In recent years, the phrase 'International Schools' has come to refer to schools that confer an intrinsic global or international outlook in minds of their students. Unlike the first International Schools, these schools can also have a significant local student population as parents in the host country, eager to broaden the horizons and experiences of their children, enroll them as pupils. Typically, these schools will teach an international curriculum, say English or American, and will have English as their primary teaching language. This helps to prepare pupils for a relatively seamless transition to higher education institutions beyond their country of residence.
Some of the main factors you should consider when deciding on an International School are:
The Academic Experience
Some International Schools have a strictly academic focus, purely concentrating on following the curriculum and exam success. Others offer a broader experience, balancing educational excellence with sporting, artistic or cultural emphasis, and some have a combination of all these sectors. It's important to research this area thoroughly and visit the schools on your shortlist.
When deciding what school would best suit your child, the most fundamental thing to ask yourself is whether you want them to follow your home country's national curriculum, or one with more of an international outlook, such as the International Baccalaureate schools.
As many International Schools also offer boarding opportunities, parents have the freedom to send their children overseas if immersion in another culture is desired. Some children will want to remain close to their family, but others will flourish elsewhere, with an all-encompassing, independent experience that comes from being part of a residential school away from home.