International Education in Phnom Penh
Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh, is undergoing rapid transformation. Like many developing Asian nations, a growing middle class is emerging and there are now plenty of international job opportunities. Combine that with the low cost of living and the wide choice of international schools, and you have a recipe for expat family heaven.
The standard of education in Cambodia’s public schools is low when compared to global standards. Teaching is through the Khmer language - a significant barrier for most non-natives - and expat children are usually not permitted to attend public schools anyway. So, an international school is the preferred option for the vast majority of expats in Phnom Penh.
Before you start panicking about how much an international school in Asia will cost you, know this: Phnom Penh ranks as the cheapest city in Asia for international education. There is seriously good value for money in Cambodia’s capital, especially when compared to other Asian capitals like Beijing, Seoul or Singapore. The standards and facilities on offer are also getting better and better all the time.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of international schools in Phnom Penh in recent years. The majority of Cambodia’s international schools are located in the capital, so there is no better city to base yourself if schooling is a priority. There are international schools scattered throughout Phnom Penh in almost all central areas.
While the number of international schools in Phnom Penh is growing rapidly, beware that some are more legitimate than others. Every school calls themselves ‘international’, but don’t be fooled by this. Some lack globally recognised accreditation and their education standards may not live up to your expectations. Always do your research, and arrange a visit to the school and a meeting with staff if possible.
There is somewhat less choice of international schools in Phnom Penh for high school or secondary school-aged children. Expect higher demand and greater competition. If your child is aged 12 years or over, you should start your school search and application process as early as possible.
If your child has additional education needs or requires learning support, you may have a challenge on your hands; Cambodia is a little behind other parts of the world when it comes to this area. There are of course some international schools who will be more than capable of catering for your child’s needs, but don’t assume that every school can or will. Again, this is where in-depth research will work in your favour.
American and International curricula are the most popular in Phnom Penh’s international schools, with the British curriculum following closely behind. You can also find schools offering Canadian and Australian curricula, and some other Asian and European countries are represented too. The emphasis is very much on English-speaking countries, however.
Below, we have compiled our top 10 international schools in Phnom Penh. However, there are another 45 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 Phnom Penh based on your requirements.