Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Research Your Education Options with a Directory of International Schools

Do you need help locating an international school or study abroad program? Have you considered using an online directory of international schools—a one-stop hub that may save you hours in research time? The world has changed rapidly in the last few decades, and as we move increasingly closer to full globalization, many students and parents have begun to realize the value of international schools and study abroad programs. Both embrace multi-national and even multi-linguistic education, and fortunately, now there is an easy way to research the various options available in different regions of the world: a directory of international schools. To help you get started, below we will provide a brief definition of each type of program and explain the basics when it comes to using a directory of international schools.

International Schools and Study Abroad Programs

Although international schools and study abroad programs are actually quite different, in most cases they will be listed together in a directory of international schools. Here is a brief definition for each of these terms:

International School

An international school is an educational institution that teaches a different curriculum than the one offered in the local schools, a curriculum that is accepted internationally at most schools of higher education. The instruction in international schools, which offer both primary and secondary education, is usually in English or bilingual (English + another language), and both the student body and faculty are typically multi-national. For decades now, these schools have been popular among expatriates who wish to provide their children with an education that will be accepted globally, including in their country of citizenship. More recently, however, local student enrollment has also been on the rise, as more and more parents are realizing the value of an international education in an ever-growing global society.

Study Abroad

Study abroad programs offer students the unique opportunity to study and live in a foreign country for a time, usually a semester or full academic year. While in the host country, students study in a foreign high school or university, but the language of instruction, as well as the textbooks and printed materials are in their own language. Students usually study with other international students in a program developed by their home university, and the credits they earn while studying abroad are fully transferrable. Cultural excursions and outings are an integral part of a student’s stay, providing numerous opportunities to learn and come to appreciate the culture, language, customs and traditions, as well as to sample the local fare. Students typically live in residence halls or with a host family—a family who volunteers their home and their time to benefit the program and their guests.

Using a Directory of International Schools

The easiest and fastest way to find international schools and study abroad programs, whether in your area or somewhere else, is to use a directory of international schools. These digitized online catalogues have collected pages and pages of information from educational organizations around the world and have conduced and simplified the data to make each program or school easy to find and research. There are many websites that now offer a directory of international schools, and most will allow you to narrow your search using certain criteria, including a specific country or language, the type of program or curriculum offered or the duration of the program. For instance, if you were searching for a semester-long study abroad program with openings in Japan, you could first search by country and narrow the results further by the program duration. Once you have conducted the search you will be provided with a list of possible matches, on which you can click to see a description of the school or program. Some of the information you can find with a directory of international schools includes:

• Location of the school and nearby places to visit

• Program description, including dates and important program features

• Candidacy requirements for the program (GPA requirement, etc.)

• Program duration—semester, academic year, summer program

• Daily schedule, including classroom and recreational hours

• Program cost

• Financial assistance and scholarship opportunities (most study abroad programs offer scholarship opportunities)

• Living arrangements—on-campus housing, off campus housing, host families, etc.

• How to apply, including application deadlines

As you can see, a directory of international schools is a great way to avoid some of the time and hassle of finding an international school or study abroad program. Because all of the information you need is in one place, including the contact information, all you will need to do is bookmark the schools and/or programs that may match your needs, making it simple to return to when you need more information.


Dianne Stevens said...

Students will no longer have a hard time looking for the perfect school. Good thing there are many directories now available for them.

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