A caring, inclusive, and supportive community. Knowledgeable teachers. Unique learning experiences through collaboration with world-class creative practitioners and creative thinkers. A fun home away from home. This is what students of Prem International School — a day and boarding International Baccalaureate World School in Chiang Mai, Thailand — had to say when asked to define what their school meant to them.
Prem International School is one of only two schools in Thailand that offers all four International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes — the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), Diploma Programme (DP), and the Careers-related Programme (CP).
These IB programmes provide more than just a means to prepare for university. They have a philosophy that cultivates curiosity, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Here, your child isn’t just a learner; they actively address real-world challenges, foster intercultural understanding, and shape a future marked by global competencies. Just ask Ava Upshaw, an IB DP student originally from the US.
“Prem’s dedication to creating global citizens and providing a high-quality education made it the ideal choice for me,” Upshaw says. “At Prem, I’ve become a more well-rounded and open-minded student while also developing critical life skills, global awareness, and necessary personal growth to prepare myself for the future beyond the classroom.”
Learning is joyful and effective here. And that’s thanks to the school’s personalised approach. Instead of imposing one-size-fits-all measures, teachers take time to understand abilities, interests and goals and are mindful of cultural backgrounds and prior learning experiences. Different resources are used to meet unique individual needs.
“Together with Ms. Claire Gordon, my current PPS teacher, there’s another teacher, Ms. Lucy Kyte, who has consistently supported my mathematical abilities,” student Thadee Demetrio Lombardo says. “Throughout this time, I never once felt that my work was judged negatively or harshly. Her feedback was consistently genuine, offering hope for my future in mathematics rather than discouragement. Ms. Kyte’s continuous support and friendliness significantly created a warm and welcoming atmosphere in her classroom.”
Upshaw agrees. “Many teachers have played pivotal roles in my academic and community engagement journey,” she says. “Ms. Noortje’s support and guidance have been fundamental in helping me navigate the challenges and opportunities that the DP presents, ensuring that I can make informed decisions and achieve my academic and personal goals.”
Prem isn’t just about academics and assessments. The school believes that the keys to a successful future lie in a progressive academic curriculum paired with creative exploration and exposure to the arts. One such initiative that integrates creative inquiry and the arts to enhance and enrich learning in all areas is the award-winning Artist Residency Thailand programme.
ARThailand brings together world-class artists, practitioners, and creative thinkers. Students learn to think critically, express confidently, and collaborate effectively, preparing them for an ever-evolving world. In the 2023-24 lineup, Prem will welcome renowned soprano Claron McFadden, esteemed film director and producer Mike Downey OBE, and other notable figures.
Sports is another area where many Prem students hone positive habits and develop character. Exploria, the school’s co-curricular programme, features over 100 sports and activities. Most of these take place on the beautiful 100-acre campus, complete with its own farm, Forest School, Cooking Academy, Golf Centre, Tennis Academy, Olympic-sized swimming pool, and even an International Cricket Council -approved cricket pitch.
Many students enjoy these activities. “I had fun and action-packed times being with my friends and football teammates,” Lombardo says. “I also enjoyed doing experiments in chemistry or going out on field trips. In terms of athletics, that same year, the varsity football team won the Chiang Mai Athletics Conference tournament, adding to my achievements that year.”
Whether in the classroom, on the stage or in the fields, inclusivity isn’t just a concept at Prem. It’s the heart of their community. Everyone’s voice is heard and valued here — promoting cross-cultural understanding, empathy, and a sense of global citizenship among students. “One of my favourite service projects at Prem is our Foodbank Exploria,” Upshaw says. “Our mission is to assist local communities in Mae Rim—who often face severe financial constraints—by distributing food, basic supplies, and clothing.”
By distributing the supplies and engaging with these communities, she realised the impact of their support goes beyond mere donations. “We were not just providing books and clothes; we were also building connections and fostering a sense of community,” Upshaw says.
A Prem International School education is the key to unlocking one’s full potential. All aspirations are welcomed to discover what they can achieve with the right programmes, teachers and support here. If your child demonstrates excellence in a range of academic, sports and creative fields, click here to learn more about scholarships.