Europe may be compact compared to other continents, however, it is one with astounding natural, historical, artistic, and cultural diversity. This is welcoming information for families on the lookout for a rigorous, classically-European student experience for their young children. After all, who wouldn’t want to follow in the footsteps of business magnate Sir Richard Branson; the Duchess of Cambridge Catherine Middleton; writer and New York Times correspondent Tad Szulc; and even the members of Radiohead?
Regardless of where families decide on, the goal reminds the same: To make an investment that will lead to fruitful outcomes. The right education will not just lead to better opportunities in higher education, but throughout life.That said, international schools are top picks known to provide qualifications recognised worldwide. What better way is there to develop global citizens?
When the time comes to pursue international success, these young adults will be ready. Looking back at their education, they will be able to recall hours spent exploring new cultures amidst a diverse student body; new foods that have tantalised their taste buds; phrases they can say in a new languages; the interdisciplinary excellence they’ve achieved through extracurriculars; the connections they’ve forged; the passions they’ve realised and more.
If you’re looking for an education that comprises these experiences and more, look no further than these four international schools in Europe.
Saint-Denis International School
There’s no better place to immerse yourself in French culture than in a well-respected French school where international students have been welcomed for decades. Even in light of COVID-19, Saint-Denis International School is one of few that can continue to receive pupils thanks to effective health protocols of testing, mask wearing and sanitising.
Some come to enjoy panoramic views of ancient splendour. Some arrive to thrive among a multinational, caring community of students representing over 30 nationalities. Others come to advance their French skills — novice, advanced or everything in between — with an excellent faculty trained in teaching French as a Foreign Language.
The traditional is merged with modern flair and technology in the three-year French Baccalaureate, a solid choice for those looking to spend a longer time in the iconic country. It covers foundational knowledge that spans the life sciences; economics; literature, foreign culture and language; physics and chemistry; engineering; as well as humanities, literature, and philosophy.
In recent years, bilingual or trilingual students have increasingly opted for a more global alternative. The American section of the International Option of the French Baccalaureate (OIB) fits the bill. In this pathway, young learners get the breadth and rigour of the French Baccalaureate with extra subjects taught and examined in English Literature, History and Geography, resulting in a bilingual, bicultural diploma.
Through either approach students evolve into global citizens. A vast array of extracurricular offerings in sports, cultural activities and community service contributes to this growth; while trips abroad to England, Brussels, Spain, the US, Canada and more broaden horizons further.
Nothing, however, beats time on campus. Located in the Loire Valley — the heart of the Garden of France, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and just a train ride away from Paris — this is where international students form meaningful connections with peers. Weekends are reserved for unwinding with welcoming host families eager to provide them with a stellar home away from home. Doesn’t this French coming-of-age story sound like one for the books? Click here to make it yours.
International School of Milan
The International School of Milan (IS Milan) is the oldest international school in the city with over 60 years of experience. It is also one of the most progressive — here, 50 nationalities exchange cultures and traditions while exuding a sense of pride for the vibrant learning environment that surrounds them.
The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum meets every need, facilitated by an international and skilled teaching body that ensures above average results. “All IB programmes aim at developing internationally minded, inquiring young people, who understand the importance of the individual role each of us has to play in a growingly interconnected world,” explains Giuseppe Redaelli, head of secondary academic and deputy principal.
High schoolers take on the IB Diploma Programme that consists of a rigorous course of studies, designed to prepare students for university entry. Contributing to this growth are IBDP core programmes in the Theory of Knowledge; Creativity, Activity, and Service; as well as the Extended Essay.
To round out the experience, students step out of the classroom and into various activities around Milan’s largest international school campus. Facilities include an auditorium; swimming pool; gymnasium; two libraries; science and IT laboratories; art workshops; dedicated music areas; ample lush, green areas for connection and collaboration — amongst many more.
Our dedicated, international and skilled teaching body ensures that all students achieve highly at the school regardless of their ability. Their desire to challenge students is based upon a belief founded upon a growth mindset, ensuring that the focus is on every student achieving beyond what a school might ‘normally expect’. In short, we believe your son or daughter can achieve more and be happier with us here at IS Milan.
“It is our role, our goal and our legacy, as teachers, to develop in our young students this academic rigour, the discipline and the passion of inquiry and the awareness of the importance of being an active member of the many communities they belong to,” shares Redaelli.
Sotogrande International School
Sotogrande International School (SIS) is a day and boarding school for students between the ages of three and 18. Altogether, the school houses 1,000 students — representing 50 nationalities — thriving alongside each other in the south of Spain. Surrounded by nature, students at this IB World School enjoy a spirit of learning, community, fun, and energy. No matter what they get up to, they remain engaged.
“SIS students receive an academically rigorous international education, with experiential learning at the heart,” says James Kearney, head of school and CEO. “Learning through reflection helps students to more easily absorb and understand information, and we support this through educational excursions, interactive lessons and through the creative use of technology.”
At SIS, several programmes are designed to create well-rounded graduates. These include the Global Citizenship Programme, aimed at creating a more peaceful and sustainable world; F1 in Schools, which teaches STEM related subjects in an exciting way; and a Music Academy for students who wish to join the music or entertainment industry one day.
SIS has even been reaccredited as an Apple Distinguished School for its ability to encourage innovation, leadership, and educational excellence. “Students are encouraged to think independently and critically, embracing opportunities to be the best they can be and taking personal responsibility for creating a more peaceful, inclusive, and sustainable world,” shares Kearney.
SIS offers the two-year IBDP programme for students between the ages of 16 and 19 — a pre-university qualification accepted worldwide. Upon graduation, SIS graduates go on to top universities across Europe, the US, and Canada.
TASIS The American School in England
If you want the best of both sides of the Atlantic, TASIS The American School in England is the place to be. This is where students can benefit from an American education in the UK, with multiple academic pathways open to them: the American high school diploma, Advanced Placement (AP) courses, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
The TASIS approach combines personalised learning, a diverse campus with 60 nationalities represented, and a four-year College Counselling programme. The result? An admirable 96% of graduates receive offers from their first- or second-choice universities. In a typical year, 40% join US universities, 40% UK universities, and the rest are spread around the world — they can be found at over 50 of the Times Higher Education Top 100 universities worldwide.
Life at TASIS England is a rich tapestry of ideas and opportunities. At this stunning 46-acre campus, just 35 minutes from central London and 15 minutes from Heathrow airport, pupils form friendships and connections with peers from around the world as well as the local community.
The School’s Academic Travel Programme also enables students to extend their learning beyond the classroom with staff-supervised trips around the UK and to European destinations such as Portugal, Spain, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Romania, Italy, and Greece, as well as to simply have fun skiing together in Switzerland.
“TASIS England inspires a passion for learning throughout our day and boarding programs,” says Bryan Nixon, Head of School. “At TASIS England they will gain independence, responsibility, respect, and a sense of creativity through the development of relationships that will transcend their time at our School. Quite simply, we are developing the leaders of the future by going above and beyond in every aspect of school life.”
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International