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What Sets an International School Apart from Other Schools?

Can you put a price on a good education? In a word, no. Especially when it is your children who will be benefiting from it. Choosing a school for your children is one of the hardest and most consequential decisions a parent can make, and the implications of getting it wrong are hardly worth thinking about. That is why so many parents choose to place their child with an International School.

International schools originally sprung up in order to serve the children of parents who had moved overseas, but who also wanted them to be educated to the same standards, and to the same curriculum, as the one in their home country. The first schools were typically for British expats, with schools teaching the English syllabus, but more recently, many schools are offering an American curriculum, and international schools that align with French and German syllabuses (amongst others) are increasing in number. International schools have also evolved from exclusively catering to overseas students to enrolling locally born children, such is the educational advantage they offer.

What sets an international school apart from other schools?

As the name would suggest, international schools tend to have a diverse student population, giving students a peer group comprised of different cultures and backgrounds, helping to broaden their perspective of the world.

For the children of expats, an education at an international school can be especially advantageous, because if the parents' careers lead them to return home, their children can segue their academic development back to a local school, as they would have been learning the same curriculum overseas.

For parents living near an international school, sending their child there can often guarantee a much higher standard of education than she/he might have received from another local school – principally because the countries that tend to inspire the highest number of international schools globally are the same ones that tend to be accepted as having the best academic standards – with the USA and UK generally acknowledged as leading the way is this regard.

Finally, international schools tend to have better quality teachers, as they generally pay higher salaries and so attract the most qualified staff.

Leading International Schools in China 2021

As a nonprofit organization, International Schools Services (ISS) works with more than 800 international schools and tens of thousands of educators each year across its suite of services, creating the largest global footprint in international education support. Since its inception in 1955, ISS has promoted innovative best practices for global education. Core services include starting and operating student-centered, future-oriented schools; recruiting world-class educators and leaders; providing cutting-edge professional learning opportunities; sourcing essential school supplies; administering school foundations; and encouraging more diverse leadership in international schools. With offices in Princeton, NJ USA and Shenzhen, China and staff located across the globe, ISS invites all to join in making a world of difference.

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Concordia International School Shanghai is a co-educational day school for students aged 3 to 18, located in the heart of Jinqiao—one of Shanghai's largest international communities. Concordia is recognized for its dedication to academic excellence and for providing well-developed sports, arts, service, and applied learning programs. Concordia graduates go on to attend top colleges and universities around the world.

School life at Concordia is not just about the grades. It's about balance. While they offer rigorous academics that include Advanced Placement and their specialized Applied Learning Program, they also place an emphasis on the social-emotional development and wellbeing of their students. When they say 'we educate the whole child' they mean that they invest in and tend to every part of each student: spiritually, physically, emotionally, socially, and intellectually.

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Leading International Schools in China 2021

Leading International Schools in Italy 2021

The American Overseas School of Rome (AOSR) is an elite American-International school in Italy, offering the rigor of both the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme and the Advanced Placement (AP) Program. The schools reputation for leadership in both the IB and AP programs has a long history. They follow a standards-based curriculum similar to US independent and public schools from Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12 (ages 3–19). Their outstanding results support their reputation, as AOSR graduates are accepted into the best universities worldwide.

AOSR's mission to provide "The Best of an International Education" is evidenced by their world languages, music, and fine arts, technology, and enrichment courses. Students receive individualized instruction from inspirational educators - role models who foster the curiosity inherent in all students.

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Leading International Schools in Italy 2021

Leading International Schools in Japan 2021

Sendai Ikuei Gakuen offers affordable tuition, a comprehensive range of high school courses, including the IB Middle Years Programme, the IB Diploma Programme offered in both English and Japanese, and the school provides the opportunity for all students to realize their future dreams. As an official Japanese high school, students undertaking the IB Diploma Programme at Sendai Ikuei Gakuen can graduate with both the IB Diploma and the Japanese High School graduation certification.

With modern facilities, and with a diverse international study body, Sendai Ikuei Gakuen is an environment that allows students to develop international mindedness, and the 21st century skills and perspectives necessary to navigate and increasingly globalizing world.

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Leading International Schools in Japan 2021

Leading International Schools in Korea 2021

Branksome Hall Asia is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School for students from age 3 to 19, offering academically rigorous and challenging programs within a culture of care. The school's mission is to challenge and inspire students to love learning and to shape a better world.

Located in Jeju, South Korea, the school has offered day and boarding programs since 2012, and rapidly built its reputation as one of the world's most prestigious international IB schools. The school ranks within the top 1% of IB schools globally with the average IB DP score of 38.2 including a perfect score of 45 (Class of 2021). This year 93% of graduates have been accepted into the world's top 100 universities and programs.

Branksome Hall Asia is the only sister school of Branksome Hall, Canada, and mirrors its rigorous IB program and cultural legacy with a shared vision.

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Leading International Schools in Korea 2021

Leading International Schools in the Netherlands 2021

The International School of Amsterdam (ISA) is a global leader in international education, serving 1300 students from over 60 countries. Deeply embedded in ISA's culture is a passion for inspiring students to reflect on their own world-view and a commitment to helping others. ISA is dedicated to its mission 'To Educate for International Understanding'. As an independent, non-profit foundation, ISA is a vibrant and innovative learning community. The school is housed in a purpose-built facility designed for international education and collaboration.

ISA was the first school in the world to offer a complete International Baccalaureate curriculum, from Pre-School to Grade 12. It is a progressive curriculum that places emphasis on critical analysis, while building on previous learning experiences. The IB's philosophy and holistic approach to education have been at the core of all learning at ISA for over 40 years.

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Leading International Schools in the Netherlands 2021

Leading International Schools in the Philippines 2021

The Southville International School and Colleges (SISC) was founded in the year 1990 as a "School for the Intellectually Gifted". It follows the US and European curriculum standards, as well as the IB Programme. Southville graduates have been known to continue on to excel in a variety of prestigious universities abroad such as Harvard University, Imperial College London, and Seoul National University.

SISC is recognized by Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9493 as a School of International Character, awarded the Philippine Quality Award (PQA), Gold status by Investors in People (IIP) UK, and named by the Department of Education as a "School of the Future."

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Leading International Schools in the Philippines 2021

Leading International Schools in Portugal 2021

With the mission as their guide, CAISL provides an educational program based on the best of American philosophy to students age 3 through High School Graduation at age 18. CAISL has a diverse student and faculty community, with more than 50 nationalities represented. CAISL offers students a solid foundation of knowledge and skills in the academic subjects and instills enthusiasm for learning and the ability to learn. Learning is embedded also through opportunities in arts, athletics, leadership, commitment to community, and personal growth.

Students who complete their last two years of High School at CAISL may pursue the IB Diploma in addition to the American High School Diploma. These two academic credentials are accepted by universities around the world.

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Leading International Schools in Portugal 2021

Leading International Schools in Singapore 2021

The Grange Institution (TGI) is designed to be a small, affordably-priced school that appeals to parents who want a child-centred, culturally diverse and green learning environment.

TGI adopts an innovative and future-focused approach to learning. With a blended curriculum of both International Primary Curriculum (IPC) and Cambridge Primary Curriculum, TGI offers a balance in rigorous structured subject learning and inquiry-based thematic learning. Behind the curriculum is their unique Cre8tors-in-Action© educational philosophy - essentially the DNA of the "Grange Kids", whom the school envisions becoming "creators" with 8 core competencies that will prepare them to become effective global citizens.

TGI is one of the first schools globally to create proprietary virtual reality content for several IPC units of learning. Most recently, their remarkable "Green Granger" initiative took home the Gold award for Best Environmental Initiative, aside from also clinching the Silver award for Entrepreneurship in Education at the first ever HoneyKids Asia Singapore Educational Awards 2021.

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Stamford American International School offers an holistic education for students from 2 months to 18 years of age, being the first and only school in Singapore to offer Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB DP) and Business and Technical Education Council (BTEC) Diploma curricula, together with a US-accredited High School Diploma.

Stamford American is an inclusive school, home to over 75 different nationalities and was recently awarded Silver in HoneyKids' Singapore International School of the Year for its focus on sustainability, inclusion and academic excellence.

Their Woodleigh campus includes two distinct divisions: elementary & secondary school (for students aged 6-18 years) and the Early Learning Village campus, inspired by Reggio-Emilia philosophy, is specially designed for students from 2 months – 6 years. Every student is treated as a unique individual and is given the direction, counsel and support to discover her or his own potential for greatness.

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Leading International Schools in Switzerland 2021

Zurich International School celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2023. They are the longest accredited international school in Switzerland, and are home to more than 1,200 multicultural students aged three to 18, representing over 70 nationalities.

ZIS provides a broad curriculum, with a strong focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, leading to both the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme as well as Advanced Placement courses. But - at its heart - a ZIS education challenges students by getting them to experiment and explore, not by extinguishing their spark. ZIS teachers work hard to connect each student to a subject and find the angle that brings it to life.

The school takes the time to help students discover their true passions, introducing children to a broad range of pursuits, so they can discover an unexpected hobby or career that may enrich their lives. Students are also encouraged to be open to new challenges and experiences, and to get value from things even if they do not excel at them. They are also inspired to make a difference, with sustainable, hands-on activities that benefit the community, and give them a more global perspective.


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Leading International Schools in Switzerland 2021