Moving to Thailand with a family during normal circumstances can be a huge change in one’s life, a change made more challenging due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing travel restrictions, safety measures and mandates that change from country to country.
At International School Bangkok (ISB), our student body is diverse and we have new students joining us from around the world every year, even during this challenging time of the pandemic. Due to Thailand’s mandatory quarantine period upon entering the country, all new arrivals must spend two weeks in a hotel room self isolating, an experience that can feel overwhelming and even scary to some.
In order to provide our students with a positive transition experience into ISB we felt it necessary to offer additional support to our incoming families, even before they are able to step onto our beautiful campus and be with us in-person. We spoke with a few of our community members to learn more about their experience moving to Thailand during the pandemic and how they were able to adjust to their new home
What is your quarantine experience: Student and alumni point of view
There are many points of support for our new students making the move to Thailand at this time.
ISB supports our students moving to Thailand in the transition into our virtual learning environment, which they take part in during their quarantine period and in some cases even before they leave for Thailand. There is academic and social-emotional support during their quarantine period, and open communication between the student and their new teachers helps them settle into their new environment. When the time comes for them to join us at ISB for on-campus learning, our new students are eager to meet their peers, participate in classroom activities and embrace the full ISB experience.
The student in the video below speaks about her experience and about the support she received during her move to Thailand.
Our ISB alumni often come back to Thailand, be it to see family, friends or to visit the beautiful ISB campus and reminisce on their time as students. Thailand has been able to maintain an exceptionally high standard of safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many families and alumni have returned for that reason.
Many Alumni describe coming back to ISB as “coming home” - a transcendent feeling of belonging no matter what your age. The video below features one such ISB graduate, who talks about the comforts of his quarantine period, what it was like moving from Thailand from the US, what he is most looking forward to regarding his return to Thailand, and what brought him back to ISB.
Our campus in Nichada Thani is the center of student life for the ISB community, and even though the campus has had to close for brief periods of time for COVID-19 related concerns, Virtual School has provided ISB with the opportunity to continue learning in a virtual environment.
One positive aspect of virtual school is that it has provided a successful platform and approach to distance learning for students who are moving to Thailand and have to quarantine, or for distance learners who have not yet arrived in the country.
One student at ISB created a short video to reflect on “A day in the life of a high school student living and learning in Japan” before she was able to move to Thailand to attend ISB in person. She also shared some of the comparisons between her life in Japan and her new life in Thailand, “I felt very welcomed by my classmates and the Nichada community. I used to ride a train to my old school, so I liked being able to go to ISB safely with my bicycle.”
It is on account of our teachers, our expansive student support program, and our strong culture of care that we are able to support students adequately as they transition and find their place of belonging at ISB, even during these challenging times.
Thank you to these students and alumni for sharing their experiences with us, for our current community, and for those that will be joining our community soon!