If you have a young family schooling will be a major concern. There are a variety of educational opportunities in the region varying from small community based playgroups, through kindergarten to primary and international schools. Several factors will influence your choice of school and you will need to consider the cost, children’s ages, the educational system in your own country and the length of your stay. Fees: The cost of schooling will be a major consideration with the fees varying considerably from school to school and according to the child’s age. Some schools charge an application fee and the majority of schools will also charge a non-refundable registration fee; some may offer a discount for more than one child. As well as the tuition fees there will be additional costs for books, uniforms and transportation to name a few. Nursery/Play Groups/ Pre-school: The major schools in Pattaya offer placement for pre-school children. This may be the best option if your child is to continue on to Elementary/Primary school. Nursery schools, kindergartens or playgroups which cater for this age are other alternatives to be considered. Choosing A School: Here are some of the points you need to consider when selecting a school: Class size- What is the ratio of staff to children. Teaching Qualifications- What qualifications do the teachers have? Curriculum – Is it British or American, how compatible is it with that of your home country. Cost- See fees. Location & transportation. Nationality Mix- What is the ratio of nationalities. Schedule – What are the hours and term times? Registration – Is the school licensed by Chonburi Welfare Department of Education. International Schools: The international schools in the Pattaya area are based on either the British National or American National Curriculum. The tuition is in English but many of the schools offer the opportunity for the child to study their native language. Thai studies have to be included in the curriculum as a government requirement and all schools accept local students. Some of the schools, such as The Regents School, offer high school programs through to year 12/13; others offer a limited high school program with higher grades being added each year. It is important to become familiar with the programs offered at the schools before your child approaches their senior years. Before deciding to enter an international school the complexities of educational systems and the consequences for the placement in universities needs to be realized. International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE): Under the British system Cambridge University administers a range of courses for English speakers abroad. The course is a 2 year course with examinations at 16+ years old. This course offers similar syllabuses to the GCSE courses found in the UK. IGCSE provides a foundation for pre- university courses such as North American Advanced Placement Test, International Baccalaureate and GCE Advanced levels for British universities.