How these international schools in Asia develop thriving individuals for university and beyond

Top international schools

Some of the best international schools are in Asia, thanks to their diverse student bodies, holistic focus and impressive campuses. These institutions know that education is more than just good grades, language skills and a pathway to university — it is an experience that nurtures a child as a whole. 

As such, these schools — many of which are set in countries with tiger economies — offer a globalised education, where children are not confined within the four walls of the classroom or even national borders. Instead, they explore the outdoors, take part in activities, go on expeditions abroad and think out of the box via in-depth and practical programmes. 

Such education equips children with the right skills, knowledge, and experience that make them well-rounded individuals who are set to thrive in university and beyond. If this is the future you envision for your child, here are four top schools in Asia more than capable of providing that: 

The British International School of Kuala Lumpur

Top international schools

Here, a promising education that will set your child up for success awaits. Source: The British International School of Kuala Lumpur

A curriculum for every age group. Enriching extracurriculars developed in collaboration with the likes of Juilliard, MIT and UNICEF. Internationally-qualified educators. A modern, facility-filled campus that never fails to exhilarate. A firm ambition to ensure pupils’

happiness and well-being are as important as their academic achievement. These are just a few of the elements that make The British International School of Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) — a Nord Anglia education school — the dynamic institution it’s known for being.

Consider it a home for the talented and the ambitious. Stroll the campus and you’ll see pupils from Pre-Nursery to Sixth Form — representing over 60 nationalities — learning and developing new skills in various ways. At BSKL, responsive teaching methods ensure each student receives individualised learning which consists of personalised learning goals and strategies. This approach enhances the strengths of the English National Curriculum with the excitement that comes with exploring personal interests. With so much to explore beyond classrooms, it’s little wonder why.

BSKL’s enrichment programme covers everything — from debating and drama to photography and chess. The lineup is adapted regularly based on feedback and relevance. Of course, engaging with local charities is important here too — a goal set in place to ensure every young learner is able to help themselves by empathising with others.

Secondary School pupils are supported as they balance these unique offerings with the rigours of IGCSE and A Levels. Upon passing with flying colours (last year, 82% of IGCSE students and 86% of A Level students achieved A* and A grades), they begin charting their personal path to university. Like the graduates before them, they aim high by applying to Russell Group universities in the UK and some of the US’s most esteemed universities. With keen guidance from BSKL’s university counsellor, every dream acceptance letter becomes a reality. Click here to discover how your child can achieve the same.

Concordia International School Shanghai

Top international schools

At Concordia International School Shanghai, it’s not just about studying. Source: Concordia International School Shanghai

Situated in the bustling metropolis of Shanghai, Concordia International School Shanghai is known for its strong community feel, which creates a caring atmosphere of connection and concern for others. The Concordia experience powerfully impacts both students and families. Its embracing community, culture of familial partnership, and robust academics all lend themselves to an environment in which students can flourish and grow.

Concordia provides a holistic education that focuses on more than rigorous academics. Here, the focus is on educating the whole child. Physical, emotional, social, and spiritual development are equally important.

At Concordia, this whole child philosophy comes to life through its Applied Learning courses. These courses encourage 11th and 12th grade students to think and delve deeper into their passion for a subject beyond the depths of their curriculum, helping them discover unique connections between their studies and real-world endeavours.

Whether it’s Social Entrepreneurship, Big Data, Epidemiology, or Global Development and Public Health, students will read and analyse journal articles or literature pertinent to their fields of study; foster leadership; and collaborate with peers as well as with experts in the field. Beyond these, students have competed nationally in its first-rate robotics team and the QuizBowl, among various other opportunities to discover and expand their passions.

The result of such authentic opportunities? Test scores that are higher than the US national average, matriculations to top universities, and graduates with their own unique balance of Global Citizen, Servant Leader, Spirited Athlete, Confident Artist, and Passionate Scholar.

Bangkok Patana School

Top international schools

This international school put its students and faculty’s safety first and foremost. Source: Bangkok Patana School

As one of the most respected educational establishments in South East Asia, Bangkok Patana School knows what future-proof education is. Here, over 2,200 students from around 60 countries, from Foundation Stage right through Senior Studies, are nurtured to become lifelong learners who can adapt to an ever-changing world.

As they follow two excellent programmes — English National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate — they are getting the best intellectual, physical and social preparation for their futures.

Teachers here don’t merely give directions but work alongside the child in an open classroom. This encourages children to find meaning and value in their interests, which in turn gives them the confidence to share ideas and thoughts.

Here, student welfare is a key priority. Their wide range of extra-curricular activities provides a holistic approach to learning to ensure that their students graduate as well-rounded individuals ready for higher education and to positively impact society.

Charlie Golsby, who has been a student at Patana since Year 5, thinks he has developed a lot at this “great school”. He shares, “It helped me settle into living in Thailand and I’ve grown a lot. The school instils a sense of responsibility to not just yourself but to the community at large.”

New teacher Antony Wilson was sold on Patana from his first impressions. “I’ve worked internationally for more than 15 years so I know a well-resourced school when I see one; everything here is very purposeful.”

Wilson is committed to helping his pupils reach their goals again. “I am looking forward to seeing the kids grow and get their confidence back,” he says. “It’s been a difficult year for them. I can see they are getting to get back into a bit more normality, you can feel it ebbing back.”

Hokkaido International School

Top international schools

HIS’ outdoor education programme creates environmental heroes and strongly contributes to academic success. Source: Hokkaido International School

Hokkaido is known for its rich natural environment, including its beautiful ski slopes, hot springs, and snow-capped mountains. This environment grants Hokkaido International School (HIS) the perfect platform to conduct its Outdoor Program, an experiential learning experience that enables students to explore the gorgeous outdoors while developing their leadership skills. When it comes to academics, this private, co-educational day and boarding school offers an unrivalled international education from its Reggio Emilia approach to Early Years education to the university prep Advanced Placement programme in high school.

Outside the classroom, Grade 9 and 10 students pursue many projects and outdoor trips, culminating construction of a one-person kayak as the final project of the Outdoor Pursuits course. They then advance to the Outdoor Leadership course in Grades 11 and 12, where they go on hiking trips, climb the coastal cliffs and experience classroom sessions where they study communication and human nature.

HIS’s unique experiences don’t only create environmental heroes but also contribute to students’ academic success. HIS students score above average on the SAT; over 90% pass AP exams with scores of three or higher. Many of their students have gained admissions into some of the world top institutions such as Baylor University, Cal State Polytechnic University, Beijing Medical University, the University of Hong Kong, Imperial College London and the Ontario University of Art and Design.

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