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Best 5 International Schools in Penang

International Education in Penang

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Malaysia has been working hard in recent years to attract skilled and educated expatriates to its cities. Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru may spring to mind as favourite Malaysian enclaves for expats. But Penang, further north and smaller than both, has equally as much to offer.

This is especially true for expat families. Penang is less crowded, with beaches aplenty and despite its smaller size, a good selection of international schools too.

The international school scene in Penang is smaller than other Malaysian cities, but comes with less competition. Waiting lists are common, but if you get your name on the list as early as possible it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed. In fact, many schools charge a non-refundable application fee to stop waiting lists becoming too long.

Penang comes in two parts; Penang Island, and Seberang Perai on the mainland. Most international schools are located on Penang Island. You’ll find a small number of schools in the island’s capital of Georgetown, but there is a bigger choice further north in Tanjung Bungah and Tangjung Tokong.

School buses are common in Penang’s international schools, but the service comes at an extra cost that is not included in your yearly school fees. Keep in mind it takes under an hour to travel the length of the island by road in typical traffic - Penang island is not big! So if you live in the same area as your chosen school you shouldn’t have to worry about commute times.

Like the rest of Malaysia, international schools in Penang are dominated by the British curriculum. The choice is not as diverse here as in Kuala Lumpur or Johor Bahru - beyond the British or American curricula and the International Baccalaureate, there isn’t much else on offer.

As for the quality of education, there is little to be concerned about. International schools in Malaysia are governed by the Private Education Department (PED) under the Ministry of Education. The PED is notoriously strict and imposes hefty fines for almost any violation.

Furthermore, Malaysia has a plan to become a high-income country within the next decade. Part of that plan is attracting a steady stream of skilled workers from abroad, which means a steady stream of quality international schools is required.

Like most other destinations in Asia, you can expect your chosen international school in Penang to have excellent facilities, native English-speaking teachers, extensive extracurricular activities, and all the other usual bells and whistles.

Malaysia’s plan has so far been successful; expat numbers on the rise throughout the country and this includes Penang. So if you’re planning a move here within the next couple of years, keep an eye out for brand new international schools opening up too.

Below, we have compiled our top 5 international schools in Penang. However, there are another 6 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 Penang based on your requirements.

Best 5 International Schools in Penang

Out of a total of 11 International Schools in Penang.

Based on the aggregated preferences of our users in the last 30 days.

Tenby Schools Penang

Learning is about getting better - academically, socially, emotionally and more. Amazing learning happens when student surprise themselves by getting better to a level beyond that which they thought possible.
Curriculum
British, International, Malaysian
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

Fairview International School Penang

Fairview Penang is part of the Fairview International School's network. Dedicated to providing premier yet affordable education, Fairview International School was established in 1978 for parents seeking a more enriching and comprehensive form of learning. From its humble beginnings and only a handful of students, Fairview International School is now home to over 3,000 students in four IB World Schools across Malaysia, representing over 55 different nations. Fairview has inspired the minds of thousands of students over the years; students who not only achieve outstanding academic results but are nurtured socially, emotionally and physically. Our students leave the halls of Fairview as internationally minded global citizens, equipped with essential skills for the many challenges of the 21st century. Fairview Penang is the third campus and well-known for its closed knitted school community.
Curriculum
IB, British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
4 to 16
This school does not make their fees public.
Your personal score

Straits International School Penang

Straits International School Penang offers a stimulating, safe and supportive learning environment, defined by its pursuit for excellence in all areas and based on its guiding belief in the ideal of meritocracy. SIS fosters a positive and rewarding learning community, with a strong emphasis on respect for all individuals irrespective of race, creed or belief systems.
Curriculum
British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 16
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: RM17,250
to: RM38,640
Your personal score

St Christopher's International Primary School

St Christopher’s Primary School, established in 1963, is a fully International Primary School that delivers a broad, balanced Curriculum, adapted to meet the needs of the school’s international community.
Curriculum
British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 11
Yearly fees - 2019/2020
from: RM12,300
to: RM27,000
Your personal score

Prince of Wales Island International School & POWIIS Primary

Truth, Wisdom, Integrity underpinned by Kindness
Connections and relationships
Courage, aspiration, resilience and effort
Curriculum
British
Language of instruction
English
Ages
3 to 18
Yearly fees - 2021/2022
from: RM9,600
to: RM54,000
Your personal score

Find the Best International School in Penang FOR YOU!

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