In 1992 only a bare handful of international schools existed in Thailand, each with a strong connection to a single national curriculum.
NIST was—and still is—unique.
Working hand-in-hand with staff of the United Nations, the first parents, students and teachers envisioned a school free from any one philosophy, creed or system. They imagined a learning community dedicated to a truly international education, one that embraces diversity, and the strength and richness it cultivates. When NIST opened its gates on the sunny morning of August 13th, 1992, 502 young learners turned that dream into a reality.
NIST went on to become the very first full International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Thailand, offering all three IB programmes by 1999. Focused on inquiry, exploration, reflection and—most significantly—the belief that learning is at the core of the human experience, the IB philosophy aligned with the shared vision of our growing community. By the time the first graduates left their second home, the NIST name had become synonymous with excellence.
In the years since, thousands of students and hundreds of teachers have left their marks on the school, all contributing in their own ways. NIST itself has grown, expanding its campus and extending its vision throughout Southeast Asia. Yet at our core we remain a community of dreamers, of learners who see the world with optimism and hope.
Spurred through the efforts of members of the United Nations, NIST International School opened on 13 August 1992. Expanding rapidly, we took a lead among international schools in Southeast Asia, launching our first website and forming the Southeast Asia Student Activity Conference with several other schools in 1994. By 1996 we had begun to offer the IB Diploma Programme, and our first graduating class of 13 students left the school in 1997.
Shortly after, NIST earned accreditation through CIS and NEASC, in addition to ONESQA, making us the first school in Thailand to receive triple accreditation. When the IB Primary Years Programme was launched in 1999, we again achieved a first by becoming the only full IB World School in Thailand. The need to expand spurred a renewed lease with the Church of Christ in Thailand and the launch of a comprehensive development plan.
Having celebrated our ten-year anniversary, our campus began to transform, opening the Early Years Centre and Sports Complex in 2003, and a new cafeteria in 2004. Philosophically, the IB principles began to permeate every aspect of our community, as service, activism and learning outside the classroom took central roles. With the launch of the NIST Alumni Association, these ideals began to spread worldwide.
By 2012 the NIST campus was almost unrecognizable as renovations and construction continued. Within the classroom, students benefited from the school’s new 1-to-1 tablet programme (now the 1-to-1 MacBook Air programme) and other cutting-edge technology, and our school had become recognized as a leader in Thailand and abroad. NIST was set to enter a new era.
Refining a Vision
In the last few years NIST has aimed to establish itself as a leader in education not only in Asia, but also around the globe. Through our ever-evolving programmes and dedication to a renewed vision, we strive to positively impact our communities through the power of learning.