International schools are popular because they provide higher education opportunities for students from different countries, especially expatriate students.
If you’re new in a country and looking to provide a good education for your children, do you know what you need to look for in an international school?
With more and more international schools established worldwide, there shouldn’t be much of a struggle to find one in your new country. Now, the challenge is finding out which ones are good. Actually, there are so many of them that local parents are starting to find out how beneficial it is to enroll their children in international schools, which is why international schools now also have a significant portion of the student body being local students.
1 History of international schools
Initially, international schools were conceptualized to be schools built for the children of missionaries, government employees, and business people who move around the world and still need to provide a good education for their children.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) program was the first program made for students from expatriate families. Now, most schools offer the IB program, which is really good because the IB diploma is recognized worldwide.
Some schools even offer the IB program alongside other programs like Advanced Placement, Cambridge IGCSE, and the Council of International Schools.
There was once a time that students in international schools were mostly expatriates. Now, the number of local students has increased, which is because of the increase in the financial capability of local families.
With the top universities only looking for the best students, locals aspire to send their children to international schools in the hopes of their international school education helping them with future opportunities.
When it comes to the teachers, not too many local teachers work for international schools. In general, international schools hire teaching staff from English-speaking countries.
To ensure that the international school you’re looking at is great, you have to verify if it has the necessary accreditation. It’s because accredited schools have a curriculum checked to satisfy specific standards.
By going for an accredited international school, you’re going for a school with a mission, commitment for the future, and a positive, safe learning environment.
Lastly, accreditation will also allow students to have their credits and diploma recognized in other schools around the world.
4 Membership at educational organizations
Other than accreditation, it’s also vital to determine if the international school is a member of educational organizations. Being a member of any educational organization shows its commitment to raising its standards with other institutions. It’s proof that the school wants to be at the same level as the best schools in the country.
For example, in the US, the best schools are members of the American Educational Research Association. If they aren’t members of the top educational organizations locally, it’s something that you should really look into.
5 The culture inside the school
When you get to visit the school, make sure to be observant about the environment and its culture. Ask the school about their values and how they teach these values to students.
Furthermore, you want an accepting environment for your child, which is why it would greatly help if you can stay during passing times and breaks to see how the students are with each other and how the faculty interact with the students.
By being observant, you can identify if the school will give your child an environment optimal for learning and development.
Most international schools use English as the primary language. However, the best ones always encourage and require students to learn the local language. They also offer other languages for the students to learn, as well. By making the students master the local language, the school can help students adjust to the new country and will help them to have more opportunities to build relationships with other people in the country.
Furthermore, learning other languages other than the local language will help them have better opportunities in the future, especially if they decide to move to other places, as well.
7 Access to technology
We live in a world where technology holds so much value and is always involved, even in most daily life situations. It’s the same for education, as schools now use technology to facilitate education better. Whether it’s interactive whiteboards, science laboratories, or projector systems, a good international school should have good access to technology.
Furthermore, make sure they have technology that your child can use, such as adequate computer laboratories and modern libraries.
8 Does the school have extra-curricular activities?
Education isn’t limited to academics; there are many ways for students to learn things other than attending a class within the four corners of the classroom.
To ensure your child will have a complete learning experience, send them to an international school that offers many extra-curricular activities focused on different areas, so your child can start to explore their interests with other like-minded students. It won’t just help them learn more; it will also allow them to learn important things like leadership and organizational skills.
Moving to a new country is not the easiest transition, especially for a young student. They will have to adjust to an entirely new environment and culture, which is why you need them to study at an international school like Bangkok Prep International School, where they can get their education and be acquainted with their new environment.
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