Inspiring locations for secondary education: Asia

“We know what we are, but we know not what we may be.” Hamlet, William Shakespeare
When ordinary people work hard to achieve truly extraordinary things, you can almost guarantee that inspiration is the force smouldering at its core. Inspiration, that spine-tingling shiver that occurs in a stark moment of appreciation for someone’s innate creativity, innovation, selflessness or daring to be bold and unique.

Ultimately, inspiration is the means by which ordinary people defeat the odds in a bid to can change the world; a courageous act of defiance that says: though the end was far from clear, you were not afraid to try.

“Well, moments of inspiration don’t quite make sense by normal logic,” writes David Brooks for The New York Times. “They feel transcendent, uncontrollable and irresistible. When one is inspired, time disappears or alters its pace. The senses are amplified. There may be goose bumps or shivers down the spine, or a sense of being overawed by some beauty.”

“Inspiration is always more active than appreciation,” Brooks continues. “There’s a thrilling feeling of elation, a burst of energy, an awareness of enlarged possibilities. The person in the grip of inspiration has received, as if by magic, some new perception, some holistic understanding, along with the feeling that she is capable of more than she thought.”

In order for our children to unleash their full potential, it’s imperative they attend a school that both educates and inspires. After all, a child can possess all the knowledge in the world, but without motivation to use it in the best way possible, it will not be used to its full potential.

As a place that is notorious for its beautiful landscapes and traditions, as well as its world-class education system, Asia is often considered one of the world’s most inspiring regions for a study abroad experience. From the high-flyers of academia in the schools of South Korea; to the unparalleled facilities in the halls of Brunei; to the tight-knit multi-cultural communities nurtured throughout the schools of Thailand, here are four international schools in Asia that are using the powerful tool of inspiration to push their students to the top:


Jeju. Image via Republic of Korea Flickr

Inspiring Women

Branksome Hall Asia, located on the beautiful volcanic island of Jeju, South Korea, is the only international girls school in Korea. Founded in 2012, Branksome Hall Asia is the sister school of Branksome Hall Canada, an independent boarding school dedicated to teaching, leading and empowering young women for more than 100 years.

At Branksome Hall Asia, girls aged 3-18 take centre stage as they learn, develop and grow. The school’s dedicated international faculty are well versed in the art of challenging students and instilling in them a love of learning and to shape a better world. Branksome Hall Asia’s diverse community creates a living and learning journey to support each student in the discovery of her voice, strengths and talents. Each student develops her ability to take risks, step outside her comfort zone, harness curiosities, and nurture her empowerment.

Image courtesy of Branksome Hall Asia

Branksome Hall Asia is one of the few boarding schools to provide all three levels of the prestigious International Baccalaureate (IB) programme: the IB Primary Years Programme; the IB Middle Years Programme; and the IB Diploma Programme. Expert teaching of these world-reputed courses, inquisitive learners, the provision of varied study opportunities, and the school’s globally minded community spirit makes the Branksome Hall Asia education a transformative experience.

The school’s pursuit of excellence is part of what makes it so remarkable, and with the benefits of state-of-the-art facilities in Jeju – a breath-taking UNESCO World Heritage site and rising global educational hub – Branksome Hall Asia inspires and empowers young women to take the helm in a journey that seeks to shape tomorrow’s world.


Brunei. Image via
Reedz Malik

Inspiring Leadership

Jerudong International School is a leading, international boarding and day school, set in a vibrant 300-acre campus in the tropics of Brunei. In its persistent quest for quality, Jerudong enables students aged 2-18 years to hone those imperative leadership skills and be the best they can be.

The notion of leadership serves as a fundamental pillar of JISBrunei, as students are required to take responsibility not only for themselves, but also for those around them. Through a comprehensive education delivered by experienced faculty, JISBrunei students are able to take the initiative, effectively evaluate the situation in front of them, and make decisions accordingly.

Image courtesy of Jerudong International School

The School prides itself on the independence and academic achievements of its students. Part of JISBrunei’s motto is “Achieving Excellence”, something the School whole-heartedly encourages students to embrace through the course of their academic studies.

Jerudong International School provides outstanding, purpose-built full and weekly boarding facilities for students in a spacious, secure, modern, caring and above all sophisticated space where they can nurture independence, and ultimately flourish into strong, self-sufficient leaders. It is one of the best boarding facilities in South East Asia and is a vibrant, busy and wonderful place for children to live and work.

Every JISBrunei student is granted ample opportunity to develop leadership skills. As their esteem and motivation grows, they are able to take ownership of their own destiny to a much greater extent. This is how JISBrunei continually produces students with the ability to lead our future with dignity and eloquence.


Phuket. Image via Shutterstock.

Inspiring Diversity

British International School, Phuket (BISP), is an English-language, co-educational, day and boarding school, established in 1996 in Phuket, Thailand. BISP provides a Pre-school, Primary and Secondary school education of the highest international standard, with external examinations offered in the IB Diploma, IGCSE, and Cambridge ESOL.

The school’s purpose-built 44-acre campus includes high-quality boarding accommodation and world-class facilities, enabling students to excel in sports and the arts, as well as their academic studies.

Image courtesy of British International School, Phuket

One thing that makes BISP so unique is its international community, a diverse melting pot of cultures and religions, gifting every student with a valuable global perspective. The student population consists of some 900 day and boarding students, aged from 18 months to 18 years, with more than 45 countries represented, including Thailand, United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, France, USA, Korea, Japan, Sweden, New Zealand, and China. Indeed, more than 60 percent of the school’s total student body are foreign nationals. BISP is unique in its mission to break down cultural barriers to promote international diversity.


Chiang Mai. Image via Stefan Fussan

Inspiring Creativity

Prem Tinsulanonda International School is a leading co-educational boarding and day International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. With a lush 100-acre campus set in the foothills north of the ancient and historic city of Chiang Mai, students from all over the world receive a rigorous international education that provides them with the global competencies required for a future of increasing cross-cultural interdependence, rapid technological change and critical environmental challenges.

Image courtesy of Prem Tinsulanonda International School.

One thing that sets PREM apart from global competitors is its emphasis on the arts – a field that is consistently underrated and undervalued. Offering Senior School courses in Design, Drama, Music and Visual Arts, as well as Junior School courses in Music and Visual Arts, PREM presents students of all ages the priceless opportunity to develop creative prowess.

With its state-of-the-art facilities and qualified teaching team who have passion as well as experience, PREM encourages students to unleash their inner artiste regardless of their age, culture, religion or gender – and that is how PREM frequently produces the world’s most innovative creative virtuosos.

Featured image courtesy of the Republic of Korea Flickr.

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