Maybe you’ve heard of international schools. These institutions have a long history of providing students with a fantastic education that is well regarded across the world. The goal of these schools is to provide students with a rigorous curriculum emphasizing language acquisition and global citizenship. The following will explore some of the lesser-known facts about international schools.

International Schools Were Developed To Cater To Students Who Are Not Nationals

International schools were designed to provide education to students who were not originally from the host country. This could include children of people who work within international businesses or organizations, foreign embassies, and missionaries. Today, many local students attend international schools to learn the language of the school and be qualified for work or further education in foreign countries.

International Schools Are Not New

The origins of international schools are well documented. In the second half of the 19th century, international schools were founded in several countries, including Turkey, Switzerland, and Japan. These schools were originally set up for families who often traveled to locations where people and organizations had an interest in the host country.

American missionaries and diplomats founded schools for their children to attend while they worked. Members of the American military set up Department of Defense Dependents Schools so their kids could continue schooling in English and be qualified for American Universities upon graduation. French expatriates founded international schools as well, based on the curriculum in France.

Some international schools are even older than this. Take Rugby School in Thailand, for instance, established in 1567 by a British purveyor of spices to Queen Elizabeth I. For more information, see their website. Many international schools have rich histories and interesting origin stories.

There Are More International Schools Than You Realize

By 2007, there were over 4000 English-curriculum international schools. As these institutions gained a reputation for providing a first-rate education for students around the world and produced promising workplace and post-secondary education results, they became more popular with locals as well as traveling families.

International Schools Need To Meet Strict Criteria

International schools need to be accredited by one of the larger education organizations—these organizations include the international baccalaureate program and the western association of schools and colleges, but there are a handful of these organizations. In addition to being accredited, a school is considered international if it has the following features:

  • Usually, classes are conducted in English or French
  • The obligation to study at least one additional language as part of the curriculum
  • An education that is transferable throughout the world and other international schools
  • Non-selective student enrollment
  • A student body that moves more often than in public or state schooling systems
  • An international curriculum
  • A study body involving kids from different nations with different linguistic backgrounds

More Often Than Not, International School Curriculum Is Based On The United Kingdom’s Or America’s Educational Standards

Both the United Kingdom and America have a long history of providing fantastic education. Because of this, the majority of international schools base their curriculum on the British education system or the American one. These programs are designed to provide the ideal setting for learning and emphasize the importance of understanding, independence, interdependence, and cooperation. Because there’s no telling where these students will end up studying or working in the future, international schools foster an attitude of global citizenship and cultural respect.

International Schools Help Kids Who Move A Lot

For many families, the work requirements of the parents result in lots of moving around. International schools are designed for continuity—meaning the fourteen-year-olds in one school in Singapore are learning the same material as the fourteen-year-olds in Denver. This makes things much easier on kids as they don’t need to struggle to catch up or deal with the boredom of being ahead when they switch schools—they can pick up right where they left off.

International School Students Are Well-Travelled

Many students who attend international schools move between countries, cities, and cultures frequently. Many of these kids have reported that they feel like no one place is their home. Yes, they often have passports from the country they were born in, but they don’t have the same cultural and emotional ties to this country as someone born and raised there. It’s not uncommon to meet international students who identify with all of the places they’ve lived and simultaneously none of them. International schools are an excellent place for kids who fit this description to meet other children who also share these traits. Sometimes these children are referred to as “third-culture kids.”

Hopefully, the above information revealed to you something you didn’t already know about international schools. Education is something we all know we should be taking seriously, but few of us spend time researching.

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