A parent’s choice of a school is among their most significant responsibilities. Students in today’s globally competitive environment face new challenges as a result of the increased interconnectedness of the world.
The answer for many families in Chicago is found in an international school. Reasons #5–#10 all pile up to make an international school a great option.
1. Mindset on a global scale
Students who subscribe to a “global philosophy of learning” approach their coursework with an international lens. A geography teacher at the British International School of Chicago, South Loop (BISC-SL), a private, pre-primary through twelfth-grade international school in Chicago, Ill., I. Rebecca Allister, thinks this is a great asset for any student.
She argues that exposure to a variety of cultures and educational systems can help students develop a more global perspective.
Allister maintains that teaching students to think globally improves their ability to think locally and nationally. Here at our university, we’re applying the economic, social, and sustainability innovations happening in Chicago to the problems facing the entire world. Because of this, one’s ability to think analytically and imaginatively about problems is enhanced.
2. Large and varied student and faculty population
The courses taught by our international faculty reflect the unique experiences and perspectives of each of our instructors. Equally, having a student body that represents a wide range of backgrounds and cultures is beneficial for all students because it allows them to learn about and participate in a wider range of languages, traditions, and perspectives.
Allister explains that the school teaches its students that “other cultures are not just separate countries or flags.” Great discussions arise on a wide range of topics central to our curriculum as a result of the unique perspectives of our world-class faculty and students.
3. Success in the Classroom
The International Baccalaureate (IB) and the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGSCE) form the basis of the academic programme at an international school. These degrees are highly regarded internationally and can pave the way to further study at any number of prestigious institutions around the world.
Every course incorporates a global perspective and encourages students to think critically about issues from different cultural contexts and apply theoretical concepts to concrete examples.
Students in the sciences at BISC-SL, for instance, might research the impact of climate change on a particular country and its culture. Additionally, they may read translated works to broaden their horizons and learn about other cultures. The lessons are designed with the students’ success in mind.
Academic research, not a government agency, is the foundation of our curriculum, Allister says. And to make sure they’re relevant and up-to-date, BISC-programs SL’s undergo a thorough review and update every five years.
4. Customized encounters
It is possible for students to focus more closely on topics that are of personal interest to them thanks to the international education model. Allister claims, “We look at the whole child.”
This all-encompassing method fosters initiative, originality, self-assurance, and development on a personal and academic level, all of which contribute to the development of the “soft skills” crucial to continued academic success and professional advancement.
Allister also attributes BISC-success SL’s to the noticeable effect of the individualised care and encouragement students receive from both teachers and classmates. We want our students to develop a sense of self outside of the classroom by trying new things and learning about things that truly fascinate them. She explains that this aids students in clarifying their life goals “from high school through college and beyond.”
5. Exciting prospects on a global scale
Though classroom education has its place, the experiences and perspectives gained through work in another country can have a far more lasting impact on a student’s development and career goals.
For instance, BISC-SL students may participate in service learning initiatives in the target countries. Recently, a group of students from our school travelled to Tanzania to lend a hand to the local community by implementing climate-friendly projects. “Our students become a part of a global community of learning and service,” Allister says.
Students at BISC-SL also have access to a global network of world-class faculty, fellow international students, and cultural perspectives they would not get in a traditional school setting because they are part of a large international community of Nord Anglia sister schools all over the world.
Allister notes that “kids today are growing up in a global society.” “If we give them a good education, they’ll be ready for anything the world throws at them.”