Benefits Of International School Education
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The growing number of international schools around the world is allowing parents to choose an alternative kind of education for their children - an education for the real world of global communication, international opportunity and cultural diversity. This is an education which goes far beyond the confines of the classroom and sees in the learning process the chance for some remarkable lessons.

International schools are no newcomers to the educational marketplace - but there are certainly different "types" of international school. Some international schools serve a largely expatriate community and focus on teaching a set national curriculum that provides access to tertiary education back in a particular home country. Other international schools have far more diverse student populations and offer opportunities for young people to graduate into a world-wide educational environment.

What benefits would your child get from an international school education?

Exposure to global diversity. Your child will get exposed to many different cultures. In a classroom discussion, one would have people from Europe, Africa, America, Asia, and the local people (quite a nice representation of the different continents). Students are usually genuinely interested in the cultures of other countries, and the experience of sharing the local/international jokes and cultures can definitely be interesting.

Learning different languages. Attending an international school for a long time also helps us learn several languages at once: the language you speak at home, a required foreign language at school, and the local language.

International curriculum.Most if not all international schools use the IB curriculum, because it is universally accepted by many colleges across different continents. I have a lot of praise for the IB curriculum, as it encourages critical thinking (i.e. Theory of Knowledge), and is more integrated than the American AP curriculum (or lack thereof one, since AP courses are usually independent from each other). The IB diploma is definitely recognized by institutions across the world.

What are the lasting effect does attending an international school have on students?

The key findings of a recent survey of some alumni of international schools show that students who receive an international education leave school very well-prepared for further study and work. In particular, the survey reveals that international school students develop a better range of `soft' skills such as time management, critical analysis and independent thinking than their peers who have followed national qualification programs.

Almost all respondents felt that their international education had prepared them well for their career, and the top quality highlighted was an appreciation of different cultures - named by 76 per cent of respondents. 57 per cent said their education helped them develop an inquiring mind, 58 per cent named communication skills and 60 per cent named self-management skills.

The qualifications obtained at these international schools are also easily recognizable by universities throughout the world, so students have a wide range of possibilities when they finish their high school education.

But apart from practicality, an international education opens a world of understanding, friendships and understanding across borders that will be of benefit for your child for life.


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