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3 international schools in Asia for 21st century learners

21st century learners
Source: Dwight School Seoul

Diverse student bodies. Holistic focus. Picturesque campuses. These are how some of the top international schools in Asia are creating an environment to cater to 21st century learners. At these schools, they understand that education should be an experience that is more than just academics, language skills and a pathway to higher education.

As such, the best international schools offer advanced and versatile curricula. To complement this, students extend their learning process through a wide range of extracurricular activities that develop life skills and character. They explore the outdoors, establish clubs and organisations aligned with their aspirations, or even travel abroad. 

Pair that with a melting pot of culture and tradition, and Asia makes the perfect setting for students to reap the full benefits of a globalised education. Research suggests that racial and socioeconomic diversity in the classroom train young learners to communicate effectively, listen emphatically, and practice cultural sensitivity – values crucial for future leaders to generate positive impact.

If this is the future you envision for your child, here are three top schools in Asia more than capable of providing that: 

Dwight School Seoul

21st century learners

Located in Seoul’s Digital Media City neighbourhood, Dwight School Seoul drives intellectual curiosity through comprehensive IB programmes and a wide range of extracurricular activities. Source: Dwight School Seoul

Personalised learning. Strong community. World-class facilities. Part of a global network of schools in New York, London, Shanghai, Dubai and in the virtual world via Dwight Global (the online programme of Dwight School). These are features that set Dwight School Seoul students up for success in school, university and beyond.

Situated in Seoul’s Digital Media City neighbourhood, it is the first International Baccalaureate (IB) World School in Seoul to receive authorisation in all three IB Programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP), and Diploma Programme (DP). At each stage, Dwight Seoul aspires to develop passionate learners through a personalised and strategic approach.

It starts from the Primary Years Programme, where students learn and grow through play, relationship building, and purposeful learning spaces. As they progress, learners develop their natural curiosity and exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically through the Middle Years and later the Diploma Programme.

Outside the classroom, students build 3D printed models, embrace their creative spirits through the performing arts, build athletic prowess, and explore the various parks in and outside of Seoul. These events and activities are regularly scheduled, offering opportunities for community building both during the school day and after hours. Add exchange programmes, curricular and creative collaboration with Dwight’s global network of schools, and students learn to thrive anywhere in the world.

Teachers view Dwight as more of a family rather than simply a place to work — to great impact. This makes school spirit contagious, uniting the whole student body as a community of learners who accept and look out for one another. Click here to discover how you can be part of a community of learners excited to live up to their true potential.

Alice Smith 

21st century learners

Alice Smith School takes an innovative approach to the traditional British curriculum. Source: The Alice Smith School

Alice Smith School is the first British international school in Malaysia and is the only “not-for-profit” British international school in the nation’s fast-rising capital. Growing from strength to strength since Alice Fairfield-Smith, a biology graduate from Harvard University and an experienced teacher, first set up the school in her home in Jalan Eaton, today the school is synonymous with the phrase “outstanding international education.”

Step into any class, and you’ll find interaction and collaboration between the teacher, the students and their peers. In small tutor groups, coaching and reflection exercises take place — sometimes led by expert guests — so students get the most from their education. Enriched, challenging and holistic, it’s a curriculum that nurtures young minds into critical and analytical leaders, ready for university and beyond.

It all kicks off in Foundation Stage where students between the ages of three and five follow the English National Curriculum. Teachers guide according to a number of recognised approaches as to how children best learn at this age including Reggio Emilia, Anna Ephgrave, Maria Montessori and Alistair Bryce-Clegg.

Across Primary, Secondary, and Sixth Form programmes, older students combine their academic achievements with their unique strengths, aspirations and needs. Students take GCSE and A Level, customising their own pathways with enrichment activities including leadership, service and physical activity.

Ascot Thailand

21st century learners

Source: Located in the heart of Bangkok, this international school nurtures young learners who are ready to tackle the challenge of becoming global citizens. Source: Ascot International School

Located in Bangkok’s Sapansung district, Ascot International School is a continuum International Baccalaureate (IB) World School where students are gaining an education for the future. Here, students can pursue the full spectrum of IB programmes: Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma. These provide a framework for learning that goes beyond just learning information — it moulds Ascot students into world-ready global citizens who in turn will make the world a better place.

In its nurturing and inclusive environment, Ascot teachers lead students through a challenging curriculum that enables them to become adaptable lifelong learners. A low teacher-to-student ratio allows teachers to shape the curriculum to meet the unique and differentiated needs of each learner. The result? The evolution of students into active contributors to this world with armed with critical thinking, conceptual understanding, and a heart for service.

Its Primary School is a fun place for children aged three to 12. They learn through hands-on and experiential opportunities with a strong emphasis on learning through play and exploration. At Secondary School, they work towards sitting for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) in year 11 and the International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) in year 13. Specialist teachers and dedicated form tutors provide support every step of the way. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International