Thursday, May 24, 2012

World Wide Schools: What You Need to Know

From an educational standpoint, these are exciting times, not only in your home country, wherever that may be, but globally, in almost every corner of the earth.  One type of education that is lending to this excitement is being provided by World Wide schools, also known as international schools.  World Wide schools can now be found in most countries around the world, and have literally tripled in number over the past decade.  So what is so special about these international or World Wide schools?  Actually, there are far too many characteristics and benefits to list them all here, but to give you at least some inclination as to why these institutions are becoming so popular among students and parents alike, below we will provide a brief definition of World Wide schools and summarize some of the advantages of this type of education.

What Are World Wide Schools and What Are the Benefits? 

World Wide schools are institutions that provide a different curriculum than the one taught in the local and more traditional schools.  The curriculum is either international, such as the International Baccalaureate, or the same curriculum used in United States and UK schools.  Instruction is provided either solely in English or bilingually with English, and the student body and faculty are multi-national.

In the early years of World Wide schools their function was specific and very limited:  to provide education to U.S., UK or other English-speaking students living in a part of the world in which English was not the native language, thus making it difficult, even impossible for them to study and learn effectively in the local schools.  Whether the children are in the country because one or both of their parents are in the military or pursuing another type of employment-based purpose, World Wide schools give them full access to a relevant education, one that is universally accepted and provided in a language they can understand.

While serving the children of expatriates remains a primary purpose of World Wide schools, these institutions have now take on an additional role—a function that has led to an explosion in the industry in recent years, especially in underdeveloped and developing nations.  Today there are millions of locally-born children who now attend international schools rather than the traditional schools in their area.  Parents who envision greater opportunities for their children—opportunities in more developed countries abroad—are now opting to send them to World Wide schools as a way to provide them with an advantage and a head start.  Not only do students study via a curriculum that is generally accepted throughout the world by colleges and universities, they also have the unique opportunity to gain valuable early language skills.  Typically, instructors at these schools are far more trained, and because they hail from countries around the world, together they offer a global educational perspective.

Students who complete their education in World Wide schools are awarded a diploma that is internationally recognized, thus opening the door to worlds of opportunity and providing them with considerably more options than their traditionally-educated peers.  Expatriate students can return home (or anywhere else) armed with an education that has more than adequately prepared them for university studies, and local children can dramatically improve their educational and professional outlook by studying abroad, particularly those students in underdeveloped countries where higher education and professional positions are severely limited.

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