International Education in Pattaya
The vibrant expat life on offer in Thailand is no longer the well-kept secret it once was. The city of Pattaya however, is probably the closest alternative. With Bangkok less than two hours’ drive away, Pattaya sits on the Gulf of Thailand surrounded by the coastal scenery the country is famous for. In the not too distant future it will have a high speed rail link to the capital, and it already has an international airport of its own.
Pattaya has a thriving economy, a large expat community, and of course, a choice of international schools. So if it’s on your list as a destination to move your family to, either now or in a few years’ time, here’s what you need to know about international education:
International schools in Thailand and Pattaya are categorised into three tiers. Tier 1 international schools are considered the best, with multiple accreditations, a sparkling reputation, fantastic facilities, native-speaking teaching staff, and so on. Tier 2 international schools are much the same, but with slightly lower fees and a few less bells and whistles.
Tier 1 and Tier 2 schools usually have a very diverse student body, with children of expats from all around the world. Tier 3 international schools, while very similar to the above, are mainly geared toward affluent Thai families who want their children to have all the benefits of an international education.
All of Pattaya’s international schools are accredited by the Thai Ministry of Education, which also approves all curricula offered by these schools. Similar to much of South East Asia, the British curriculum and International Baccalaureate are very popular in Pattaya. French, Dutch, Thai and American curricula are also offered in various schools in the city.
While there may not be a huge choice of international schools in Pattaya right now, that’s set to change very soon. The Thai government is investing heavily in the city’s infrastructure and business sector. More and more expat families from elsewhere in South East Asia are making Pattaya their new home, so the demand for international schools has sharply increased. Expect many more international schools to pop up over the coming years.
Because of the soaring demand for international schools in Pattaya, there is one thing to be weary of. Some international schools in Thailand are run solely for profit, with more importance placed on making money than educating children. While plenty of these for profit schools are absolutely fine, it’s still worth being extra thorough in your research. Make sure they have the appropriate accreditations and a good reputation before making your choice.
You’ll also find a number of English Program (EP) schools in Thailand. These are not international schools as you know them - they are schools that teach the Thai curriculum in English. Some of these schools are privately run, so at first glance they can be easily confused with international schools.
Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Pattaya. However, there are another 7 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Pattaya based on your requirements.