you do, you'll be appreciated all the more by the locals and you'll find life much easier.
Read more about Thai language »