Benefits of International Schools

International schools can provide your child with a multitude of benefits that public schools do not have access to. We asked some of the best international schools in the world about what are the top benefits of international schools! Let’s see what they had to say.
International schools are becoming more and more popular worldwide. They offer a unique perspective on global education, which is important for children who will eventually be immersed in an international career or lifestyle. International schools can provide your child with a multitude of benefits that public schools do not have access to.
International schools offer a diverse curriculum and innovative teaching methods that teach students how to thrive in an increasingly globalized world. Students graduate with not only strong academic skills, but also critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They learn about different cultures, languages, and traditions from around the world. These attributes equip them for success in college or careers abroad as well as at home.

Many parents often wonder: what are the real benefits of international schools? This is why we brought together experts from some of the top international schools to help you understand what are the real advantages of international education and whether it may be the perfect fit for your child. If you’re considering enrolling to an international school, here’s a complete guide outlining the best reasons why it could be a good decision for your family.

Internationally Recognized Curricula

An international curriculum will equip your children with education and qualifications that are globally recognized. It will also mean that they can move seamlessly from one school to another if you move to an other city (or country).

One of the first steps in selecting a great school for your family is understanding the curriculum they follow. There are several great options to choose from and each has amazing benefits for the students who study under that system. Click here to learn more about: which curriculum to choose if you would like to learn more about this topic.

This is a key factor to consider in your choice of school. Not only will an international curriculum equip them with education and qualifications that are globally recognized, but it will also mean that they can move seamlessly from one school to another if you move cities (or countries) again.

What Top International Schools Answer:

Academic excellence should be at the heart of a great international school, look for a school with an internationally focused curriculum. For example, the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and in Secondary look for a school that offers iGCSE and IB Diploma programme. These qualifications are recognized worldwide by top universities and prepare students for the future, with valuable 21st Century skills. Look at a school’s long-standing academic success, where students consistently score above the UK average in iGCSE and IBDP results.

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High school is a crucial period for students to prepare themselves academically, mentally, and socially for their university days. At Leysin American School we believe that one of the best ways students can excel in these areas and distinguish themselves in college applications is by attending an international boarding school.

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International school students are able to move seamlessly from one country to another

Language Skills

In most international schools, English is the language of instruction, plus since students often come from many different countries, English is often the only way to communicate—even outside the classroom. This means students live in a truly English-speaking environment.

If you live abroad, learning the local language can be a great boon to your child’s learning, not just in terms of the obvious benefit of learning a second (or third!) language, but also in being able to fully engage in the local culture.
Many international schools are also offering world languages, which can range from French, Spanish, and German to Chinese and Russian. On top of this, the official language of the host country is often taught as well.
What Top International Schools Answer:

The vast majority of International Schools have English as their shared school language. They focus on a deep education in world languages—but at the same time offer home language programmes to strengthen students’ own language and culture. Speaking several languages is key for communicating with the global world. ​”​It’s good to get to know other people’s perspectives, other cultures, and to learn to accept others quickly.​”​, says BIS student Victoria from Grade 5.

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A few years ago, a group of American researchers discovered that, in the frontal lobe of the brain, the representation of second languages, those that are acquired late, is in a different place from that of native or mother tongues. However, when the different languages are acquired simultaneously and early, both are usually located in common areas of the frontal lobe.

Since these areas of the brain are specific to spoken language and not to its comprehension, the different brain location may explain why late bilinguals are always recognized as such, since they never, no matter how much they practice, come to express themselves verbally as native speakers in their second languages. Everything indicates that when language is learned late, it is no longer installed in the areas of the brain that are best conditioned for it.

Thus, the best language learning program is one that introduces the language into people’s daily lives at an early age, which means bringing it, as far as possible, into the family, school, professional and leisure environments.

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In international schools, students live in a truly English-speaking environment

Global understanding

Because of their international communities of students coming from many different nationalities, international schools bring children the understanding of other cultures, nationalities, religions, languages and universal values. It will be a great help for your children to succeed not only in their professional life but in their personal life as well.

In our increasingly globalized world, it is more important than ever that our children understand the wider world and develop a global mindset. International schools are globally focused and provide students with the skills and knowledge which encourage them to be active citizens in a global community. They are also culturally diverse spaces and allow students to connect with children from all over the world, not to mention culturally aware teachers from many different countries.

A global education goes beyond awareness and understanding of other cultures, nationalities, religions, and languages, beyond the development of international attitudes and universal values. A truly global education is grounded in making a difference, in purposeful engagement and responsible actions aimed toward care and sustainability of the planet and its peoples, a holistic view of world affairs, and peaceful collaboration between nations.

These values will not only be reflected in a school’s curriculum but also in the volunteering, community service, and international field trip opportunities that students actively participate in.
What Top International Schools Answer:

Your Child Will Feel The International Spirit:
“​Bavarian International School is a beacon of internationality and of course diversity. We have 61 nationalities, 50 mother tongues, and teachers from 29 different countries at our school​”​, states Dr. Chrissie Sorenson, Head of School at BIS. Students, Teachers, and staff from all across the globe gather together in the pursuit of knowledge and personal growth and form a community of enriching diversity.

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Students who have the privilege of being exposed to a wide range of cultures and heritages from all over the world are given a deeper understanding beyond the classroom and are offered a very unique experience. An international education brings students both personal and professional rewards.

When students have the opportunity to study alongside global classmates, it offers them not only a remarkable chance to improve their global and cultural awareness but also gives them an explicit advantage when entering today’s global marketplace.

There is one certainty that is identifiable in the constantly changing future of our workforce; as globalization continues to expand rapidly, future workers will be working in environments that will require them to connect with people from around the world.

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Attending an international boarding school encourages students to take on a more complex worldview and learn about new cultures and countries through firsthand experience. At LAS our community is composed of students from over 50 different countries; this diversity often generates thoughtful discussion, open mindedness, and the sharing of cultures in daily classroom discussions. Students at LAS also enjoy a travel program which takes them to new places both within Switzerland and abroad (some of our students’ favorite destinations have included Portugal, Zimbabwe, Cyprus, and Italy).

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Attending an international school encourages students to take on a more complex worldview and learn about new cultures and countries through firsthand experience (Credit Photo: Leysin American School)

Academic excellence

Academic excellence is at the heart of any great international school. That’s why they offer smaller class sizes and create the environment that can attract and retain the best teachers in the world, by offering professional development opportunities and a global network for teachers to share best practice.

Top international schools will offer smaller class sizes for improved relationships between the teachers and the students. Not only are the professors able to directly address a small group of students, therefore creating a connection that enables better learning, but the students are more easily able to ask relevant questions to the teachers, and obtain better answers.

When a professor teaches a large class, they usually have to generalize the content and have a more basic view of the topics. While this is a good way to teach, it may invoke less interest in the students and not allow them to deepen their knowledge on more specific topics they’re interested in. In smaller classes, however, the teacher is able to get a good view of the progress of the class and tailor their courses to allow extra attention to topics of difficulty. By properly comprehending the needs of a small class, the students are better able to advance.

What Top International Schools Answer:

Many of the benefits of small schools are overlooked. Sure, everyone knows that students in smaller classes get more individual attention but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the perks of enrolling at a small boarding school.

To begin, students have less of a chance of encountering bullying and negative cliques that often develop in larger schools. Shy students feel safer and are included more and begin to develop more confidence amongst their peers.

Moreover, success goes hand in hand with small school environments. Time and time again, studies indicate that academic success rates are much higher in small school settings. Firstly, students in small learning environments are often able to participate more and have their voices heard. With small class sizes strong student-teacher relationships can flourish which help students feel comfortable taking risks both academically and socially. These strong connections can also lead to greater social-emotional development. Students and parents are often able to be given much more regular feedback from teachers and staff of the facility. In small school settings each student can feel a part of a community as interactions are more frequent and more meaningful.

Speaking of parents, they also enjoy the added benefit of having their child’s teacher readily available for any concerns. Typically, any behavior or academic issues can be addressed well before evolving into a more serious matter. In a small school setting, prevention of issues is the cornerstone.

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In smaller classes, teachers are able to give their full attention and guide students on topics that might be more difficult.

Extracurricular Activities

International schools provide students with many and varied opportunities to develop new skills and experiences beyond the regular curriculum. Many international schools offer after-school activities on top of the base curriculum, such as sports, music, dance, technology and many more.

Many after-school activities are offered on top of the base curriculum, such as Fine and Performing Arts, for example, choirs, bands, orchestras, private instrumental tuition, dance, drama, painting, drawing, ceramics, craft, design, film, and photography. Students can often sign up for clubs, such as debating, cooking, speech, Model United Nations, critical thinking, and many more.
International schools provide students with many and varied opportunities to develop new skills and experiences beyond the regular curriculum. Throughout the year, international schools can offer various academic travels and trips, either to surrounding regions or even to faraway countries. These trips are highly valued by the schools since they offer important out-of-classroom experiences, which are tremendously helpful for team building among the students. These are experiences that students will most likely not be offered in a traditional school setting.
Besides school travel, international schools strongly encourage physical fitness and healthy lifestyles. Students can join sports teams to compete against other schools, and a wide variety of other recreational sports are offered to cater to all interests. top international schools often offer more than 30 different sports to choose from. Non-Competitive Sports allow students to try a variety of sports and develop their skills in a welcoming and positive atmosphere.
What Top International Schools Answer:

Is your child a Drama king or Debate queen? International Schools offer extensive After School Activity programmes like competitive sports, exceptional Arts education, outdoor activities, eco-projects, or Model United Nations. Extracurricular programmes open many doors—they can boost academic performance, promote physical health, and provide a safe, structured environment for the children of working parents.

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Forward-thinking schools choose to make after-school programs central to their educational offerings. The American International School · Vienna offers 25-30 after-school activities per semester. With more than 25 years’ experience offering ASAs, AIS is a leader in innovative programming. AIS activities serve, on average, 500 students from Pre-K to Grade 8 per year in a wide-array of activities designed to engage and benefit a well-rounded child. The classes range from arts and sciences (drawing, cartooning, ballet, engineering, coding, foreign languages) to sports and music (basketball, taekwondo, tennis, swimming, guitar, strings).

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International schools provide students with many and varied opportunities to develop new skills and experiences beyond the regular curriculum. (Credit Photo: Leysin American School)

Fantastic Facilities

International schools are well equipped and usually have the most modern technology. International students love their school environment as they provide them with lots of opportunities to explore their passions for learning and skills through well-planned curriculum.

Traditional classroom setups often have a teacher standing in front, by a board, with students’ chairs and tables facing the front. That arrangement primarily facilitates a teacher-led lesson. International Schools are now increasingly shifting away from that. Classroom setups promote collaborative learning and create numerous opportunities for discussions and reflection on one’s learning. Some schools can even support different learning styles including comfy corners for independent thinking, reading, and contemplation balanced with spaces for teamwork.

What Top International Schools Answer:

A Global Education Opens the Door to a Global, Technological World Global citizens need critical thinking skills and technological literacy to participate in the worldwide community of learners. International schools are designed to be effective and conducive learning environments; classrooms and laboratories are equipped with state-of-the-art educational technology. Schools like Bavarian International School offer 1:1 device programmes, deep learning, and technologically trained teachers and staff to integrate technology into daily practices, teaching, and learning.

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International schools can support different learning styles (Credit Photo: Regents International School Pattaya)

Global network

Students of international schools develop a lifelong network of friends and contacts from all around the globe who can help them socially as well as professionally in any future endeavors.
Building international relationships is an enriching and life-enhancing experience that will stay with students forever. The wider the network, the greater their chances of being exposed to exciting professional opportunities in both work settings as well as social gatherings around world events or cultural practices they are not part of yet!
What Top International Schools Answer:

Students of international schools develop a lifelong network of friends and contacts from all around the globe who can help them socially and professionally in the future. After LAS students graduate, they automatically become a part of our extensive alumni network, which opens them up to internship and mentorship opportunities, as well as the chance to join in on LAS reunions around the globe.

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International friends and connections are an essential part in creating a network for future career or social endeavors (Credit Photo: Bavarian International School (BIS))

Vibrant Communities

For parents and students, international schools offer vibrant communities that work together to provide an international education. Parents also benefit from finding their own community and meet new friends.

When you join the community of an international school, you suddenly find yourself surrounded by people just like you who have faced similar challenges, share similar experiences, and understand you and your lifestyle. You and your children will have the opportunity to meet and share time with other expat families, as well as the school staff who can empathise with your child’s situation and are adept at helping new students settle in.
What Top International Schools Answer:

We asked a mother who has enrolled her children to explain to us the reasons why she chose an International School:

The International Community

(One for me this time.) It was important to find a community to support me as we made the transition from the UK to Germany. From help with food shopping, to learning where to buy school shoes, or learning that I would need my name on the postbox or would never receive mail! At ISD, there is a Welcome Committee for new families, opportunities to volunteer at the school, grade level coffees, representatives from most countries and much, much more.

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Parents are able to take part in the community events, be involved with their children's education and make new friends (Credit Photo: The American International School · Vienna)

We hope that you have found in this list, listing all the benefits of international education enough help to help you decide whether or not an international school is the right choice for your family.

Remember that there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to choosing an educational path for your children–every family needs to find what works best for them and their goals in life.

If you are still on the fence about making a decision, we encourage you to contact us so our team can provide expert advice specific to meeting your needs.

What did you decide and why? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

With the participation of the following schools
This article has been written with the participation of top international schools worldwide. Don’t hesitate to contact them if you want more information or would like their input on how things should be done! Click each logo below for details:
Leysin American School in Switzerland
Regents International School Pattaya
Bavarian International School (BIS)
Eurocolegio Privado Internacional Casvi
Merrick Preparatory School
The American International School · Vienna
International School of Düsseldorf

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