Finding the right school is one of the very important decisions in many parents’ and students’ lives. Especially, when moving to another country, parents will have many questions:
- What is the best school in the region?
- Which school offers the best education?
- Where will my child feel well?
- Which school provides learning support?
- What is better, day- or boarding, co-educational or boys/girls only?
- Should my child attend a national, private or international school?
We strongly believe, that each model has its own pros and cons, but would like in this article to highlight the key benefits, that we believe make it worth to consider an international school:
An international school is a school that provides international education in an international environment, either by adopting a curriculum such as that of International Baccalaureate, or by following a national curriculum, such as the American or British, which are different from that of the school’s country of residence.
Let us look at the key benefits, which come with studying at an international school:
International Cultural Exchange
International schools have a diverse enrolment of students of many nationalities and of different cultures. With a student body representing many different nationalities and speaking many languages, cultural differences are celebrated as students challenge and inspire one another to become global citizens. This is such a positive impact, that will help your child succeed in private and professional alike.
Good international schools offer a rich and varied curriculum encouraging students to choose from a broad selection of courses. International schools typically use curricula based on the school’s country of origin, the most common to be the British and American. Many international schools use curricula specially designed for international school such as the International General Certificate of Secondary Education or the IB Diploma Programme that are all predominantly committed to internationalism, developing the global citizen, providing an environment for optimal learning, and teaching in an international setting that fosters understanding, independence, interdependence, and cooperation.
In most international schools, English is the language of instruction, plus since students often come from many different countries, English is the only way to communicate, also outside the classroom. This means, students live in a truly English speaking environment.
Many international schools are also offering world languages, which can range from French, Spanish, German to Chinese and Russian. On top of this, the official language of the host country is often taught as well.
International schools provide students with many and varied opportunities to develop new skills and experiences beyond the regular curriculum.
Throughout the year, international schools offer various academic travels and trips, either to surrounding regions or even to far away countries. These trips are highly valued by the schools, since they offer important out-of classroom experiences, which are tremendously helpful for teambuilding among the students.
The choice of trips is large. Some of the prestigious schools offer more than 60 different options per year, ranging from sports oriented trips, geology, adventure, cultural to community service oriented trips in order to awaken students to human needs.
Schools from may go on a ski trip to the Swiss Alps or a cultural week in Berlin, they may travel to help out during a community service project in Laos building a new library for a local school or a clean water pump in Vietnam. Some schools go trekking in Nepal. These are experiences, that students will most likely not be offered in a national school.
Athletics. Besides school travel, international schools much 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. The good schools 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.
Many after-school activities are offered on top, such as Arts 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.
In summary, the out-of classroom program offered in international schools is very rich. Through this variety, international schools become a place, where students can develop new interests or strengthen a passion, that they have already.