Small School experiences that promise Large School prospects

“Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things.” – Vernor Vinge

Every parent wants to be absolutely sure they have selected the perfect learning landscape for their precious child. On top of scoping out a School that is not so small or large it limits or overwhelms, it’s crucial that the institution you choose not only accepts your child’s unique character, but also allows it to flourish. While it’s easy to become engulfed in factors like exam results, location and extra-curricular catalogues, it’s important to remember that learning in a small student community can warrant the greatest rewards.

“Everybody is a big fish in a small pond, integral to the life of the school athletically, academically, socially,” says Joanne Carruthers, president of the Small Boarding Schools Association. “In these really formative years,” she adds, “students learn to understand the impact they have on their world.”

While knowledge of child development continues to evolve, so too does the structure and impact of our teaching methodologies. Today’s education participants are seek much more from their School years, looking to gain the expertise that prepares them as much for life after graduation as it does for their exams.

Now, students and parents actively look for a promise of freedom to grow and excel no matter where their talents lie. This holistic, well-rounded approach acknowledges the idea that children can be taught in an organic and engaging way, inflaming a love of learning that lasts their whole life long.

But the benefits don’t stop there, with more intimate global learning spaces generally offering an abundance of confidence-boosting opportunities. Covering everything from art, sports, drama, music, politics and beyond; students at these tight-knit schools are inspired to hone their spirit and trust their abilities as a valued individual. From here, they’ll leave readily-instilled with the leadership talent that ultimately means they’ll thrive in life long after graduation.

A smaller School represents the perfect start to your child’s education, embodying the pastoral support and enrichment portfolio your child would be unlikely to receive at a highly-populated institution anywhere else in the world. This sort of institution allows children to feel comfortable and encouraged yet still incredibly independent, building on their character as they gain the strength to navigate a complex adult world.

Read on to learn about some of the world’s top Small School experiences that promise Large School prospects…


Priding itself on its ability to provide a challenging, dynamic and well-rounded education, ICS nurtures the individual talents and passions of its students, shaping them into the best future global citizen they have the capacity to be.

ICS offers a distinctly American curriculum for students in Pre-Kindergarten through to Grade 12. While student results consistently resonate success, the ICS education extends far beyond the boundaries of traditional academics, promoting a caring, hard-working community that results in 80 percent of graduates gaining admission to esteemed US universities. Here, the fundamental aim is to help students confidently and competently interact across age, cultural and ethnic boundaries.

Students at ICS are whole-heartedly encouraged to participate in a diverse spectrum of extra-curricular activities, ranging from bowling to taekwondo or robotics, ceramics to typography, kickboxing to percussion, and more. As well as giving participants the chance to make friends and become an active member of the School, they also uphold value of providing a well-rounded education with experienced staff on-hand to ensure no one is left out.

ICS has built a resounding international reputation for excellence, boasting a culturally-rich student population of more than 450 students from 26 different countries. According to the School’s annual alumni survey, all graduates leave feeling well-equipped for the challenge of University life, already possessing the skills needed to succeed regardless of their chosen discipline.


Representing an elite, co-educational and truly international learning experience, BST continues to draw 900 talented students age three to age 18 every year, and from all four corners of the globe. Set in the midst of one of the world’s most dynamic and high-tech city hubs, BST promotes an outstanding quality of life where young, inquisitive minds take shape and truly thrive.

“This is an inclusive School, but academic standards are high,” says Brian Christian, Principal of the School. “The English National Curriculum provides the basis for smooth progression and easy transition between Primary and Secondary sectors, and examination results have been outstanding in recent years,” he adds.

“Our experienced teachers, largely recruited from the UK, are consummate professionals who are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that all students are offered the opportunity to fulfil their potential both in and beyond the classroom,” he concludes.

In line with this balanced academic philosophy, BST Outdoors is an enriching School-wide programme which instils the skills and experience that pay off in later life. From skiing to kayaking, climbing, mountain biking, abseiling and orienteering; BTS Outdoors allows students to be curious about the wider world, rewarding them with the best possible preparation as they progress through later life.


With an impressive University acceptance rate of 100 percent, the ISHCMC is a notable centre of excellence. Here, students are taught in safe, contemporary learning spaces that aid the smooth transition to higher education anywhere round the world. At the heart of the School ethos is the principle of diversity, with students representing more than 50 global nationalities.

Leading learners from age two to age 18, ISHCMC fosters a world-class curriculum that purposely shakes up the traditional classroom structure. Here, students are taught in modern learning spaces by trained IB professionals who genuinely care, with global-standard safeguards in place to ensure every child receives the support needed to unleash their full potential.

The ISHCMC campus sits among the historic landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City, and is home to 75 classrooms, an indoor gymnasium, a 25-metre swimming pool, and a number of sports facilities. There are also various science labs, a makerspace, music rooms, art rooms and a health clinic. Academic year 2017/18 will also see the launch of a state-of-the-art secondary School campus, featuring a 350-seat professional-standard theatre and the full spectrum of sporting facilities to further support the welfare and prospects of ISHCMC students.


Dwight School Seoul claims to “find the spark of genius in every child”, encompassing an accredited and rigorous international curriculum. Committed to granting students access to the most profitable opportunities both now and later on in life, the School provides an extensive foreign language programme and follows the IB programme for students in preschool through to age 18.

Sat snugly on a 200-square foot campus in Seoul, South Korea, the Dwight School global network holds a presence in five global regions, boasting a tradition of excellence that spans 143 years. The School’s South Korea branch opened back in 2012, now serving as the first accredited IB World School in Seoul – an influential global hub for digital technology.

Bespoke learning options form the backbone of the Dwight School mantra; whether it’s crafting a unique study programme tailored to one student, or running a fun and engaging physical workout programme, Dwight constantly strives to help your child achieve their personal goals. Here, students have access to the high-tech tools and guidance they need to mould their dreams into reality, with a Learn by Doing approach that gives students the power to design a fulfilling and thriving future.

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

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