During the last few years with the entire world getting used to learning, working and socialising virtually more families have started to work online and realise the flexibility this gives them as far as locations to live are concerned. As more families re-evaluate their cost of living we are finding more parents looking further afield for good international schools. Chiang Mai has long been a mountain paradise for local Thai families and a wonderful destination for travel to enjoy the beautiful scenery, clear skies and fresh air and now it’s beginning to look like a great northern educational hub for families to consider.
Location is one of the many important factors prospective parents have to weigh when choosing where to go to school – it’s also about the educational setting. Many families moving to Thailand don’t always find themselves living in the capital city of Bangkok. Corporate companies now have offices based outside of Bangkok creating the need for international schools to be located in the surrounding provinces.
There are many benefits to attending a school outside of a big city, generally they have bigger spaces & less pollution issues, far less traffic which results in less stress getting to and from school. Not only are the campuses larger they offer a wide range of outdoor activities, the green spaces offer a much calmer and zen environment to encourage learning and the added bonus of the large sprawling campuses for students means it’s easier to “get away from it all” even if that is just taking a leisurely walk around campus, or finding a green space amongst nature to sit and do homework. Rural schools offer students the opportunity to enjoy the natural surroundings and greenery, being surrounded by nature is particularly beneficial for students mental and emotional welfare.
Attending a school outside of a big city you will often find both students and parents have a strong campus community which means you’re likely to run into people more frequently, which makes it easier to build long-lasting friendships and connections. You will also find due to the size of the campuses many on-site after school activities are available without having to rush around the city from one activity to the next. One Chiang Mai school even boasts it’s own Cricket pitch!
With this is mind, over the last few years we have seen the emergence of many new International schools opening in provinces outside of Bangkok and in the other major cities across Thailand. Schools in Chiang Mai offer as many different curriculum styles to choose from as in Bangkok, and some excellent teaching staff and educators have made Chiang mai their homes.
Due to the demand for good international education outside of Bangkok, we now have a dedicated category on our website created specifically for these excellent alternatives to big city education.
*This is not a complete list of all Chiang Mai international schools, these are schools we have personally visited.
American Curriculum – AP Levels Grades 11/12
- Unity Concord International School (UCIS)
- Americana Chinese International School
- British Concordance International School
- Ambassador Bilingual Academy
- The Ambassador Bilingual School (ABS)
- Chiang Mai Education Center Tutorial School
Take a Sneak Peek at Unity Concord Q&A and School Tour
Specialist Early Years centre; Play-Based Learning using Reggio-Emilia Approach.
Bright Seeds International Kindergarten opened its doors to children aged 18 months to 6 years old in Nimmanhaemin in August 2019. Conveniently located, our school focuses on providing a safe and happy learning environment for your child to grow and develop with the guidance of fully qualified teachers.
“Nurturing Young Minds to Become Kind & Happy Lifelong Learners”
We aim to do this by implementing the inspiring child-led Reggio Emilia approach as a platform for delivering the International Preschool Curriculum (IPC), the most internationally accepted early childhood education (ECE) curriculum in the world. Our Goal is for each child to develop a love for learning, to be well-rounded and equipped with the skills needed to be a responsible Global citizen.
German National Curriculum
CDSC was founded in 1994 by the Marburger Mission Foundation, together with the Church of Christ in Thailand (CCT) and in cooperation with the German embassy in Bangkok. In 2022, CDSC received the seal of “Excellent German School Abroad” again after having successfully passed the Bund-Länder-Inspektion (BLI) – an inspection by German educational authorities.
CDSC also offers the German Preparation Course for non-German speaking students. Those who successfully complete the 20-week course will be given the opportunity to join the 5th grade at CDSC.
British Curriculum up to Year 8
Meritton British International School is located on the doorstep of the famous old city of Chiang Mai and within minutes of the beautiful nature afforded by the surrounding forests and mountains.
The school aims to provide a program of learning which puts values at the heart of education. Meritton’s Values-based Education program engages students, teachers and parents in regular learning activities, from values lessons and assemblies to life skills projects and parent workshops.
With the rigorous English National and Cambridge International programmes as core curriculums, students are provided with a well-rounded learning experience that fully meets their social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs.
Meritton caters for children aged 2-14. We are a small, family school with a student population that includes over 10 different nationalities.
American Curriculum – AP Levels Grades 11/12
“Education Through Diversity”
NIS is a privately owned Kindergarten-Grade 12 international school located in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and trusted by parents for 30 years. The school is collegepreparatory, offering an internationally-accredited curriculum for Early Learners through Grade 12. The school adheres to US Common-Core Curriculum Standards in the core subjects of English Language Arts and Mathematics, and a variety of leading international curriculum standards in other subject areas. All classes are taught in English, with equal emphasis on academic and personal development. The student demographic is predominantly a mixture of Asian nationalities (Thai, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese). The current enrollment is just over 400 students with over 20 nationalities represented in total. There is a full-time teaching faculty of over 70 full-time staff.
British Early Years – British Curriculum – International Middle Years – IB in Years 12/13
Panyaden International School offers a Genuine Values-based Education for a Sustainable Planet. Our vision is to provide your child with an education that forms a solid foundation for successful academic study and a peaceful and fulfilling way of life.
Panyaden students are well-known for their passion for learning. Our definition of lifelong learners is appreciated by our students’ positive mental attitude, academic achievements and an inquisitive inquiry process that inspires them to reach their fullest potential. These attributes are further supported by the team of dedicated professional and caring teachers, which help inspire our students to develop intellectually and creatively with future-ready skills as sustainable and prosperous world citizens.
Full IB World school – PYP, MYP, IB Diploma & Careers Programme in Grades 11/12
Located on a lush 100-acre campus set in the foothills north of Chiang Mai, Prem is a leading international boarding and day school and the first international school in South East Asia to offer all 4 International Baccalaureate Programmes.
Like families, schools find strength in their core values – the things that truly matter to them. What matters at Prem is engaging our students in joyful, personalised and meaningful experiences that cultivate the development of enduring qualities of mind and character: creativity, compassion, integrity, open mindedness, good thinking and an authentic investment in working together for a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable world.
Prem is proud to be recognized as a leader in the development of the arts and creativity in international education. Each year, our Creative Director’s Artist Residency Thailand programme hosts 8 internationally acclaimed artists, philosophers, and environmentalists to work with our teachers and our students. We stand proudly as one of the International School Theatre Association’s five centres of creativity worldwide.
Our Music, Golf, and Tennis Academies are accessible to our parents, as well as our students, and our Exploria programme offers over 100 after school activities throughout the year.
Scholarships available for exceptional student scholars, performing and visual artists, and athletes.
Singapore Education system – UK IGCSE in grades 9/10 – UK A’Levels & IB Diploma in grades 11/12
SISB Chiangmai welcomes students from Nursery level (2 years old) up to Secondary School. We a trilingual school; the students use English, Chinese and Thai languages. We encourage a spirit of excellence in everything we do. The academic team work hard on ensuring the curriculum is modern and effective. We always take a holistic approach to education ensuring that the students have been equipped with 21st century skills and knowledge to enable them to succeed in their future. We would like to give our students as many valuable educational experiences as possible, while encouraging them to spend their years with us productively.