Researching International Schools in Kuala Lumpur

Lately, I have been busy doing some research on some of the international schools.  Although hubby and I are keen to send Gavin to Garden International School’s early learning center, we thought it would be good to have a back up school.  I found an excellent list of international schools in Kuala Lumpur on @llo’ Expat Malaysia and Google Maps.

Based on location (proximity to where we live and relative ease of access), I had narrowed down the list of schools to the following:

Garden International School Kuala Lumpur
16 Jalan Kiara 3
Off Jalan Bukit Kiara
50480 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: Grace
T : (+603)6209 6888
F : (+603)6201 2468
W : www.gardenschool.edu.my
E : admissions@gardenschool.edu.my

Alice Smith International School (Primary)
2 Jalan Bellamy
50460 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: Anita
T : (+603)2148 3674
F : (+603)2148 3418
W : www.alice-smith.edu.my
E : klass@alice-smith.edu.my

Fairview International School
260 Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: Mita 014-9660479
T : (+603)4253 2233
F : (+603)4253 2223
W : www.fairview.edu.my
E : enquiries@fairview.edu.my

Sayfol
No. 261, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Contact: Cecilia
T: (603) 4256 8781
F: (603) 4257 9464
W: www.sayfol.edu.my/

Mont’Kiara International School
22 Jalan Kiara, Mont’Kiara,
Kuala Lumpur 50480, Malaysia.
Contact: Yang
T: +60 3 2093 8604
F: +60 3 2093 6045
W: www.mkis.edu.my
E: info@mkis.edu.my

British International School Kuala Lumpur
The British School, The Club, 1 Club Drive,
Bukit Utama, Bandar Utama,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor, 47800 Malaysia
Contact: Sook Ling
T: +6 03 7727 7775
F: +6 03 7722 1296
W : www.bskl.org.my
E: admissions@bskl.org.my

Armed with the following questions, I made appointments to to see each of the schools so I could decide which ones I would like to submit applications for Gavin to:

  1. Teaching philosophies
  2. Staff turnover
  3. Teaching staff qualifications
  4. Extra-curricular activities
  5. School campus facilities
  6. Class sizes

I have yet to see all of the schools, but two are already off the list:

  • Mont’Kiara International School is currently not open to local students.  It is uncertain whether they may change this policy next year.
  • Sayfol has left a rather poor impression upon me.  I called to speak to admissions and was referred to speak to Cecilia who was not in.  I was told she would call me back but she never did.  When I was in the area, I paid them an unannounced visit and was barked at by Cecilia.  I don’t know if that is the way she normally speaks to everyone, but I certainly didn’t appreciate being spoken to in that manner.  Based on what I saw of the school, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the campus facilities either.  There were also two murky ponds located near the preschool/kindergarten building which looked like they could have been infested with the Aedes mosquito.  Although we were told to come back to speak to the person in charge of the preschool and kindergarten admissions, I don’t think we’re going back.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

138 thoughts on “Researching International Schools in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Hi all, it’s been very interesting to read all of you parents’ good works to put your sharing here, really appreciate.
    Just like many of you, my wife and I are busy researching local international schools in the Subang and Shah Alam areas. We are looking for IGCSE program for our daughter currently in a local chinese primary shcool (Std 5), and are preparing her for the Year 7 late next year into one of the local international schools.
    Has anyone got any experience to share on Kingsley International School (at Putra Heights) and APIS (Asia-Pacific International School, also currently known as “Sapura Smart School”) ? We have visited both facilities. Kingsley currently operate on a few adjacent shop lots , not impressed with the administration of entrance test, and is very new (setup this year), so many things are still being stabilized. Sapura on the other hand, looks very elite on the facilities and students (high school fees as well). I am particularly interested to learn any experience on the quality of teachers, students and the general administration.
    We are keeping Sri KL as our main plan, and are looking for a backup (2nd) plan if our daughter cannot gain entry into the former. Many thanks in advance.

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  2. Visited APIS today at the Open Day, impressive facilities – still look new, although a 6 years old setup. Met the new Principal Clives at, seems impressive. Number of faculty is yet to join, but school administration look well organised and my daughter loved the uniform for international school and their tour was too good. We have made up our mind to register this Tuesday. they commence on 10th Sep for the IGCSE, my daughter is 7 to join year 2.

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  3. Hi,
    I am glad to find the blog that discussed about international school here. I am looking for an International school for my son. He is now 6, and attending Kindergarden in USA. Hense, Yr 1 we are taking him back to Malaysia. I came across APIS. If anyone has kids go to APIS, would you share your experience?

    Like

  4. Hi all.. Am from bangladesh planning to sattle in kl. I am vey
    Worried as my son will start his A level there.. Can anyone pls
    Suggest me which school be the best in terms of education n environment?
    I am quite concern about enviroment.. Dont want give him
    Big culture shock.. He would be needing good lecturer too.

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  5. Now in front of the Alice Smith school got condominium to be stay in 3 years later. Parents no need send children from a far far away place to there. Normally where the parents stayed while they sending their children to Alice Smith Inter. School?

    I want to know does the place jam when the children want to return home?

    Does the primary and secondary are studying in the same time?

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  6. GIS KL is the worst international school I have ever sent my kids to. I pulled them out immediately after two terms ! Its a night mare there ! Beware of extreme parent to parent politics ! Paranoia is the right word !! Parents are super duper overly protective and they will gang up against you just because your kid pushed their kids or mess up their hair. Some are pretty influential, trying to exert their influence and power in the school. Young primary Kids are not supervised out of class and teachers do not bother if kids eat their lunch or not. There’s always something parents have to pay for every week. Hygiene is also a concern. Safety is lacking, chairs and tables are placed near corridors and kids are often seen standing on top of the tables and chairs, risking their lives near the edge of the first floor. Teachers do not care and it not worth the money sending your kids to that horrible school.

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  7. My children go to BSKL and i think its the best decision that me and my husband made. We did a whole list of International school from Alice Smith to Garden to Mont Kiara, made a whole comparison chart from fees to students ratio etc.. But after visiting all the campuses, the only school that stood out was BSKL. Now, with the new secondary campus being just next door, its perfect. Garden early childhood campus was fine but once i go to the big campus, it was too chaotic, disorganized, i didn’t know where to head to. Children were all over the place without any real supervision. It didn’t give me a good first impression. Alice Smith was nice but the school campus looks old and If i’m paying almost the same amount, i’d go with the super organized modern building with new up to date facilities for my children. They are actually happy to go to go everyday (has been 3 semesters now), and that is the icing on the cake for me.

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  8. Hi, I am planning to start my 3.5 yr daughter in Reception this year. My consideration is between Desa Park City International School and ELC. Does anyone have any feedback for either of them?

    Thanks.

    Like

  9. Just checked on Etonhouse’s website and found out that they’re running the Primary Years now. Year4 is to commence this September. Does anyone have any information about this school? Thanks!

    Like

  10. Hello! This is an informative blog. Thanks for starting it, Shen Li.

    Both my boys are currently studying in the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM). When they first started there is Year 5 & 6, it was a major adjustment for me. Both my boys were from the local government school. We were accustomed with regular tests and exams and regimented school system of memorization facts.

    It is world of difference in AISM whereby there is a good balance between work and play. They have many projects and research assignment whereby the child has to do lots of research to gather information. That really helped my son to have a broader perspective of things, improved their command of English and better grasp of using Microsoft Word & Excel.

    In AISM, there is also a great selection of After School Activity (ASA). Most are free…There is also the compulsory annual school camp which I strongly support. Kids have the opportunity to be independent while learning about new culture, history and so much more. These are all done under the watchful eyes of the teachers. So far, my boys have done a few local destination. The latest was Cambodia for my son in Year 9 and Ho Chih Min for my other boy in Year 10.

    Overall, we are happy with our experiences in AISM.

    Due to the distance from my house, we are not considering AISM for my daughter, Instead, we are looking at GIS for Year 1. I would appreciate for some feedbacks on GIS. Thank you. Cheers!

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  11. Hi everyone,

    I am moving to Malaysia on August this year and will be living in Mont Kiara. I have twin children, a boy and a girl who are 4 years old. My son suffers from Cerebral Palsy and has delayed development. He cannot walk on his own. My daughter is fine. Can anyone tell me if there is any International school near Mont Kiara that accept special needs children as well. He had been going to regular school and is very intelligent…… But he has some motor skill problems. Also pls tell me which international school is good and not too expensive like Garden and Mont Kiara international.

    Regards
    Farhana

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  12. Reply from: Mariann Magyari

    Hi Farhana,

    I went through a lots of school, but honestly non of them really open for disabled kids. I ended up with Sri Garden in Taman Maluri for a year now. I have to say that they are fantastic!! This school used to be local, but 3 years ago they went to International. This school is member of the Taylor Educational Group and the current principle is used to be the vise president of the Alice Smith
    Schools. The standards is high and they trained the teachers to deal with individuals! Good luck!

    Like

  13. Hi Mariann,
    I am also moving to KL this July and I am having such a headache finding school for my 6 years old son.
    As good international schools such as Alice,ISLK,BIS…are just over my budget.
    I looked at Tenby,Fairview,Sayfol,ELC…they are more at reasonable prices. ELC is already full but 3 others have suchsuch negative comments that I really don’t want to think about sending him there. I am now considefinh International School at Desa Park. The price is a bit cheaper. Until now I just read about Sri Garden….
    I have tried to opened the web but could not open it…It seems to have some errors. Can you pls give me more dedetails of this school?do they teach all in English and are the teachers expats?Thank you very much for your help!

    Like

  14. Hi Farhana

    Sri Garden is an excellent school.The teaching staff is phenomenal.My kids are SG n they love their teachers n their school.It has a great community feel.

    Deepti

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  15. Hello There,

    My son will be attending BSKL from September onwards. Of all the schools we visited it was the only one we felt was a proper British School.

    We avoided Alice Smith since it has ‘certain reputation’ and we have dutch and sout african friends, as well as malaysian chinese friends, who pulled out their kids coz they were discriminated against for not being English. Sorry, they can keep their racist attitude to themselves.

    Regards,

    Maria

    Like

  16. Hi there, Do you know any VERY good piano teacher in KL? My son is very talented in piano and I would love to have very talented piano teacher duration of our stay in KL in min or end of next year for a couple of years. If you know anyone whom you can recommend, i would like to start communicating with her/him before we get to KL. Your feedback would be much appreciated since we do not know anyone to ask yet. Regards, Junko

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  17. Hello,
    Am planing to move with my family this December to KL. My twins will be joining their 4th grade. Can anyone give me review about the following school? I would immensely help me to make a decision! My heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the help and support!
    1) Fairview School, KL
    2) Global Indian international school
    3) Sayfol School
    4) ElC international school

    Like

  18. Hi,

    Can anyone share reviews on Fairview International School.I read in a few that the school has high teacher turn over, but after turning to complete IB curriculum, has the school improved .

    Your feedback would be much appreciated .

    Thank you

    Like

  19. Hello Everyone:

    We’re researching international primary schools around KLCC. I’ve identified EtonHouse on Persiaran Stonor as a possible option.

    There is not a ton of information or feedback available on EtonHouse. Based on my research, I found largely negative reviews but these date back to 2012-2013.

    However, there seems to have been a change in management since those comments were written. Additionally, they are now officially an IB world school following the IB primary years program. I’d would really appreciate if anyone could offer feedback on their recent experiences with EtonHouse KL including the stability of the faculty. Many thanks.

    Like

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