Attending an international school is an enriching experience for students of all ages. It can be particularly valuable for those in high school who are determining who they want to be as they enter adulthood, the type of career they’d like to pursue, and where they might see themselves living in the future.
Having an international influence during this time could give students a global perspective as they explore diverse cultures and open doors to a range of new options. However, attending a school with a global focus might not be the singular factor in helping students expand their international perspective.
Here’s a comparison of attending international school locally versus attending an international school while also studying abroad.
1. Cultural influences
Studying at an international school will always help students to embrace a global focus. International schools promote international topics of education, building a strong foundation of cultural understanding. Studying a curriculum like the IB Diploma or Cambridge International Examinations can give students the chance to learn more about new cultures and the world beyond the classroom. This experience is only amplified by the simultaneous opportunity to study abroad, where students are confronted with a new culture in their daily lives.
Students attending an international school in their local community are still primarily influenced by the culture they’ve always been a part of. Even if they spend the whole day practicing foreign languages, discussing world matters, and studying a more globally-inclusive curriculum, students will still leave campus each day and go back to the same surroundings they’ve had their entire lives.
2. Friends and peers
A wonderful part of attending high school is the chance to make friends and spend time with your peers. While studying at an international school, you have a special opportunity to meet students from different cultures, exploring new world views and perspectives. Although, an international school in your local community will be attended primarily by students from the area, meaning most of the student body will be locals.
A major benefit of studying at an international school like EF Academy is that students come from all over the world to attend. Every student has this unique experience together, coming from different backgrounds. This helps to level the playing field, that no culture has more significance than the others as nobody has the “home field” advantage. In an environment like this, everyone is equal and students are more likely to get along and build a community together.
3. Opportunities for growth
While studying in their native country, students still have all the comforts of their home readily available. This means there’s less need to be independent, and for the most part, it remains a very similar experience to attending a standard high school in the area. And while that’s a great fit for the majority of students, the opportunity for students to grow and expand their horizons is amplified by living abroad.
While studying abroad, students have the chance to learn about the local culture and find confidence in a different environment than they’re used to. For high school students, this also gives them the chance to learn about the university process and career opportunities in the country they’ve temporarily emigrated to. This can be particularly valuable for those who’d like to further their education in a different country.
Overall, living abroad helps students expand their horizons and understanding of the world works beyond their immediate culture and community. This gives students a chance to see a new way of life and embrace new opportunities in a variety of important areas.