It’s common knowledge that parents want the best education for their children. After all, a good education can open doors to better opportunities all the way through life. But enter the age-old parenting question of which school shall I send my children to? With so many choices out there, it can be difficult to settle on an institution that meets the needs both of you and your children.
Should you send them to a local school where they can learn the language, customs and culture of a brand-new country? Or should you send your children to a school that is internationally-recognised? While there’s no right or wrong answer, it depends on the outcome you and your children seek. International schools are often a popular choice among expatriate parents as the education provided is recognised worldwide, offering a convenient path for your children to further their studies overseas.
Furthermore, international schools offer your children a chance to study in a multicultural and international environment as many schools have students that come from around the world. But with an ever-growing number of international institutions, how do you know which one suits your child best? Here’s what to look for when choosing a global school:
Each school has different academic curriculum so it’s important to find out exactly what your children will be learning. Does the school have a strong academic focus? Is that what you’re looking for or do you prefer a school that offers a well-rounded education with plenty of extracurricular, sports and performing arts activities? It’s also worth checking if the school has special academic support for students who may not be able to keep up during their adjustment to the new school environment. For parents hoping to send their son or daughter to study overseas later on, it’s worth checking your school of choice offers pre-university courses such as A-Levels or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) programmes. If it does, it can be a huge plus point in deciding where to go.
Sending your children to an international school can broaden their horizons and teach them tolerance and acceptance. They will also get to learn about new cultures, lifestyles and languages – another great bonus. It’s also worth checking out what the school does to foster a community feeling among international students, since most will organise multicultural events, festivals and activities throughout the year.
Some students learn faster than others which is why parents should always question the school’s overall learning environment. Will every student benefit from one-on-one teacher attention? What’s the school’s average class size? After all, every child learns at a completely different pace, therefore it’s good to know whether your child will slot well into the school study environment.
From modern classrooms and ample library resources, to swimming pools and gymnasiums; international schools boast top-notch facilities on a spacious and beautiful campus. Here, students get the chance to use cutting-edge technology as part of the learning experience, granting them important exposure from a very young age.
These four points are among the main things to consider when choosing an international school for your children. Keen to find out more? Here are 3 international schools that provide excellent pathways to higher education.
This independent, non-profit and co-educational day school offers an American-based curriculum for students from preschool to Grade 12. With more than 3,900 students from 50 countries, the SAS is one of the largest single-campus international schools in the world. Set in a spacious 36-acre campus in a stunning Woodland area, the School offers modern and spacious classrooms, state-of-the-art facilities, stunning libraries, and excellent music, art and sports amenities. The campus is divided into three desperate divisions: the Elementary School (Preschool to Grade Five), Middle School (Grade Six to Eight), and High School (Grade Nine to 12).
The School also boasts a purpose-built Early Learning Centre that provides a special learning environment for preschool and pre-kindergarten students. With nearly 75 percent of Faculty in possession of a postgraduate degree and above, your child will be left in exceptionally good hands, with the SAS academic programme posing an excellent reputation among international schools worldwide. Students are wholeheartedly encouraged to delve into athletics and extracurricular activities, from sports and clubs to student organisations. SAS offers a wide range of activities to appeal to the varied interests and talents of students throughout the School.
Founded in 1958, the Hokkaido International School (HIS) remains the only international and English-speaking schools in Hokkaido to offer an American-style education. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the private (secular), co-educational day and boarding school welcomes students aged three all the way through to high school. At HIS, Faculty believe studying is about more than just books; here, the process of learning is making and applying connections between knowledge, skills and understandings through inquiry- based, collaborative and experiential instruction. From the start of the Early Years multi-age programme, children learn and explore through a series of activities designed to develop their confidence, character and expertise.
In Elementary and Middle School, HIS follows the International Primary Curriculum and the International Middle Years Curriculum, specifically developed to meet the learning needs of both age groups. The School also hosts numerous academic and fun activities outside the classroom for students, parents and teachers. From the HIS student council service organisation to community service, the extracurricular activities offered help students build leadership and teamwork skills which are all extremely useful. Plus, they get to make new friends and interact with students from a range of age groups and cultures.
With a motto that says ‘Achieving Excellence’, parents can rest easy knowing their kids are at a School that prides itself on helping students become the very best they can be. Opening in 1997, the Jerudong International School (JIS) in Brunei has established itself as a reputable education force, placing a strong emphasis on both curriculum and extracurricular activity. The School welcomes students from the age of two to 18, offering an education from Reception to Year Six, Middle Years, and Upper Years. In Junior School, students in nursery, kindergarten and reception follow the UK Early Years Foundation Programme, whereas Year One to Six students follow a new primary English National Curriculum that has been adapted to reflect the international, South East Asian context in which the School is set.
As for students in the Final Years category, the Faculty provides the chance to pursue academically demanding pre-University programmes which are either the Advanced Level General Certificate of Education (A-Levels) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). Both courses are internationally-recognised by reputable universities around the world. Previous graduates of JIS have forged success at elite institutions like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, London School of Economic and more.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International