International School: How Does It Benefit Your Child?
Are you thinking about enrolling your child in an international school? Do you wonder if it is the right choice? We tell you how your child benefits from an international school.
By Aarthi Arun
International schools are opening up at a rapid pace in our country, not only in metropolitan cities but also in second tier towns. Their growth has been fuelled mostly by professionals who move between countries to pursue career goals. According to a research, ‘Investment in international schools: an expanding market’ by Anne Keeling, published by ISC Research (2018), ‘Over 11 million students have migrated from the country’s state schools to private and international schools since 2010 and more are expected to follow suit as new international schools open up’.
The main benefit of an international school is that it enables the child to continue with the same curriculum, even when moving from one country to another. This helps the child adapt easily to schools in different countries. Many parents in India also believe that an international education gives their children an edge over their peers in the age of globalised economy. Above all, finishing high school in an international board can make it easier for a child to apply to foreign universities.
Read on to know some facts about getting your child educated in an international school in India.
Types of international education
The international schools in India are accredited to three major education boards from foreign countries. They are:
- CIE – Cambridge International Examinations, based in UK (include IGCSE, O Level, International AS and A Levels, and Pre-U)
- IB – International Baccalaureate, based in Switzerland
- Edexcel, based in UK (include GCSE, A level and International GCSE)
All the three boards have a rigorous curriculum with different assessment methods to prepare your child for college, in addition to making her a responsible global citizen. The three boards are recognised by most of the major universities in the world.
How to identify a valid international school
Some schools affix the word 'international' to their name without following any international curriculum. So, how would you identify a genuine international school? Following are the points to look out for:
- Accreditation to one of the three foreign boards
- Internationally trained staff
- Facilities on a par with international standards
- Strong leadership
- A global mindset
Before enrolling your child in one, go through the vision and mission statement on the school's website. This will help you understand if it is in line with your expectations. Talk to the school management and look at the qualifications of the teachers. Reach out to other students, parents and alumni for opinions.
Benefits of an international education
If you're thinking about moving your child to an international school, you may wonder if it is the right choice. The short answer is yes, and there are a number of reasons for that. The international curricula uses modern teaching methods. Students are given the choice to pick subjects according to their individual interests. Moreover, there is emphasis on hands-on learning, which encourages an inquisitive attitude. Here are some other compelling reasons to send your child to an international school:
Globalised education: First and foremost, going to an international school enables your child to secure a seat in a foreign university without going through the hassles of additional entrance examinations. This is the main reason why many parents opt for international schools. Also, with advancements in technology, we are no longer limited to working within the boundaries of our country. This phenomenon will become even more pronounced as your child grows. He will have to work with people from all corners of the world. An international school prepares your child to deal with a globalised economy. With a mix of international students and staff, he is exposed to various cultures early on in his life. This experience makes him more tolerant, and at the same time, resilient.
Advanced infrastructure and teaching methods: From teaching methodologies to the use of modern devices, an international school is equipped with smart classrooms that take your child's learning to a new level. International schools hire qualified teachers with experience in cross-cultural teaching. They are expected to keep up with the latest research and bring the best teaching methods to the table. They encourage students’ curiosity and are empathetic toward their opinions. The interactive method of teaching coupled with the state-of-the-art technology instils a lifelong love for learning in a child.
Individual attention and development: The classrooms in international schools usually have a low student-teacher ratio. This ensures that your child gets more attention from the teacher. Since international schools don’t have a competitive ranking system, your child can choose to learn at her own pace instead of trying to keep up with the others. Furthermore, she has the option of selecting the combination of subjects that she is interested in. As a result, she will be intrinsically motivated to study, which will make the learning experience positive and enjoyable.
Interesting range of extra-curricular activities: Another advantage of choosing an international school is the range of extra-curricular activities provided at the institution. Your child can opt for after-school classes in different disciplines like foreign languages, advanced maths, sports and so on. International schools provide in-house facilities with professional trainers and these classes will help your child become a well-rounded individual in the future.
Wider opportunities for networking: Studying in an international school comes with an array of perks, and one of them is having a diverse group of friends and contacts. Social skills are imperative for succeeding in our modern society. Having friends and acquaintances from all over the world is just what your child needs to thrive in this competitive world.
The yearly fee of an international school is quite high and can burn a big hole in your pocket, especially if you have more than one child. We always strive to give the best to our children, but sometimes, it may not be a practical option. The good news, however, is that not going to an international school is not the end of the world. Your child can go to a normal school and still shine in his life. It's your involvement that makes a huge difference for your child than the type of school he goes to. So, spend time with your child and understand his interests, kindle his curiosity by taking him to science centres and museums, and support his interests by enrolling him in special classes in your locality.
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