6 Main Differences Between Schools: Public Schools vs Private Schools vs International Schools in Bangkok

Looking for the best school for your child is serious business. You need to do extensive research and figure out factors to prioritize. This is not something that you should casually or randomly decide on because the future of your child highly depends on it. For a solid decision, you should consider the six main differences between public schools, private schools, and international schools in Bangkok. Knowing all would effectively equip you in making the best possible choice for your child’s future. We all want the best for our children so do read on and reflect.

6 Main Differences Between Public Schools, Private Schools, and International Schools in Bangkok

1. Curriculum

Public Schools – Bangkok public schools are managed and operated by the Thai government. The Thailand government provides a uniform curriculum across all public schools in the nation including ones in Bangkok. All subjects are taught in Thai except the English subject.

Private Schools – Bangkok private schools create their own curriculum. Some schools can offer religious subjects.

International Schools – Bangkok international schools follow the curriculum of British, Canadian, Australian, and American schools.

2. Language

Public Schools – Bangkok public schools teach students in Thai. The only subject that is not taught in Thai is the English subject.

Private Schools – Most public schools teach in the English language. But there are some that also teach in Thai. If you want your child to still be taught in Thai, look for private schools that teach using the Thai and English language.

International Schools – All international schools completely teach all subjects using the English language. No subjects are taught in Thai. This makes international schools highly sought after by ex-pat parents that still want their child to speak English at all times. All international school students are expected to speak in English in and out of the classroom.

3. Religious Affiliations

Public Schools – Bangkok public schools teach religion as part of their core subjects. The Thai government teaches four core subjects to students enrolled in public schools: mathematics, science, Thai language, and social studies religion, and culture. All public school students are required to follow twelve values that include refusal to surrender to religious sins.

Private Schools –Bangkok private schools may or may not teach religion. Private schools that have religious affiliations will do so. Religious teachings depend on the religious affiliations of private schools. A private school can teach Catholic, Buddhist, or other beliefs depending on its affiliation.

International Schools – Bangkok international schools are non-sectarian. No religious affiliation is preferred as curriculums are based on Western countries that are non-religious.

4. Extra-curricular Activities

Public Schools –  Bangkok public schools have limited yearly budgets so students have lesser options and chances for extra-curricular activities. Students however have chances for military training as early as during their kindergarten years.

Private Schools – Bangkok private schools have dedicated programs for extra-curricular activities. Students can join sports competitions and guilds depending on their skills and talents.

International Schools – Bangkok international schools offer world-class extra-curricular activities. Apart from sports training and talent development, they can also send students to seminars and conventions abroad. Students can also easily participate in exchange student programs. International schools have global networks and affiliations. International school students have more chances of interacting with international students from different parts of the globe. They also get more chances to train under world-class experts from different international schools across the globe.

5. Teachers

Public Schools – Bangkok public school teachers mainly hire Thai teachers. They strictly follow the government’s curriculum.

Private Schools – Bangkok private schools hire both local and foreign teachers. Most English subject teachers in private schools are foreigners from English-speaking countries like America and Britain.

International Schools – International schools like Bangkok Prep International School hire world-class experts, teachers, and academicians. Most teachers are foreigners and top experts in their field from different countries. Bangkok international schools go above and beyond when it comes to mimicking schools in the US and Britain so most teachers are Westerners and English speakers. Enrolling in an international school in Bangkok is as good as enrolling your child in a top school in America, Britain, Canada, or Australia.

6. Facilities

Public Schools – Bangkok public schools have a limited budget so their facilities are not always up to date. Changes and updates in facilities always need the approval and support of the national government.

Private Schools – Bangkok private schools have good facilities and classrooms. They are well-maintained and updated as often as possible. Private schools with higher tuition fees have more advanced facilities and classrooms.

International Schools – International schools in Bangkok have world-class facilities. All students have easy access to tools, instruments, laboratories, and materials. Bangkok international schools have science labs, computer labs, advanced libraries, digital libraries, dance studios, art rooms, music studios, auditoriums, drama rooms, indoor parking, and air-conditioned sports courts. Bangkok international schools also have swimming pools and dedicated exam halls.


You should consider enrolling your child in a public school if you see your child staying in Thailand and mainly working and earning a livelihood in the country. If you want your child to have more options when it comes to learning and extra-curricular activities, you should consider private schools. But if you want to enroll your child in international universities abroad in the future, you should seriously consider enrolling in an international school. Your choice will highly depend on how you want to plan and see your child’s future.


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