Can international schools reduce conflict in the world?

Международная школа Святого Иоанна в Ватерлоо, Belgium conducted a survey on the topic of international schools and conflict in the world. The statement was:

Do you believe there would be less conflict in the world if all children would have an international school experience?

Могут ли международные школы icon-world-schools-2The context of the question was whether the world would be a better place if all children could spend time in an international school environment, where they learn to respect other religions, beliefs and opinions while trying to understand each other, growing up friends with children of all different backgrounds and beliefs.The survey drew 162 responses, of which a total of 86% (140 people) answered “yes” to the survey question. Here are some of the comments from respondents:

Я считаю, что одна из главных вещей, которая сделает мир еще лучше, - это если дети смогут получить личное понимание своей ценности, сильных сторон и цели. Как только через программы вы лично поймете, что вы бесценны, что решения, которые вы принимаете, имеют значение, и что у вашей жизни есть великая цель - вот тогда вы начнете бороться со своими негативными моделями поведения и видеть, что другие тоже ценны.

The open environment of an international school allows for understanding of different cultures without conflict and encourages children to look beyond color and religion to judge individuals.

Providing opportunities for children and young adults to experience how we are more alike than different, would definitely have a positive impact. At St. John’s the expectation for respect of cultural differences is a key factor. I also believe a component of less conflict is skill development which includes sensitivity and conflict resolution training. St. John’s is a school that strives for positive outcomes and defines that with international exposure with love and kindness at the core.

Я считаю, что люди нетерпимы к другим людям из-за недостатка знаний. Международная школьная среда дает нам удивительное количество знаний и представление о других культурах и религиях.

The fact that children of different cultures, religions and linguistic backgrounds are studying and working together towards common goals is as important and as powerful as the acquisition of programmatic content and individual skills. The impact upon them as future adults is far-reaching and deep-seated. This is the beauty and joy of a truly international educational experience.

While it is certainly not realistic to expect that each child will have access to an international school education, it does show the importance of cultural understanding and respect. This process happens more naturally in a school with many nationalities, religions, cultures and beliefs represented.As the number of international schools continues to grow in all parts of the world, we hope the graduates of international schools worldwide will take on leadership roles that help contribute to a more peaceful world.