One of the greatest parent’s concerns is the education of their children. For many, it is the biggest investment of their lives, and choosing among a large number of educational centers can be a stressful task that requires time to visit each institution and a profound assessment of their teaching approach.
Choosing the one that best suits parents’ educational philosophy and the needs of the child is an achievable goal that is worth dedicating time and thought to. After all, it is all about the future of our children.
Spain is the country in Europe with the largest number of international schools and the fifth in the world. And it is that the proliferation of these centers in recent years has been dizzying. According to ISC Research, there are more than 100,000 students enrolled in international schools in Spain. By cities, Barcelona leads the ranking.
Why have international schools grown so much? What can we expect from the education received at an international school?
International education offers many advantages to students. Here we will see some of them.
In general, international schools have a very high percentage of students and teachers from other countries, who come to contribute wealth to the school community. International schools are a multicultural hub where children not only live with different cultures, different languages, different beliefs, and points of view but also understand and enrich them.
Students grow up in an environment where diversity is valued, where students learn to work in very heterogeneous groups, broadening the perspectives with which they observe and value the world and everything that surrounds them. In BFIS students and teachers of more than 56 different nationalities live together. Tolerance, acceptance, integration, equity, and social justice are inherent values in the school.
2. Mastering another language
In most international schools, a foreign study program is taught in a language other than the national language, which is usually English. This means that all the subjects are taught in a language other than Spanish, except the subjects of Spanish Language and Literature and Geography and History (if the ESO curriculum is followed, compulsory for students with Spanish nationality).
Almost all international centers have support professionals for non-native students in the language of instruction and there are also Spanish classes and classes on local and national culture for foreign students. Linguistic immersion begins from the moment the student enters the door, thus facilitating the acquisition of a language other than their own.
3. Entrance to the best universities in the world
Studying at an international school, especially if the school offers the IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) in Baccalaureate, offers many advantages when applying for admission to some of the best universities in the world.
Many universities worldwide are aware of the IB Diploma and its advantages, and IBDP students are more likely to progress to higher education in the college of their choice than non IB students. At BFIS more than 85% of our students get admitted into their first choice college worldwide.
4. Student Clubs
It is very common to find a variety of clubs led by students in international schools. They recognized that organized student groups are a valuable part of student education. Not all the learning happens in the classroom and clubs have been proven to lead to better academic, health, and career outcomes.
Students participation in student clubs hones their communication skills and fosters creative thinking, problem solving, and effective teamwork with very different people.
Students also gain experience in leadership and public speaking and strengthen their commitment and increase their sense of responsibility. Adding a club to their resumes makes students also more appealing to colleges and universities.
5. Service Learning
Many international schools have Service Learning Programs. As an international school that wants to educate young people to become problem solvers, innovators, and positive contributors to society we provide opportunities for our students to contribute and collaborate to make a positive difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
Service Learning Programs. At BFIS Service Learning is embedded in students’ daily life through a variety of projects and activities. The BFIS Service Learning Program is mandatory for Middle School and High School students and includes deeper knowledge and understanding of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.
6. Critical Thinking
New research finds that IB students appear to hold an advantage when it comes to critical thinking (IBO, 2020). The IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Program) approach to developing critical thinking is in line with world best practices and it is one of the traits of the IB Learner Profile.
Critical thinking implies active learning by reflecting on an idea, applying reason, and connecting ideas. It involves questioning what we think we know and digging deeper into the topic before concluding.
7. Network of Contacts
Students at international schools develop friendships and build life-long relationships with other students that will end up studying and working all over the world. International students think globally when it comes to networking for social and professional opportunities.
They are used to making friends from different countries, languages, and cultures and to keeping in contact even when they do not see each other often. This provides a very enriching network that can offer them many different opportunities in many countries and cities.
In conclusion, choosing a school for children is an important and challenging task for parents. With the proliferation of international schools in Spain, it is possible to find one that suits the educational philosophy of the parents and the needs of the child.
Studying at an international school offers many advantages, such as interculturality, the opportunity to learn a second language, better preparation for university, and participation in student clubs. By choosing an international school, we are investing in our children’s future. It is important to research and visit different schools before making a final decision.