BlogThe benefits of an international school. Is it worth sending your child to one?

15 June 2021by kasia_yetiz

An international school is one where learning takes place in a foreign language or in two languages and is usually based on another system’s core curriculum. Sometimes a different grading system is also used from that in standard Polish schools. In this article, we show what such a school can offer your child.

International school vs. bilingual school

At the beginning, it is worth clearly underlining that these two types of schools, while similar to each other, have certain differences. The fundamental one is the core curriculum. In a bilingual school, it is based on the educational system of the country in which it is based, so that a Polish bilingual school conducts all lessons (or a majority of them) in Polish and – for example – English, based on the Polish core curriculum. In an international school, however, we are dealing with teaching according to the core curriculum of another country, aside from the country in which the school is based. That’s why an American or British school in Poland can conduct lessons based on the British or American educational system. We place an emphasis on diversity in our school, and even though we base our educational program on the American system, we also take a lot from the Polish program. This guarantees a comprehensive knowledge base in all the subjects that are taught.

Learning in an international school – how does it look?

Everything depends on the school and how lessons are conducted, however it is easy to find a common denominator. Lessons at such a school are most of all carried out in a foreign language, for example English. At international schools, for the most part, there is less of an emphasis placed on test results and grades. This is the result of a modern approach and underlining the important of critical learning, independent thinking and finding the best solutions. A unique approach to teaching has a positive effect on the development of students and their passion for learning.

At our school, some of our lessons are in Polish, in addition to Polish-as-a-second-language courses that cater to students with language barriers.

Pros and cons of international schools

One of the greatest and undeniable advantages of going to such a school is the mastery of a foreign language, usually backed by a certificate or diploma. Nothing develops foreign language skills like using one every day.

A diverse student body in terms of ethnic and cultural backgrounds teaches tolerance and respect for differences. It also allows students to broaden their perspectives and step outside of the boundaries of their environments and find themselves easily amongst different people. A high level of education is another benefit of international schools. Contrary to public schools, modern teaching methods and methodologies that cater to the development of the students are much more easily accepted. They are also more flexible and allow for the easier learning of competences that are useful in adulthood, for example on the labor market.

International schools also offer a wide range of extracurricular lessons, that contribute to the development of student interests. It is also easier to make friends from all around the world and learn to cooperate with people from other countries, which students themselves often see as having great value.

The grading system, which is often not based just on a number scale, is often less stressful and easier to understand for students. At public schools, the grading system often fails to focus on the student, but rather the effects of their work. International schools learn from other educational systems and often use a more flexible grading system. This allows students to better understand where mistakes are made and facilitate further development.

Graduates of international schools have an easier time finding jobs, especially on the international market. An international diploma allows for students to differentiate themselves among other candidates and is evidence of their high level of knowledge and competences, as well as linguistic skills.

International schools also have some cons that are worth mentioning. Undoubtedly, the fact that they are usually private and require tuition to be paid is one of them. Parents must also be more supportive and engaged in their child’s education than in standard educational systems. This second drawback could also be seen as having a positive aspect, in that increased parental involvement means a cementing of the parent-child relationship.

Taking all of the above into account, it is easy to see that the pros of sending your child to an international school outweigh the cons. The great perspective of developing skills and interest, as well as gaining competences, that open to doors to the labor market later in life, cannot be underestimated. It is worth taking them into account while selecting a school for your child.

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