Thai-Chinese International School (TCIS) Bangkok
Reviews & Information

2.9 from 6 reviews
School Overview Reviews

About Thai-Chinese International School (TCIS)


Thai-Chinese International School is a pre-kindergarten-grade 12 international school in Samutprakarn located near Bangkok and close to Mega Banga and Suvarnabhumi.

Founded in 1995 TCIS is an American curriculum school with a focus on trilingual education. The curriculum is student centered and dynamic. We challenge students to collaborate, communicate, be creative, and to think critically. Our educators implement learning experiences that allow students to master the 21st century skills necessary for future success.

All core subject classes are taught in English by fluent native speakers while Thai and Chinese (Mandarin and both traditional and simplified) language classes are taught by native Thai and Taiwanese teachers. TCIS has separate elementary, middle and high school facilities. TCIS offers after school academic, athletic and enrichment programs.

Thai-Chinese International School graduates received over $1,000,000 in university scholarships in 2018 and 100% of graduates were accepted to top universities in North America, Europe and Asia.

How would you rate Thai-Chinese International School (TCIS)?

Curriculum

American

Primary Language

English

Ages

2 to 17

Max Class Size

Unknown

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6 Reviews of Thai-Chinese International School (TCIS)

Average Ratings

Overall 2.88
Facilities 1.00
Academics 2.50
Teachers 2.00
Sports 1.50
Music & Arts 2.00
Science & Tech 1.50

Reviewer Nationalities

American (1) Taiwanese (1)

How would you rate Thai-Chinese International School (TCIS)?

Boss, 15/08/2020 @ 07:26:57
Relationship   Ex Pupil

Facilities
Academics
Teachers
Sports
Music & Arts
Science
Overall

This school Sucks ball

Jay, 29/07/2020 @ 14:04:06
Relationship   Teacher

Facilities
Academics
Teachers
Sports
Music & Arts
Science
Overall

I worked at this school for 8 years. Like any school, TCIS has its pros and cons. The kids are amazing. Most of them are honestly the sweetest, smartest students I've ever had the pleasure of teaching. The school is probably 60% Thai and 30% Taiwanese, with a few other nationalities and Western teachers' kids mixed in. Western students (at least those not conversational in Thai or Chinese) above grade 5 will likely have a hard time fitting in. What the student population lacks in diversity, though, they more than make up for in passion, curiosity, and kindness. There is support from the board and admin, especially when convenient for them, or if it assists them with marketing and advertising. Example: half the seniors were excused from all their classes for 2 solid weeks to apply to Universities in the USA that few of them actually wanted to attend. The seniors hated doing these applications, but were given no choice. The school paid for these applications and coerced the students to follow-through in order to post on social media about their acceptances at big-name universities in the States. Otherwise, support is sparse, or lacks follow through. They generously built me huge new facilities, then didn't properly acoustically insult or furnish them, so they were just as useless as they were before the renovation. They do everything as cheap as possible. The Board and Admin are perfectly content to pretend everyone is happy and the school is humming along problem-free. The reality is that the school operates on a shoestring budget; it is certainly one of the least-expensive international schools in Thailand, but the run-down facilities (mold in the ceilings), laughable teacher compensation (thus the high turnover), and huge class sizes (I often had 30 or more in my classes) reflect that. TCIS has a diverse teaching staff, featuring some of the best teachers you'll ever meet, along with some of worst people who simply phone it in day after day, year after year so they can live a semi-retired life in Thailand. It seems many teachers at the school are either lifers, who stubbornly don't want to change anything and still teach like they're in the 80's, or teachers who want to come in and change everything for 2 years (like haphazardly introducing a one-to-one MS laptop program without thinking it through) so they can pad their resumes and springboard into better-paying gigs elsewhere. The most disturbing part, to me, is that many teachers seems to think they exist in a vacuum. Many pull students out of other teachers' classes constantly in order to have extra contact time for whatever they need to do. It was rare for me to have every student in class due to the number of "approved" disruptions and "excused" absences for everything from College Application help, Student Counsel meetings, Selling French Fries at Lunch to pay for Prom, setting up Halloween decorations... the list goes on. Parents are paying for students to attend a Community Center, not a school. Teachers schedule their own events with no regards for other teachers' schedules or planned activities. Multiple bookings in the theater are commonplace. Concerts and Assemblies were canceled due to scheduling conflicts more often than they occurred. Students multiple consecutive days of class to prepare for the next big cultural assembly, of which there was no shortage, is a common occurrence year round. I rarely was able to teach anything in the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, Christmas, or Songkran due to the number of students "excused" from my classes, without prior notice, by other teachers. If I had to guess, I imagine the average student might be in class 80% of the time. Admin are generally genuinely good people, and were usually good to me. However, they often seemed more concerned with being everybody's buddy and wishfully thinking that everyone would just get along instead of making the difficult decisions about what was best for the students. I believe the turnover in admin may be the school's single biggest problem: in the 8 years I worked at TCIS, there were no 2 consecutive years where the leadership team remained the same. Every single year that I taught there (2012 - 2020), there was at least one new principal or Head of School, and this held true for the year prior to my arrival, and will be true again for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year, which makes for at least 10 years of inconsistent, patchwork leadership. There's been a new curriculum coordinator every year for 5 consecutive years, and few if any of them actually qualified for the position; the current one certainly is not. Despite the administration's best efforts, it's impossible for any school to get moving in any direction when the leadership changes that frequently. The school often felt like a ship lost at sea, with no rudder and no captain to steer it in a meaningful way. The school just "exists", seemingly without self-reflection, innovation, or forward momentum of any kind. The constant turnover in leadership and teaching staff means that TCIS dreams big and admirably tries to be the best at absolutely everything they do, but doesn't have the long-term follow through or proper support to pursue those big ideas. So, instead of being the best at anything, TCIS ends up being slightly better than mediocre at everything. Example: last year, they started requiring Spanish, Japanese, and Korean in the middle school -- on top of their mandatory Thai, Chinese and English courses -- yet plenty of the students weren't at grade level even in English, the language of instruction. Another example: teachers spending 3 days getting trained on Socratic Seminar style learning at a fancy Bangkok hotel, and then never discussing it or following up on it during professional development ever again. I could write a whole other essay on abandoned initiatives at that school, which is a shame, because a lot of those very initiatives are genuinely good ideas, but often, no one stays long enough to see them through. TCIS is "known" for their Traditional Chinese program, and they certainly have some fine Chinese teachers, but the reality is, TCIS seems to send their native Chinese speakers to compete against 2nd language Chinese speakers from other schools, then brags about the quality of their Chinese program. I know dozens of alumni who complain once they get to college and realize they actually aren't "college ready" fluent in 3 languages, but instead have a solid 8th grade reading ability in 3 (or more) languages. I watched at an assembly one year when two of the top Seniors in that grade, both who had been students at TCIS their entire lives, were asked to give an announcement in their non-native tongue: the Taiwanese student in Thai, and the Thai student in Taiwanese. Neither could do it. Everyone laughed, even though it wasn't funny... it was sad. It's also curious that all the students are required to study 3 - 6 languages when the Western teachers are for the most part solidly monolingual and have no experience or concept of what it takes to learn a second language, let alone a third. Academically, some alumni have gone on to great schools like Princeton, UC Berkeley, and UBC. The vast majority of students go to schools in Thailand, with a few going to Taiwan, which makes one wonder why so many students are unwilling being pushed into struggling through 3 - 4 AP Courses every year. The school makes a point to highlight their strongest academic students, but in my 8 years of experience there, I think only the top 20% and bottom 20% of students receive proper instruction and support; everyone else in the middle 60% are left to teach themselves, as their teachers are preoccupied with the "Smart" students and the "struggling" students. Classes are either taught to the top, as many kids get pushed into AP classes they have no business in, or taught to the bottom, where classes are simplified to accommodate students who can't speak English. So, students who are the very best and would succeed anywhere will have an opportunity to be the big fish in a small pond, and students who just need to learn basic conversational English and nothing else will have plenty of teachers helping them do just that. To summarize, TCIS is a decent school for some students, but it should be a much better school than it is. On paper, they should be one of the best schools in Bangkok. Instead, TCIS is the epitome of squandered potential. For 6 of my 8 years there, I was very happy; for the last 2, I overstayed my welcome.

Reviews from Google

Recent reviews posted on Google.

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Mar Rattana, 8 months ago


This is an amazing school with great teachers who care about students and their learning. Students speak three languages and go to great university. My children graduated from here and all were very successful in college.

Google logoRating: 

Nilobol Preechathamarach, a year ago


This is the best school ever hahahahah

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Andy Wu, 8 months ago


I admire how this school provides opportunities for students to learn Chinese, Thai, and English. The reason I'm giving it a four star is due to the lack of interest the students develop throughout their learning process. The teachers should know the students' weaknesses in their course, and improve our flaws for us to become better learners. Students appreciate those teachers, but those great teachers had left our school. No wonder students got bored and started to lose interest here in TCIS. Hopefully the school improves their education system more rather than focusing on the appearance and useless properties.

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Nolan Harvey, 9 months ago


Not an international school. Ran by crooks, led by the "HOS", who's motto is "cheat to win". All good staff gone, nobody with integrity stays. Contracts are changed, good people/teachers hung out to dry. "Three" languages, the kids can hardly speak 1. Plenty of choices, choose a school with a soul. John McGrath is a joke, greasy Thai Ph.D, brutus himself. Hire's MS/HS principals with no experience and staff turnover rate is ridiculous. Latest stunt with have TCIS out of the Bangkok International Schools Athletic Conference. School is on borrowed time

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