Thursday, May 24, 2012

Directory of International Schools Explained

If you’ve been searching for a school, either for yourself or for your child, you may have run across the term “directory of international schools.”  It’s a term that is becoming more and popular these days, as an increasing number of these types of schools are being founded, but before we take a closer look at these directories and explain their purpose, it is first necessary that we provide a definition for international schools. 

What Are International Schools?

Simply speaking, an international school is a type of institution that offers a different curriculum than that of the host country—the country in which the international school is located.  Usually the instruction is provided wholly in English or bilingually with English and another language (Spanish, French, etc.). Many international schools use the curriculum of the larger English-speaking countries, such as the United States and Great Britain, while others use an international curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate.  To qualify as an international school both the student body and faculty must be multi-national and accredited by an international school accrediting body.

The original purpose of an international school was to provide a relevant education to English-speaking children who, because of their parent’s employment position in another country, were living outside of their country of citizenship, be it the United States or the UK.  This would help prepare them for higher education opportunities back home, whereas the local curriculum may not.  In recent years, however, more and more local students have started to enroll in international schools as a way to prepare for educational and employment opportunities abroad.  In these schools, students have the opportunity to learn the English language and study from a curriculum that is generally accepted everywhere.  This trend has been especially prevalent in many of the less-developed countries around the world, particularly in India, where an estimated 20 percent of all school-age children are enrolled in international schools, usually with the goal of transferring to universities in Europe and North America.

Directory of International Schools

A directory of international schools is a type of catalogue that is loaded with helpful school information, allowing students and parents to make informed decisions when selecting an institution for their education.  Most of these directories are now digitized and can be browsed online from the comfort of your home.  With a comprehensive directory of international schools you can search by school type (all-English schools, American schools, etc) or region and you can even filter the search results by the various options offered at each school.  Two of the most important pieces of information you can discover with the help of a directory of international schools are:

  • The type of curriculum used.  As you browse through the directory of international schools you will no doubt notice there are three main types of curriculums to choose from:  international curriculum, a standardized university preparatory program of study that is generally accepted at universities worldwide; United States curriculum, the same program taught at the primary and secondary schools in the U.S., including preparation for the SAT college entrance examination; and the GCSE’s and “A” level curriculums that help prepare students for university enrollment in the United Kingdom.  If you already know the university you plan to attend, it’s a good idea to check with them about the type of curriculum(s) they accept before making a final decisions regarding international school enrollment.
  • School particulars.  A directory of international schools provides a wealth of information on every school they list—a snapshot of the school and all it has to offer.  Some of this information includes:  the start and end dates of the school year, the duration of the school day (the time it begins and ends), typical class sizes, school lunches, number of classrooms, eligibility requirements, curriculum and school amenities, such as laboratories, and IT facilities.

Naturally, this is only a taste of the tremendous amount of information you’ll reap when using a directory of international schools, but as you can see, these directories can be very useful and will save you the time and effort of researching each school separately.


International School In India said...

Its good to have international schools in country because its allows all students from all over the world and give a opportunity to study with students those are from different region. And its allows them to know each other culture and living style.

sabkon wells said...

hi the post is really interesting to read . also has been quite inspiring .

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