Our children in far-off places – a thought for school


Executive managers involved in the tourism industry can often be faced with exciting career opportunities located away from centers of population. Inevitably, the critical question that arises may well be one which balances career advancement with providing what is best for the family, particularly for children’s education. Here in Asia, executives can confidently pursue career opportunities and ensure educational excellence for their children by accessing the wonderful boarding schools located in Thailand. One of the best, yet little-known, educational facilities now gaining worldwide acceptance is the ten-year-old Prem Center for International Education, located in the culturally rich city of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Located on over ninety acres of tropical grounds, twenty-five kilometers north of Chiang Mai, Prem is a fully-accredited international school offering all three programs of the rigorous International Baccalaureate program. Besides a full academic program and a safe and caring boarding environment, Prem also features professional sports academies where students can combine professional coaching in golf, tennis, cricket, and football with a truly international curriculum. Parents can also visit with their children at any time of the year by staying on campus at the Prem Residences, a subsidiary hotel of the well-known Villa Royale of Phuket.

Other educational opportunities, for those considering a short-term posting within the region, are available through Prem’s International Study Abroad Program. A six-month to one-year cultural and academic immersion at Prem Center for International Education combines the excitement of living in a foreign country with exposure to challenging academics in a safe and secure international school, known globally as a school with a mission to promote global citizenship.

Many students start with Prem’s Study Abroad experience only to decide part way through their experience that they wish to stay and complete their IB education at Prem. The International Baccalaureate is known throughout the world as one of the most rigorous programs of study for pre-university available today. www.ibo.org Students who choose only six months can have this transforming experience yet still be ready for acceptance into top international universities worldwide. Young people are inevitably enriched and changed through their exposure to different cultures, religions, and the opportunity to briefly be a minority in a foreign land. They return to their home schools changed and challenged by studying in a foreign land, with students from around the world.

In an era of global connectedness, giving youth a chance to become truly internationally minded is something that should be high on the agenda of a 21st century high school experience. Prem has had students come to have a study abroad program and then seamlessly reintegrate back into their high school to complete their high school graduation.

The international boarding school experience teaches responsibility and fosters strong relationships with students from around the world. Boarding students are supported as they learn to balance the demands of academics, relationships, and personal growth. Boarding offers students the chance to develop increasing independence so that by the time they are ready to pursue further study, they already have a strong sense of what it means to be a responsible member of the broader global community and of the role they must play in maintaining the health of our inter-dependent world community. This sense of community is an intrinsic value of the Prem Boarding experience and one not to be undervalued. The ability to work with peoples from other cultures, to know them from living and studying together with them, develops skills that will be of critical importance in the next decade.

Balancing career and the needs of one’s family is a challenge all parents face. For those that work in the demanding tourism field, knowing that reliable and enriching options exist – close at hand – is a welcome thought.
For a complete description of the boarding program and facilities, please visit www.premcenter.org/content/boarding.html .