When you open a school, you are taking up the challenge of shaping young, impressionable minds. Educators in schools are tasked with preparing children and teenagers for life beyond academia — ensuring that they are able to graduate and go on to live life outside the confines of a classroom and school compound.
For many parents, it can be quite the struggle to choose between a local education provider and an international one. Those who go for the latter do so because they take into consideration how globalised the world is becoming — students who partake in an international education become bilingual or even trilingual by default, and are usually able to master English at a faster pace. This makes it easier for them to apply to universities and find fulfilling careers in the future.
Professional show jumper Mona Hammoudi, for example, attended an international school from Pre-K to the 12th grade. Being exposed to “numerous people of various nationalities and backgrounds from a very young age” helped her gain the ability to understand and connect with people who grew up in different places, spoke different languages, and came from different cultures than her own. The cherry on top? She got to access this truly international education in her home country of Qatar, where she is most comfortable.
Here are a few schools in Qatar that emphasise on the importance of an international education:
American School of Doha
Along the shoreline of beaches and dunes lies Doha, the capital of Qatar. Here, you can find futuristic skyscrapers, ultramodern ancient Islamic-inspired architecture and most of all, a safe city that 2.5 million residents call home. Located in the Al Waab/Al Soudan District is the world-renowned American School of Doha, an academy established by the US Embassy in Qatar.
This premier American international school is the first (and only one) of its kind in Qatar to offer Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses to students from over 80 countries. The school’s mission, which is “to inspire and empower students to become positive and active global citizens,” is intensified by its diverse student body — creating an international environment for students aged three to 18 years old.
“Learning at ASD is challenging, experiential, inspiring, and fun. Our community of learners, encompassing all students and all adults, engage in opportunities that invite curiosity, generate challenge, and enhance personal growth,” says Dr. Heather Vlach, Director of Teaching and Learning.
Academic excellence is indeed at the forefront of the school’s legacy. The IB and AP examination results in May of 2019 achieved by the students of the school is a testament to this. The AP program broke school records with 85% of students achieving a 3 or higher, with a record average exam score of 3.64. IB Diploma students achieved an average score of 35 points — five points higher than the world average. To study at one of the world’s best American international schools, click here.
Compass International School
Compass International School Doha (CISD) is one of Qatar’s top international schools that produces excellent academic and social outcomes for children at all levels. This Nord Anglia school offers the finest in British and international curricula, from Early Years through to A Levels and the IB Diploma Programme. The school celebrates individual talents and creates ambitious learners through a personalised approach to learning, enhanced by collaborations with world-leading institutions.
One of them is MIT. The partnership with the elite university allows Compass educators to teach STEAM in innovative ways: creative, experimentative and practical. Another is with one of the world’s premier conservatories, The Juilliard School. From the age of four right through to middle school, Compass students can experience a repertoire of core works in music, dance and drama of a wide range of genres, styles and cultures designed and curated by Juilliard.
That’s not all. In collaboration with UNICEF, students can research, develop and debate challenges facing our society through special activities and events with the United Nations agency. “We educate your child for the future by enhancing learning through collaborations with the world’s best institutions,” says Executive Principal Paul Holyome. “Individually tailoring our approach to your child enables them to achieve outstanding academic results whilst developing the skills and mindset to thrive in a changing world.”
CISD is located in three campuses located across the city: Gharaffa, Madinat Khalifa and Al Themaid. Each is home to a thriving community — 80 nationalities are represented — where every pupil is supported to achieve their best academically, socially and personally. To learn more, set up a Virtual Discovery Meeting.
Doha College is one of the world’s leading British international schools. The state-of-the-art West Bay campus and facilities (like an outdoor learning space in a garden with an exquisite view), which was replaced by the “truly epic Al Wajba campus,” reflect the school’s commitment to the pursuit of excellence in academics, sports, music, drama, arts and extra‑curricular activities.
For more than four decades, this highly-accredited award-winning college encourages some 2,300 students every year to develop a balanced understanding of the world around them. A Doha College education is inclusive and more than just a curriculum — it aims to teach students from over 74 different countries how to be considerate of others, how to hear others out and consider their perspectives, how to form opinions as well as have the confidence to stand up and voice out. The college consults students at every stage of their education so that they can achieve their best individual outcomes.
This dedication to a holistic output is what makes Doha College students motivated to aim high in everything that they do. Research, for example, is not just reserved for those in university, Year 11 students of Doha College bagged both first and second places in a Medical Conference hosted by Park House English School in March of 2019. Matteo Franceschi and Nina Nair won second for their research on the topic “Yellow Fever — An Infectious Disease” and first place was conferred upon Umar Siddique and Sameen Anodiyil for their research on the topic of “Genetic Modification in Cancer Treatment”. To join their ranks and make a difference, apply to study at Doha College here.
Cambridge International School
“What’s wrong with being average?” Cambridge International School asks on the main page of their website. According to the prestigious institution, there is nothing wrong with the idea of average. It only becomes dangerous when “average” students settle for having low expectations for themselves and excuse poor performance because they’re fine with doing the bare minimum.
At Cambridge International School, “average” students are nurtured into becoming high-achievers through the combination of an international environment, a well-rounded education, stellar facilities, and out-of-school-time programmes. The vast array of extracurricular activities is compulsory for every student of this school everyday — a practice not widely held by other schools that adopt the National Curriculum of England. These extended learning opportunities can range from chess to sports — any activity that stimulates the student’s interest in education as a whole.
Even those with learning difficulties are not left behind. Students who have trouble learning at the same pace as their peers in school can flourish at Cambridge International School because the academy promises to zoom in on possible motivational issues and work with pupils who have genuine learning disabilities by tailoring to their needs as well as equipping them with the study skills they need to triumph academically.
“Students are encouraged to have self-confidence, curiosity and ambition, to share ideas, to discuss, to ask and to answer questions, to be inquisitive, and to be creative. They are encouraged to develop the personal qualities of humility, compassion and respect,” shares Padmini Venkatesh, the Principal of Cambridge International School.
“The curriculum is designed to provide not only academic knowledge and information but also to develop the skills that will help our students to achieve success. This develops a love for learning that will enhance their personal lives and careers in the future.”
If you — like the Cambridge International School — believe that education in the 21st century is not just about classroom learning and memorising facts, click here.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International