Cities in Asia with the lowest international school fees
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Cities in Asia with the lowest international school fees

Cities in Asia with the lowest international school fees

Are you thinking of moving to Asia but don’t want to fork out a fortune for your children’s international school tuition fees? The International Schools Database (ISB) recently published their findings on a research project that compares tuition fees by region.

ISC Research’s Global Opportunities Report 2019 showed that demand for international schools remains high in Asia. In Southeast Asia, particularly, figures show a 5.7 percent growth, increasing from 394,100 students in 2015 to 492,300 this year. International schools are mushrooming in the region, providing ample choices for parents – both local and expats.

Analysing price data from 19 cities in 13 countries in Asia, the results showed the highest international school fees are located in China – Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzen respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, here are the three cheapest cities in Asia with the lowest international school fees.

Phuket, Thailand

The beautiful island of Phuket has twelve international schools and is one of the cheapest cities for international schools. It ranked 17th out of the 19 cities surveyed.

The ISB found that the minimum fee charged is US$1,840 per year, with an overall median of US$8,515, and maximum of US$20,397 – making it one of the most affordable options for international school fees.

Phuket island is the largest in the country, and many foreigners choose to relocate or retire there for its gorgeous weather and sunny beaches, laidback vibe, and close proximity to other popular Asian cities. There are also several world-class golf courses.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur has a big international school market, which expanded rapidly when the government allowed local parents to enroll their children in these schools, which previously only open to foreigners.

This has allowed for a diverse range of international schools to crop up and there is a lot of competition. Therefore, there are many options for those looking for more affordable fees, placing the city at 18th place in ISB’s ranking.

According to ISB, the lowest fees are US$2,446 per year while the most expensive is US$22,273. In total, there are 79 international schools in Kuala Lumpur.

The capital of a thriving developing nation, Kuala Lumpur attracts plenty of expats for its tropical weather, diverse cuisine and low cost of living compared to neighbouring Singapore.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

ISB found Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia to be the cheapest city for international school fees.

The study found that the lowest fees charged here is US$1,840. The maximum is US$19,941. Comparatively, the lowest fees in Beijing, the most expensive city for international school education, is US$8,097 with a maximum of $41,389.

According to ISB, there are approximately 51 international schools in the Cambodian capital.

What does Phnom Penh have to offer expats and foreigners? It’s a bustling city that’s currently seeing steady growth after rebuilding itself following political unrest and Khmer Rouge genocide that happened in the 70s.

According to the World Bank, “Over the past two decades, Cambodia has undergone a significant transition, reaching lower middle-income status in 2015 and aspiring to attain upper middle-income status by 2030.

“Driven by garment exports and tourism, Cambodia’s economy has sustained an average growth rate of eight percent between 1998 and 2018, making it one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.”

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