Parents enrol their children into international schools for a variety of reasons. These schools offer students challenging academics that prepare them for university life and beyond, thanks to their robust learning environments that intellectually stimulate students.
This is done by offering advanced and versatile curricula such as the British, American, or the International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes, for instance. Solid academic foundation aside, many international schools are also renowned for offering students a wide range of extracurricular activities that build their knowledge and skills outside the classroom.
Despite the growing availability of international schools across the world, Asia has proven to be a strong contender in the field for expatriate families looking for an enriching learning environment for their children. The continent is best defined by one word: diversity. Research suggests that racial and socioeconomic diversity in the classroom can provide students with a range of cognitive and social benefits. A multinational classroom is also known to foster creativity, build confidence, and, ultimately, develop global citizens.
It’s clear that education in Asia not only nurtures the mind but also students as a whole. What’s more, tiger economies in bustling city centres attract adventurous students and professionals who wish to achieve international success and spark positive change. If you’re looking for an international school in Asia that can help set your child up for success, here are three schools worth considering:
Jerudong International School
The future changemakers of JIS graduate ready to take their passions global, matriculating to esteemed universities all over the world. Source: Jerudong International School
JIS is Brunei’s leading international School that has established itself a stellar reputation in providing quality education to its 1,680 students –– 220 of whom are boarders — that hail from 55 countries. The School has been offering a British curriculum for students between the ages of two and 18 since its inception in 1997. The School’s spacious campus is located in a clean, green, and safe location surrounded by pristine rainforests and beautiful coastal beaches.
Students at JIS are exposed to community service and philanthropy early. This is driven, in part, by the School’s student profile that has six key aims — engagement, communication, thinking, resilience, integration, and leadership — which students are encouraged to flex in their daily lives. Each time a student does something special that aligns with the aims of the student profile, they are awarded a Polio Point. On achieving a full set of 6 points, JIS, in return, donates 1 Bruneian dollar to UNICEF to help in the global fight against Polio eradication for each point earned.
The Polio Points project is a student-led initiative. Seniors who have demonstrated multiple aims are in the running to become “heroes of the month” while the School’s 16 Houses compete to achieve the most vaccines. Despite the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, students raised an impressive total of 8,385 vaccines last year. In 2021, the Student Council is determined to go further –– encouraging its pupils to strive for 10,000.
“It is such a great feeling to know that we are making a difference globally,” enthuses Year 8 student Adrienna. “The number of Polio Points we receive together transforms into how many Polio vaccinations we can give to people around the world to drive prevention. Working together, we have been able to help almost eradicate the disease.”
From matriculations such as Oxford University, Brown University, Stanford University, to Imperial College London and Harvard University –– these future changemakers graduate ready to take their passions global. Learn more here.
British International School Phuket
This day and boarding school is located in Phuket — an idyllic and beautiful tropical island famous for its sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, and tantalising cuisine. BISP offers curricula for students in their early years all the way up to university preparation. Attesting to BISP’s academic prowess is its international examination results which are well above world standards. This English-medium, co-educational school educates students between the ages of two and 18. Here, everyone is inspired to go above and beyond.
The primary curriculum emphasises literacy and numeracy, building a foundation for integrated work across a wide range of subjects, with a particular focus on digital literacy and personal wellbeing. Several specialists are available to young learners to learn foreign languages, physical education, and performing arts. Secondary school facilities are also used to enhance learning, particularly in STEM.
Studying here will prove to be an enriching experience. BISP is located in a large, open area with outstanding natural biodiversity; the 44-acre campus is home to sports fields and formal gardens, and boasts of a clean environment with excellent air quality, making it the perfect habitat for students to explore sustainability.
In recent years, the school has hosted its annual Eco Event, published its first student-led eco-newsletter, and conducted an eco raft race to raise awareness on plastic waste, to name a few. Another feather in its cap — BISP hosted the Happy Green World Project, an international programme on waste and recycling that was supported by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
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