Information For University Representatives
This calendar shows upcoming college visits, fairs and holidays. Admission representatives can use it as they begin to plan a visit to Phuket and BISP.
University & College Representatives
We hope you will consider visiting the counsellors and students of the British International School, Phuket (BISP). You’re welcome to come as an individual, in a small group, or join our large Phuket fair in September. Although we are a British school, we have a diverse student body representing over 60 countries. We also have five high performance elite sports programs in the areas of golf, softball, football (soccer), triathlon, and tennis. In the past four years our students have matriculated to over 20 different countries, with the UK, Thailand, US, Australia and Canada receiving the highest numbers of graduates.
Scheduling a Visit
As you begin making your travel arrangements, you should start by looking at the above calendar, which shows when we are in session and the representatives already scheduled to be on campus. Our preferred time for a visit is during the 12:45 until 1:35 PM lunch break. It is also possible, but less preferable, to come during the shorter 10:10 until 10:40 AM morning break. Once you’ve narrowed down a date and time, please contact ……., the counsellor who coordinates individual and small group visits. Lek Berman, Office Assistant, will coordinate the logistics of your visit.
Brochures and Materials
In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, BISP does not have a university reference area and we do not retain copies of printed university materials. Students and counsellors prefer to access information online. We hope that you will help support us in this endeavor and limit the distribution of printed materials.
Annual Phuket University Fair
On Monday, September 23, 2019, immediately after the September 20-21 CIS-EARCOS Institute on Higher Education Conference in Bangkok, BISP will once again host the annual Phuket University Fair. You can take the one-hour flight to beautiful Phuket on Sunday, September 22, spend the day on the beach, and then join us for a sunset drinks reception.
Both in 2017 and 2018, nearly 500 students and around 100 university representatives attended the fair, making it the largest university related event in Phuket. Following the fair you can either remain in Phuket for a bit of rest, or take the 30-minute drive to the international airport and immediately fly on to your next destination. In addition to BISP students, United World College, Head Start, QSI, KISP Academy and BCIS international students, along with local English speaking Thai students, will be invited. BISP will advertise the event across the island.
Since it is low season in Phuket, excellent hotels have very attractive rates – much cheaper than remaining in Bangkok for the weekend. We will be negotiating rates with some local hotels. Not only will you be able to see over many excellent students, you can save your institution some money by coming to Phuket!
Other Schools in Phuket
In addition to visiting BISP, in one day it’s possible to visit one or two other schools on the island. These international schools include UWC Thailand (contact Len Peters), Headstart International School (contact Gemma Caines), Kajonkiet International School (contact Martin Poveda), and QSI International School of Phuket (contact Rob Peters).
Getting Around in Phuket
BISP is in the middle of the island and the airport is in the northern part. If you are coming straight from the airport, plan on up to an hour to get through immigration/baggage claim (less if you’re coming from Bangkok and can skip the immigration lines) and then about 30 minutes by taxi to get to BISP. A taxi costs around 600 – 700 Baht or US$20. While a taxi can be booked in advance, they are also easy to get at the airport at the taxi kiosk. Except for Grab taxi, local taxis do not take credit cards. To use Grab, you will want to download the Grab Taxi app (similar to Uber) and add your credit card before your arrival in Thailand. Note that some Grab taxis are reluctant to enter the airport and they can cost considerably more than an airport taxi. Your hotel can also organise a pick up, but it will be more expensive than taking a taxi from the airport to your hotel.
Give yourself at least 45 minutes to get to the school from most places on the island. While it’s likely only 30 minutes, road construction or rain can make the trip longer, especially during the “high season” of December to March. Try to arrive at BISP 30 minutes before the student break so that you will have time to speak with the counsellors.
If you will be making multiple school visits you may want to charter a car and a driver for the day since you will not be able to flag down a taxi around most schools. Your hotel can also assist with transportation or you can negotiate a daily rate with any taxi driver – even the one who picks you up at the airport. Grab Taxi is also an option, but be aware that the drivers like to call to confirm your details in Thai.
Arriving on Campus
Ask the driver to go to Gate 1 in the front of the school and drop you off at the roundabout that serves as the Primary School entrance. Please bring some form of ID other than your passport since you will be asked to exchange an ID card for a visitor’s pass at the security gate. The Information Booth is next to security. They will call us and we will come down to greet you.
If you arrive extra early, you are welcome to spend some time at our “Bake” coffee shop/cafe. They have good coffee and free wifi. If you find you’re running late, please call us at +66 76 335 555.
Phuket is 90 minutes or less from Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. August to November is the low (yes, rainy) season so the cost to stay in a luxurious hotel on the beach can be very reasonable. Consider combining a Friday or Monday visit to BISP with a weekend of relaxation.
Hotels – Phuket has a wide variety of hotel options. Hotels in Patong, Kamala and Bang Tao beach areas will allow you to get to BISP and most of the other international schools in about 30 minutes – longer during the December to March high season. Before you book a hotel, take a look at Google maps to get a sense of the drive. Hotels in the far north or far south of the island could require a drive of nearly an hour during the high season.
Sightseeing/Eating – There is plenty to do in Phuket, but with transport being relatively expensive and traffic sometimes difficult, it can be a challenge to get around. Where and how long you stay will probably determine how much sightseeing you do. The beaches are world-renowned and cater to all interests. Patong, the most famous, is very busy, with Bang Tao and Surin being quiet and more relaxing. All have great sunsets. Phuket Old Town is lovely to explore and very different from the rest of the island, with a large night market each Sunday beginning at 5 PM. If you are into fitness there are plenty of yoga and Muay Thai gyms, as well as scuba diving if you are in Phuket long enough.
Thailand is famous for its food and there are plenty of restaurant options – both local and international. If you have a sensitive stomach (or even if you don’t) you may want to stick to restaurants instead of street food. Here are some Thai dishes to try:
- Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
- Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
- Tom Kha Kai (Chicken in Coconut Soup)
- Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles)
- Khao Pad (Fried Rice)
- Pad Krapow Moo Saap (Fried Basil and Pork)
- Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Green Chicken Curry)
If you are strict vegetarian you’ll want to choose a place where English is spoken. Many dishes will contain fish sauce.
Travelling in the Region
Over 50 different carriers fly into Phuket, including several discount carriers that fly to neighbouring cities and countries. These carriers (e.g., AirAsia, TigerAir, Nok, etc.) are much like RyanAir in Europe or Southwest in the US. Flights have to be booked on the carrier’s website and cannot be arranged by travel agents. Although luggage and seat assignments cost extra, flights can be very reasonable (e.g., a round trip flight to Singapore can be as cheap as US$150). Skyscanner and Google Flights provide great ways to compare prices and will show both full service and low cost carriers.
You can also travel by boat and visit Phi Phi or any of the other neighbouring islands. There are tour operators in and around every hotel offering day trip packages so you can make a decision on going an a tour after you arrive in Phuket. These trips only need to be booked the day before so you can check the weather forecast before committing.