Masala Magazine Thailand

Home » Shreyans, Shruti, Saloni and Suyash Kothari, Bangkok Patana School alumni and siblings, on why Bangkok Patana stands a class apart

Shreyans, Shruti, Saloni and Suyash Kothari, Bangkok Patana School alumni and siblings, on why Bangkok Patana stands a class apart

by Aiden

How the school begot their loyalty from the very beginning.

Pictured above, from left to right: Suyash (BPS Grad19, Brown University ’21); Saloni (BPS Grad17, UCLA ’21, Scientific content developer at BioDigital); Shreyans (BPS Grad08, UC Berkeley ‘12, GIA graduate, Director of Emrusa Limited); and Shruti (BPS Grad10, Brown University ‘14, University of St. Andrews ‘17, Head of Communications and Culture at AWR Lloyd)

It’s always special when a student stays loyal to one school through their formative years – they’ve been moulded by the school’s values; their primary friendships formed within its hallowed halls; they’ve seen how their cohorts and the school itself has evolved for the better through the years. The Kothari siblings were four such stalwarts who grew up in, and with, Bangkok Patana School, and whose experiences there helped forge them into the success stories of today.

Masala sat down to talk to ShreyansShrutiSaloni and Suyash about what sets Bangkok Patana apart from other international schools, and how it has shaped their lives in and beyond the classroom.

How did the lessons you learnt at Bangkok Patana help mould you into the person that you are today?

Shreyans: First and foremost, Bangkok Patana had a very diverse student body, which taught me to respect a range of opinions and viewpoints.

Shruti: On top of that, they taught me the value of balance. Excelling academically was just as important as giving back to the community, spending time with friends and family, being healthy, and seeking new experiences in areas out of your comfort zone. It’s genuinely a superhuman skill to consciously make space for all of those components – and I’m happy to say it’s one I’ve largely managed to maintain!

Saloni: While the school has grading schemes and board examinations like the IGCSE and IB as part of their academic programme, they focused on intellectual curiosity more than results. Teachers and peers encouraged me to ask questions, research topics beyond the syllabi and to pursue new ideas in science labs, art studios and sometimes, the same idea in both. Even though I’ve graduated university, I still listen to podcasts and read articles on the subway to work, and I thank Patana for making me realise that there is always more to learn!

What do you believe makes Bangkok Patana unique among its cohort of international schools, and what about it would you specifically recommend to others?

Shruti: Patana has a unique culture of collaboration over competition. Everyone is willing to take the time to help each other up, and that kind of strong community allows all students to really keep pushing their potential further and further.

Saloni: Moreover, the teachers there really go the extra mile to ensure that their students fully understand class material, and are always happy to sit with you one-on-one to re-explain concepts and to answer questions! The students are always encouraged to take ownership over their own learning and be unashamed of seeking help if they need it.

Shreyans: Other than strong academics and world-class facilities, Bangkok Patana is also uniquely focused on developing a strong ethical foundation on which to base our world views and future careers.

Beyond just academics, Bangkok Patana offers a plethora of extra- curricular activities and other opportunities seldom afforded to students. Tell us a little about your individual experiences, and how they’ve enriched your learning.

Shreyans: The activity I was most involved with was Model United Nations. MUN gave me the opportunity to develop my public speaking, and to meet other students from all over the world.

Shruti: Similarly, MUN and drama festivals were both critical in helping me develop confidence in public speaking, which is a skill I have relied on heavily throughout university and work. International maths challenges and competitions pushed me well beyond the IGCSE and IB syllabi and eventually led to me majoring in mathematics at Brown. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award showed me how to test the limits of my endurance and persevere when it felt impossible to go on, which certainly helped when trying to apply to colleges while keeping up with the IB!

Suyash: There were so many opportunities, and they helped me value well-roundedness. I took advantage of the school’s Jazz and Big Bands led by David Larking, recreational tennis, MUN, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and even tried my hand at knitting!

Saloni: During Year 13, I had the opportunity to teach art to novice monks at a local monastery with some friends. Many of these monks had never held coloured pencils before, and made me realise the importance of not making assumptions about anyone else’s experience levels in classrooms, workplaces, and even among friend groups and communities. Images, shapes and colour transcend language barriers, and it was fun to be able to use art to communicate with each other.

What has your experience been like with Patana’s rich and varied alumni network?

Shruti: Patana kids are really international – I have friends to visit in all kinds of places, and the real strength of the alum network is that I can confidently reach out to people I’ve never heard of or spoken to before, simply because we were both at Patana.

Shreyans: Bangkok Patana alumni are also involved in a range of industries in all corners of the world. I’ve found them to be very receptive to giving advice when applying to jobs or grad programmes.

Saloni: Having a global network of friends from school has been truly valuable both socially and professionally. There is always someone to visit, ask advice from, and to call because we’re scattered across different time zones, industries and continents! Even though many of us are at different stages of life, Bangkok Patana alumni will always make the effort to keep in touch after graduation, which I’ve found makes our relationships even stronger.

643 Lasalle Road (Sukhumvit 105)
Bangna Tai, Bangna, Bangkok 10260, Thailand
Tel: 02 785 2200

Related Articles