Absolutely Education has teamed up with Halcyon London International School to take a look at just some of the benefits of choosing an international school education for your child – by Khushi Hunt, Communications Coordinator at Halcyon London International School.

Broader and better career opportunities for students

International schools are often visited by colleges, universities, governmental organisations and businesses around the world. With strong bonds to embassies and teachers that hail from all corners of the planet, international schools often host university and careers fairs that inspire students to go above and beyond in their future ambitions. They can make use of their cosmopolitan locations to visit workshops, exhibitions and conferences that inspire students to develop skills for the future. 

In this way, international schools recognise that they have a unique ability to help students to prepare a unique career path – and some go the extra mile to deliver personalised learning programmes that allow students to gain experience in their passions and achieve higher.

Connections with world-class educators

International schools provide a great place for brilliant minds from around the world to connect – and that includes teachers as well as students! Dedicated organisations ranging from the Council of International Schools to TESOL International Association hold highly anticipated fairs where international educators can meet one another, exchange insights and find experienced, inspiring teachers to welcome to their schools. International schools are highly connected with one another in day-to-day life through groups such as the Council of British International Schools, and share a commitment to professional development and educational innovation to provide ever-improving programmes in STEM, the Arts and more. 

Some international schools are part of specialist networks that dedicate time to researching leading-edge educational innovation. Schools that host specialists in Educational Technology are dedicated to amplifying learning through research-led digital innovation, and have been uniquely prepared to transition to an online learning environment in these times.

Stronger opportunities for language learning

International schools proudly host staff and student bodies made up of dozens of nationalities, and it’s no surprise that they can offer unique and expansive opportunities for language learning. Many international schools also offer ‘Mother Tongue’ programmes that nurture students’ fluency in their native languages, and English as an Additional Language to support non-native English speakers in adapting to an international classroom environment.

International schools that offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme can strengthen this multilingual environment even further by requiring students to complete a ‘bilingual diploma’, where students study a language acquisition course alongside language/literature studies in their fluent tongue.  

A diverse and global-minded school environment

Students at international schools are guaranteed to make friends with people from all around the world. A diverse, open-minded culture is embedded into the experience of international schools, in their social communities as well as in their classrooms – creating an environment where students are aware of global issues, interested in contributing to their community and ready to lead, collaborate and learn from one another.

Because of this, international schools can offer students chances to take leadership roles within school life. Schools that integrate student voice into school-wide decisions can provide students with the responsibility of organising, planning and launching their own initiatives ranging from inter-school Model United Nations summits to Global Issues Conferences. 

A broader curriculum with a stronger reputation

Time and time again, news outlets have drawn our attention to the limitations of national curriculums and the endless changes to GCSEs and A-Levels that leave students uncertain of the choices available to them. Following a curriculum that is not tied to any one nation means that unexpected changes are less frequent – so international school students’ prospects and the ‘gold-standard’ reputation of the International Baccalaureate remain as strong as ever! The International Baccalaureate is based on interdisciplinary skill frameworks rather than rigid lists of topics which students must cover. For example, students who study history at an international school will have the chance to learn about significant events from all over the world: this flexibility provides space for a unique, enriching learning programme.

Having a more flexible curriculum means schools can expand their learning programme to be more holistic: many international schools integrate a Wellbeing programme into their timetable, for example. Some take this beyond ‘pastoral care’, and integrate dedicated one-on-one mentoring times into the school schedule to build students’ ability to navigate complex challenges in academia and beyond. 

To find out more about Halcyon and to book a virtual open tour click here.