5 International Schools in Asia that are shaping the leaders of the future

International schools throughout Asia were once somewhat of a rarity. From less than a dozen such schools in each country a decade or so ago, Thailand now has over 172 international curriculum schools, Malaysia has 142, Japan 233, and Singapore around 63, according to research by the International School Consultancy.

This exponential growth has been fuelled by a recognition of the outstanding results and exceptional quality of education these institutions are providing. As more and more students graduate, the benefits are evidenced in their achievements and the competency and confidence they carry with them.

International schools have long been hailed for cultivating graduates with a cultural appreciation and global outlook to the world, skills that have become increasingly valuable in out ever increasingly globalised world, but they also provide exceptional co-curricular activities and experiences the likes of which are rarely seen in local schools.

From ski trips in the Alps, to Model United Nations projects; this exposure to diverse opportunities allows students to discover their potential and develop leadership skills and confidence that will last a lifetime.

To let these qualities shine, students need a school that challenges them while providing a safe and encouraging environment to fail. It’s all a learning process and leadership is no different. With the right encouragement and practical experience, the high school students you see now can grow to be the next pivotal leaders of the future.

Here are 5 international schools in Asia that are shaping the leaders of the future…


Committed to women’s empowerment and inspiring passion, this South Korea-based girls boarding and day school is nurturing young female leaders with a global perspective and socially conscious approach to their futures.

Sister school to the renowned Branksome Hall Canada, the challenging education program believes in developing leaders through service and allowing students to explore their own unique talents both in and out of the classroom.

The unique CASE (Creativity, Action, Service and Enrichment) activities allow students to step outside of their comfort zone and take risks, knowing that they have the full support of the Branksome Hall Asia community behind them.

Covering the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum from Junior School right through to Senior School, the School has an exemplary record for academia. Their commitment to holistic education means Branksome Hall Asia graduates leave with exceptional academic achievements as well as a deeper understanding of themselves and a deep-seated confidence that lasts through life.

And the results are tangible; a remarkable 100 percent of 2017 Graduates received offers to the world’s top 100 universities.


As a leading international school in China, Concordia International School Shanghai sets the bar for excellence and brings out the same in its students.

At Shanghai’s premier American school, the emphasis is placed on finding a unique balance. Students are challenged to explore a broad range of activities, from academics and service to fine arts and athletics, all with the intention of helping them develop their individual interests. Once they have identified their passions, the opportunities to delve deeper are unrivalled.

Through Applied Learning courses, students get to explore their area of interest and appreciate its real-world applications while gaining valuable experience that further fuels the confidence they gain from doing something they love.

Recognizing that the world is changing, Concordia International School Shanghai ensures their students have opportunities to make a positive impact on the world and people around them. Innovative courses, such as Social Entrepreneurship and Applied Global Development equip students with essential skills for the modern world while allowing them to explore effective solutions to real-life problems.

Empowered to take charge of their own educational pursuits, students develop a sense of leadership and accountability. The wealth of both the academic and co-curricular variety offered means graduates develop a well-rounded approach to learning and to life.


Ruamrudee International School (RIS) was founded in 1957. Sixty years later, it continues to be a model of excellence and innovation in global education, offering a robust modified American curriculum stewarded by a teaching staff rich in expertise, creativity, and compassion.

RIS nurtures the minds, hearts, and hands of its students from PreK 2–Grade 12. IB Diploma Program and AP students score far above world averages and attend the most prestigious universities worldwide. Students at RIS excel not only in the classroom but through leadership activities such as World Scholar’s Cup, Model United Nations, Duke of Edinburgh Award, History Bowl, and the National Honor Society.

RIS has a vibrant performing and visual arts curriculum, many service-learning opportunities, and one of the largest athletic programs of any international school in Southeast Asia. Students who live on the school’s 29-acre clean-air campus enjoy a comfortable and supportive community and use of its state-of-the-art facilities.

As it has been for the last 60 years, RIS’ goal is to develop creative, compassionate, critical thinkers who are committed to leading happy, healthy lives while helping others to do the same. And this is why RIS students continue to forge lasting, positive legacies for the world.


Jerudong International School places leadership right at the heart of what they do. As one of their six school-wide learning goals, opportunities to grow and perfect leadership skills abound throughout the curriculum.

Along with their other goals (Thinking Skills, Integration, Active Engagement, Participation and Language), students earn points for exhibiting traits of leadership. In a unique and inventive programme, each point is matched by a donation from the school to purchase a polio vaccine, which are sponsored by the company Aetna. This rewarding and novel approach means students see their behaviour making a tangible and significant change for good in the world and encourages them to strive harder and higher.

This idea of students taking control of their own destiny is central to what they do at JIS. Rather than teach leadership skills, they let the students discover them for themselves. The pupils are integral to the running of the school and have a say in how things are done; from running school assemblies, to organising the recycling program, leading charity projects, and overseeing the 10,000m2 Outdoor Discovery Centre to facilitate scientific research and run workshops.


ISHCMC takes learning beyond the classroom to nurture creative, inquisitive thinkers and confident, versatile young adults.

Through their collaborative and practical learning approach, students are challenged to push themselves beyond their goals and expectations. This enthusiasm is echoed in the faculty who encourage testing your mettle while also nurturing a safe and caring environment in which students feel safe to test their limits, both in academia and in a wealth of after school activities.

Students’ emotional wellbeing is central to the ISHCMC ethos and is woven throughout the curriculum as part of the Positive Education Model and the Happiness and Wellbeing initiative. All students also engage in ten minutes of mindfulness each day to keep stress at bay.

This culture of support enables students to reach their full potential and become independent and self-reliant individuals.

As the first and most established International School in Ho Chi Minh City, the School has developed their IB programs to form a solid foundation for preparing students for the challenges posed by the 21st century. Incorporating technology in learning and instilling in their students a truly global perspective works towards generating tech-savvy graduates who will easily excel in today’s modern workplace.

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

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