Amongst fast paced technological change and rapidly evolving societies, it is undeniable that the world is becoming ever more global and interconnected. International education not only plays a vital role in preparing students for a more diverse experience, but also serves to deliver a comprehensive, globally minded curriculum which offers different perspectives and new learning opportunities.
Becoming a global citizen
A “melting pot” of culture, International schools bring together students from all backgrounds with the children of ex-patriates and those of local families attending class alongside each other. The interaction between students of all backgrounds helps broaden knowledge of the world, challenging students’ pre-conceptions and building strong diverse connections.
Growing up and being educated around, and often submerged in, cultures different to their own, helps students develop a sense of global citizenship which prepares them for the ever increasingly connected nature of the world.
An obvious benefit of being educated in a foreign country is the natural acceleration of the learning of a new language. International schools often encourage language development in many ways including offering intensive language courses and including language modules within the curriculum, as well as some providing the opportunity to study bilingually. The advantages of studying another language are countless and include increased cognitive ability and processing skills, not to mention additional languages being highly desirable by employers.
Different styles of education
Whilst the International Baccalaureate has become the standard for international schools, many also offer access to qualification types that differ to those available locally, and this can often be a contributing factor behind parents’ decisions to send their children to international school. The variety of qualification types offer students a greater range of personalisation, allowing them to choose to study in a manner and format which best suits their learning styles and areas of interest.
The variety of experiences accessible through an international education, is often highly desirable with higher education institutes and employers. Traits and characteristics nurtured through this international environment such as resilience and adaptability help to prepare students for later life and can help build a greater sense of maturity and independence that will equip them to thrive in their next steps. These abilities, as well as strong social skills and transferable learning skills developed through an international education, make a student extremely attractive to employers or universities.
There are many benefits and opportunities of international education which can serve to enhance and expand students learning in various ways – and we’ve outlined a few of these above. However, for more information, for both prospective students and teachers, let’s take a look at some of the top articles that dive into the world of global schooling from 2021, as first shown in International Teacher Magazine: