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An Interview with Carolyn Solomon

Carolyn Solomon Prem Tinsulanonda International School plans to offer the International Baccalaureat

An interview with Carolyn Solomon, Head of The Prem Tinsulanonda International School on its plans to offer the International Baccalaureate

Is the International Baccalaureate curriculum like other national curricula?
The I.B. is not a national curriculum. It belongs to no one country. It was designed in the sixties because of the need for an international senior secondary school curriculum for geographically mobile students who wanted to go on to study in universities in any country. The I.B. diploma is highly regarded by universities from around the world.

How does the I.B. diploma curriculum differ?
It is designed by top educators from countries around the world. It is therefore not only global, but also top quality. In addition to six subjects (three at higher level and three at standard level) the I.B. diploma student develops research skills through completing a mini-thesis, called the Extended Essay, under the guidance of a specialist teacher. Many students choose a subject they plan to specialize in at university. The Theory of Knowledge course involves lively and informed debate as students evaluate how truth is presented in this world. This course develops critical thinking skills. In addition, I.B. students cannot sit in a classroom living only in an academic world. They pursue creative interests, participate in sport or recreation and discover the pleasure of helping others in need through community service.

Where can students go to university once they graduate from the Prem Tinsulanonda International School with the I.B. diploma?
Everywhere. The universities respect this curriculum highly. In the U.S. you gain credits for your higher level subjects and therefore advanced placement. I.B. students are thriving in the world's top universities including Oxford, Cambridge and Ivy League Colleges in the U.S.

Why is it so highly regarded by universities?
Because it is a rigorous program.

Who at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School helps students select and apply for ?
A tertiary adviser with international tertiary expertise, supported by a team of staff from a range of countries, keeps students informed about the university choices available to them around the world and assists students with the university application process such as the completion of university application forms. TOEFL and SAT preparation are provided and the college Library will be well stocked with reference materials and on-line resources about universities around the World.

How is the I.B. taught in the Primary and Middle years?
The Primary and Middle years programmes are characterised by enquiry-based and individualised learning. Subjects are taught in an integrated way across the curriculum in order to avoid a fragmented approach. And, of course, the curriculum is international.

Where do the Prem Tinsulanonda International School teachers come from?
They are first and foremost proven competent teachers in their fields. They must be able to speak good English because that is the language of instruction. They must have a holistic approach to education, recognizing the importance of contributing to the after-school activities program as well as to the boarding community. They come from many countries and several have been I.B. examiners in their fields.

Is the campus safe?
Fully trained security man the gates in addition to mobile patrol. There is a campus Medical Center with qualified nursing staff on duty 24 hours. All teachers live on campus.

What is the food like?
An international buffet menu meets the variety of cultural and religious needs of the student community.

For students living in Chiang Mai, will there be a bus service?
There will be several bus stops in Chiang Mai for transporting students to and from the Prem Tinsulanonda International School.

Where do the Boarders live?
In two-bedroom apartments each with two bathrooms, lounge/study area, kitchenette and balcony. A teacher who is a House parent lives in each block of five apartments. This teacher is responsible for the welfare of Boarders in the same block.

Where do the students come from?
There are many different nationalities already enrolled at the Prem Tinsulanonda International School. For more information and a tour of the campus, please call Tel. (053) 301500. The campus is only 20 minutes drive from Chiang MFai city and is located in the beautiful area of Mae Rim Neua. Visit their website www.premcenter.org

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