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Manila v Bangkok...?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by claytie, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. worlo24

    worlo24 New commenter

    I don't doubt that, I am just pointing out that the locals in Bangkok are lovely and welcoming and friendly but you can also have all the comforts of expat life. For me, it is a perfect balance between Asia and western comforts. I found Manila a lot more crowded and busy and loved my time in Bangkok.
  2. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    To be honest frogus you can leave out the UK from your list, apart from the odd booby (almost a freudian slip there but I left it in anyway just for fun!!) bobby on the beat, most UK policeman are either armed or have very easy access to them (most police cars contain arms) at all times. Not forgetting all the guns at airports and government offices.
  3. percy topliss

    percy topliss Occasional commenter


  4. fordseries123

    fordseries123 New commenter

    Bangkok is far safer than Manila with better food, more fascinating culture (but that comes down to personal opinion of course) and Bangkok is easier to get around. However, the standard of English is much higher in Manila so initially it makes settling in a bit easier.

    I love both Thailand and the Philippines, but when you compare the two capital cities, Bangkok wins hands down.
    worlo24 likes this.
  5. snitzelvonkrumm

    snitzelvonkrumm Occasional commenter

    Both are worthy, if you can be in the better schools. The British and U.S. schools in both cities are outstanding but my preference would be the Manila schools. I prefer Bangkok as a city and the Thai food is a clear winner.
  6. Mickyd197se

    Mickyd197se Occasional commenter

    The "international" school with the best reputation and the "British" school with the best reputation in the two cities are facing one another across a street in Manila. It seems that the two old Bangkok schools are not quite what they were, so perhaps the "New" school in the centre would be the best option.

    Bangkok is great in many ways, but so is the Philippines. I doubt there are many places with friendlier locals than the Philippines. Certainly Thailand might be on a par, but it's not friendlier in all. I've travelled quite a bit around both.

    So...not sure where I'd choose if offered the choice. I prefer Bangkok, but not sure what, overall, the best choice would be.
  7. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    " It seems that the two old Bangkok schools are not quite what they were, so perhaps the "New" school in the centre would be the best option."

    The Bangkok international school (plural, lower case, not the name of a school, but an education sector in BKK) landscape has changed (continues to change) rapidly, and the 2 established 'old' schools have been much influenced by that change. The old USA-ish one was significantly affected by the departure of many families working for a USA-ish oil company a couple of years ago, not sure whether they have now recovered from that event, or evolved as a consequence of the event. The old Brit-ish school has reaped the rewards of hard work and success by significantly increasing student numbers over the years, it is now sometimes described in terms of the populous behemoth by long term subjects of said school.

    There has been a near inexorable rise in the number of international schools in Bangkok in recent years. Some of these new schools have been very successful, some will falter. The market of the newly affluent aspirant classes seem to be voracious for that international school badge for their offspring. Some seem to want it packaged in a Jeeves & Wooster parody of Tom Brown's School Days, others appear to prefer more modern iterations. This has given rise to new gems beyond the traditional 3rd leg of Tier 1 BKK Schools (aka "the New school in the centre").

    Shropshire is a fairly understated county in England, but its county town is much celebrated in two locations in Bangkok, and as such challenges the traditional tier 1 triumvirate. The School on the Hill would also put itself in the same basket as that celebrating Shropshire. Then there are a whole multitude of other UK curriculum schools opening up, such a bubbling bevy it's bothering to keep up with the latest announcement. They all seem to be badged versions of UK Public Schools (I love saying to non-Brits "oh you're sending your daughter to posh-name-badge college ? Of course, that's a public school in the UK".).

    Of course all of this Tier 1, Tier 2 etc stuff is absolute nonsense, it's much more important that you define what you are looking for in an international school, the school which maximises the things that you want is your Tier 1 school. If you are looking for a small student friendly environment in a cleaner and quieter area of Bangkok then the traditional triumvirate are not your tier 1 schools. If you want shorter working hours, and less stress, then the traditional triumvirate are definitely not your Tier 1 schools.
    On that note a UK Principal visited me in Asia a few years ago, we were discussing relative merits of UK teaching vs teaching in Asia, after some consideration he concluded "I don't know why you'd want to be in a leadership position out here, if you're going to spend all of your time in school you may as well have stayed in UK, surely you move out here to enjoy the culture, city and country". Whilst I don't wholly agree with him, it did get me thinking. Do we teach internationally to live internationally, or do we live internationally to teach internationally ?
  8. Mickyd197se

    Mickyd197se Occasional commenter

    You're obviously a man that knows the Big Mango well, ToK-tastic.

    With the combination of school and location, which would you go for as the best option in Bangkok or Manila? Just taking it back to the OP's question and out of my own curiosity on your response.
  9. ToK-tastic

    ToK-tastic New commenter

    I wrote a rather rambling response 2nd post in this thread, I guess you're asking more about actual schools. Obviously we don't want to get into naming schools in this open TES forum, all that scurrilous stuff goes on behind the pay-wall of ISR. Naming schools (on that site) is a diverse activity, I've toiled at a (very big & old) school that I really did not like which has absolutely no reviews (positive or negative) on ISR. I've also worked at a school that I really liked (& rated highly in terms of quality) that has some negative reviews on ISR. ISR is a valid as the views of those who choose to contribute, which is a very selective sample. Anyway, back to the OP:

    I can't really comment on Manila having only visited, and having friends who have worked in those schools is not sufficient evidence. However, I have spent significant time at both the pillars of BGC, and they're both high quality provision with many excellent educators. I also hear good things about the school representing the North London suburb which contains the national football stadium. If someone's asking an open question of which of the 2 pillars of BGC they should go to the answer would be either one that you can get a job at. Anyone who has been offered a job at both schools is probably so well connected, or high up in the IBEN world, that they will already have far more reliable sources than can be offered here in this open forum.

    In BKK the selection box is far more varied, both between schools of different 'tiers' and between schools within the same 'tier'. A good understanding of what you want out of life in BKK is essential if you want to know which school to go to. When I talk to teachers from schools across the city I often hear disgruntlement from teachers at the classic triumvirate (which are all IB DP schools), and more sanguine views from the 2 UK schools, and much more positive world views from colleagues at the less visible gems (descriptive of undiscovered value, not corporate international education company).
    Colleagues at the BKK big 3 (the original USA-ish, the original Brit-ish, and the New-ish one in the centre) often raise concerns about workload (class sizes, preps, contact hrs, ECAs, meetings etc). Colleagues at the big two UK schools tend to be a bit more 'in that UK world', and jolly hockey-sticks about their schools, but they also have to work jolly hard. I've recently heard that the experiences at the River & City campuses of one of those schools is very very different.
    And then there are the gems. The patron St of Scotland is oft overlooked, and does not get the profile that he deserves outside of BKK. He is not a unified being, and has a number of different versions. Reports from some of those versions are very positive, look at the smaller iterations in this group and you find absolute gems. One of those smaller iterations could not be closer to the Sky-Train, is highly thought of in the BKK education world, and I hear v.positive things from colleagues there.
    worlo24 likes this.

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