international schools

A globalised generation exudes something special — they are defined by unique qualities beyond national boundaries. They understand the importance of a rich international exchange and rapid flow of information, culture and traditions — making them well-rounded people ready for lifelong learning and exploration.

In this, the best schools understand the urgency of developing the minds of tomorrow. They deliver an education that provides students with a wide range of opportunities for exposure to external societies and customs — a pivotal facet to shaping empathetic, compassionate global citizens. 

Look no further than international schools. Here, student life is inherently global. They are well-equipped to appreciate diverse perspectives, understand their connections to the world and use this knowledge to investigate and take action on issues that matter to them. Certain schools take this step further — by integrating these perspectives and practices into the academic curricula and extracurricular activities. 

Here are four international schools in Asia that are paving the way to create compassionate, knowledgeable global citizens:

Soka International Academy Malaysia Sdn Bhd

international schools

Soka International Academy Malaysia Sdn Bhd recognises that each student has a unique capacity to learn, grow and create value. Source: Soka International Academy Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Located in Seremban, the capital of the state of Negeri Sembilan, and situated 60 kilometres from Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, Soka International Academy Malaysia Sdn Bhd (the operator of Soka International School, Malaysia) nurtures value-creating global citizens based on the philosophy of Value Creating (Soka) education. . The Soka school system was founded on the conviction that humanistic, student-centred education is the foundation for the development of a peaceful, life-affirming society.

In this non-sectarian international school, students from Year 7 to 13 pursue academic excellence through various programmes, such as the International Baccalaureate, Cambridge International A Level and IGSCE exams.

In its nurturing and inclusive environment, qualified teachers from around the world serve as specialists in crucial subjects concerning Global Citizenship, which is part of the Global Citizenship Programme — one that will mould students to develop and manifest their characteristics as global citizens. As a result, students evolve into active contributors to this world, armed with critical thinking, conceptual understanding and a heart for service.

That’s not all. A Humanistic Learning Model is in place to ensure joyful and purposeful learning. Its four components — social-emotional learning, mastery-based learning, dialogic learning, and purpose-based learning — complement the warmth brought about by passionate educators, thanks to the learning-centric approach introduced by SOKA’s philosophy towards education.

To learn more about the school — set to open in August 2023 — click here. Interested parents can visit its Visitor Centre for more information and guided tours as well.

Dulwich Beijing

international schools

DCB’s academic programme is focused on what matters most in learning — relevance, enduring understanding, and multidisciplinary connection. Source: Dulwich College Beijing

At Dulwich College Beijing (DCB), education goes beyond books, bricks and mortar — it builds a bridge to the world. This is where values of resilience, confidence, respect, integrity, responsibility, open-mindedness and kindness are instilled in children from ages three to 18. 

DCB’s primary teaching language is English, with a dual-language approach in Mandarin and English in Early Years.

DCB is a member school of the Dulwich College International family, drawing upon over 400 years of tradition and experience from its founding college in London. Across 10 Dulwich College International schools, educators are guided by a mission of driving effective and innovative pedagogy at each age and stage of a student’s learning journey.

The “Dulwich difference” lies in the philosophy of putting students first. The school’s academic programme is focused on what matters most in learning — relevance, enduring understanding, and multidisciplinary connection. From Early Years to IGCSE and IB programmes, the faculty develops advanced course offerings that challenge students to think deeply and fuel students’ love of learning. 

A key part of the Dulwich learning experience includes clubs and activities organised around music, theatre and film. Students benefit from the dedicated art room, green screen film studio  and large music rooms. 

Bangkok Patana School

international schools

At Bangkok Patana School, students are prepared to make a positive difference in the world from a young age. Source: Bangkok Patana School

Global citizenship is at the heart of learning at Bangkok Patana School. As an international school in Bangkok, a city that is as diverse and accepting of modernity as ever, exposing students to the wonders and challenges of the wider world is a given. This, on top of its reputation as being one of the best 100 private schools in the world, attracts a myriad of over  2,200 students from around 65 countries to its extensive campus every year.

Global Citizenship is one of the school’s three core values and is integrated into the learning throughout the school. Bangkok Patana defines the attributes of global citizenship as being conscientious role models; committed to integrity and equity; diverse and inclusive; ethical and informed and active stewards of the environment and our communities.

Students in Years 10 and 11 take a dedicated course on Global Citizenship. The course is scheduled for one double period a week (120 minutes) and is focused on salient discussions and questions. Over three modules, students are challenged to explore the perspectives they hold and then recognise the frameworks of understanding of other people. 

GESS – International School

international schools

GESS pupils can take part in a richly-varied afternoon programme with over 90 activities to hone their interests and talents. Source: GESS – International School

At GESS – International School, a not for profit institution run by elected parent representatives, all income is invested back to the school. This ensures uninterrupted inspiration.

Here, respect, openness and diversity are celebrated. The result? Confident, forward-looking pupils with the freedom to grow academically and in their areas of interests. “We observe these values in everything we do; from hiring staff, to dealing with multiculturalism in a sensitive way, to creating a safe space for students where we display and celebrate their diversity, and promoting intercultural dialogue,” shares Christof Martin, Principal of GESS.

GESS students come from over 66 countries, pushing boundaries and work towards their aspirations, big and small. An education here is more than just about shaping minds. GESS offers the German Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate (IB) taught in English. The full IB Curriculum — Primary Years Programme (PYP), Middle Years Programme (MYP) and Diploma Programme (DP) — is catered to international students from two years to 18 years, from preschool followed by primary school, middle school and high school.

There are integrated mother tongue language programmes in German, Danish and Dutch from Primary School to High School. Languages such as Spanish and Mandarin are offered from the Middle Years programme. These empower pupils to become multilingual global citizens.

*Some of the institutions featured on this article are commercial partners of Study International