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Expat Exchange - Best International Schools and Bilingual Schools in Penang 2024
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View of George Town, Penang, Malaysia


Best International Schools and Bilingual Schools in Penang

By Betsy Burlingame

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: If you're moving to Penang with kids, choosing a school if often your first decisions and impacts where you'll live. Here are some popular bilingual and international schools in Penang

Penang, is a vibrant hub for expats and digital nomads, offering a diverse cultural experience and a high quality of life. The island is home to a number of international and bilingual schools, catering to the educational needs of expatriate children. Among the most popular are the Dalat International School, known for its American curriculum, and the International School of Penang (Uplands), which offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. With a variety of curricula and extracurricular activities, these schools provide a global education that prepares students for universities worldwide. Here is a list of recommended international and bilingual schools within a short drive from Penang.

Dalat International School

Grades: Preschool through Grade 12
Location(s): Tanjung Bungah, Penang
Website: www.dalat.org

Dalat International School offers an American-based curriculum with Advanced Placement (AP) courses for high school students. The school is well-equipped with modern facilities, including science labs, a library, and sports complexes. It also provides a wide range of extracurricular activities, from arts to athletics, ensuring a well-rounded education for its diverse student body.

The International School of Penang (Uplands)

Grades: Reception to Year 13
Location(s): Batu Ferringhi, Penang
Website: www.uplands.org

Uplands is one of the oldest international schools in Malaysia and offers the IB program alongside IGCSEs. The school prides itself on its multicultural environment, with students from over 40 different nationalities. Uplands boasts excellent academic results and a strong pastoral care system, with a wide array of extracurricular activities to complement its academic offerings.

St. Christopher's International Primary School

Grades: Nursery to Year 6
Location(s): George Town, Penang
Website: www.scips.org.my

St. Christopher's International Primary School is a well-established institution offering a British-based curriculum. It focuses on creating a nurturing environment for young learners, with a strong emphasis on both academic and personal development. The school has a reputation for its inclusive community and engaging learning experiences.

Prince of Wales Island International School (POWIIS)

Grades: Year 7 to Year 13
Location(s): Balik Pulau, Penang
Website: www.powiis.edu.my

POWIIS offers a British curriculum with a focus on IGCSEs and A-Levels. The school is known for its state-of-the-art facilities, including a performing arts centre and extensive sports amenities. POWIIS provides a holistic education with a strong emphasis on character development and leadership skills.

Penang Japanese School

Grades: Kindergarten to Senior High School
Location(s): George Town, Penang

The Penang Japanese School caters to Japanese expatriate families, offering education from kindergarten through to senior high school following the Japanese national curriculum. It is a unique option for those seeking continuity with the Japanese education system and also provides opportunities for cultural exchange with the local community.

Straits International School

Grades: Early Years to Year 13
Location(s): Bayan Lepas, Penang
Website: www.sisgroup.edu.my

Straits International School provides a British-based curriculum and is known for its personalized approach to education. The school offers a wide range of IGCSE and A-Level courses and places a strong emphasis on developing critical thinking and leadership skills. With a diverse student population, it offers a truly international learning environment.

Fairview International School

Grades: Kindergarten to Year 13
Location(s): Bukit Jambul, Penang
Website: www.fairview.edu.my

Fairview International School is part of a network of IB World Schools in Malaysia, offering the IB Primary Years, Middle Years, and Diploma Programmes. The school is committed to fostering a community of inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people who are motivated to succeed. Fairview's holistic approach to education is designed to develop well-rounded individuals.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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View of George Town, Penang, Malaysia

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