February 4, 2022
Soledad Pina Molina
Head of Lower School
When we become parents, our responsibilities increase greatly and we have to consider all the options that arise in order to decide which are the best. As parents, sometimes we can feel overwhelmed since we have to find a balance between decision-taking and welcoming a child in our lives. This situation can stand in the way of our ability to take decisions. We want the best for our families but, in a global world where we can find plenty of options, which is the best of them?
State, private, bilingual, international school? The choice can be a real challenge. There are people who know it from the beginning, but there are others that need more time to find the response that best suits their families. It is not a simple task as there are plenty of paths that can guide our children to a higher education. During this process we may wonder if international schools are worthwhile. All doubts are respected as we want to ensure the happiness of our children while they are building their brilliant future.
Below you will find some reasons why I think, as a mother and as a professional, that international schools are worth considering.
- International schools prepare our children for the future
In the past, international schools were considered to be the schools for diplomats’ and expatriates’ children. Nevertheless, nowadays international schools have become an excellent choice for those parents who want to prepare their children to live in a global world. Therefore, those children will become global citizens who will be able to contribute to improve the future.
- International schools understand the importance of providing an individual approach to each student
International schools are known for finding more individual career paths. Students will be taught fundamental skills and the necessary knowledge that will allow them to choose their own path to excellence. In international schools we know that we would not find the path to achieve this goal exclusively inside the classroom. Thus, practical learning and reflection are promoted as those will enhance personal skills such as creativity, problem-solving and critical thinking among students. These types of experiences include designing different learning areas and game-based activities proposed in Early Years, where students make their choices depending on their interests, as well as business experiences which are earmarked for older students who will put into practice all the skills and knowledge achieved to resolve real situations.
- Children are part of multicultural communities which coexist thanks to respect and empathy
The time a child spends in school is roughly the same s/he spends at home. Being part of an affective community, where a child feels comfortable and learns that s/he can contribute to change the world, is as important as the curriculum that is taught. Currently, we live in a multicultural society and multiculturalism shall be present in classrooms with well-trained teachers for that purpose (B.C. Marro Roig, I. Mosquera Gende, P.Gómez Lorenzo).
International schools teach more that just the curriculum: they integrate academic and cultural competence within collaborative and inspiring learning. Respect, social responsibility and resilience are taught.
- Global education will open children up to better digital competence
Global citizens need critical thinking skills to participate in a worldwide community. International schools are designed with the aim of being effective learning environments. For this reason, among other aspects, their classrooms and laboratories are equipped with the latest technology related to education. Schools, like the ones belonging to Cognita group, offer individual devices for learning and well-trained teachers that can introduce technology in everyday teaching and learning.
- Students feel international spirit
International schools are a model of diversity and multiculturalism. A lot of these schools consist of students and teachers who come from different parts of the world. They all want to increase their knowledge and to grow personally in an enriching and diverse community.
- International students learn to communicate with the world
English is a shared language within many of the international schools. These schools are characterised by focusing on a truly in-depth knowledge of English and other languages (at least a third language), but simultaneously offering programmes in the national language or enabling learners to strengthen their own mother tongues and cultures. Speaking several languages is fundamental in order to communicate with a global world, since it helps to better know others’ perspectives, their cultures, as well as to learn to accept the difference faster and with more naturalness.
- International schools offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities
Owning to this philosophy of diversity education, international schools offer a wide variety of activities such as competitive sports, art, music, outdoor activities or solidarity or environmental projects which give students better opportunities. In addition, studies have shown that academic achievement and physical and mental health are promoted, as well as a safe and structured environment.
Furthermore, there are a lot of schools that have overseas programmes which allow students to live an enriching experience promoting their independence and autonomy.
Choosing among a state, private, bilingual or international school can be challenging. However, the benefits of an international education balance out the effort. It is a type of education that provides children the opportunity to become much more creative learners because parents support their personal and academic growth since the very beginning, and they give them the resources they need to make it happen. By doing so, students will give their best in every single stage of their lives.