International Schools

An international school can be a school that is on foreign soil, one that provides an international credential, or one at which students are trained as they would be in a country other than the one at which the school is hosted. This article explain international schools.

International Schools Around the World

Schools that are referred to as international schools in the United States can, in the first instance, be schools located in other parts of the world. Citizens of the United States may gain admission to such international schools by application and travel on their own to the school, attend such schools while their families are temporarily resident in the area for some reason, or while one or more family members is stationed overseas as part of military service. A student at one of these international schools who is not a resident of the country in which the school is housed may be referred to as an international student.

Students at international schools of this type may receive bilingual education or be expected to attain sufficient grasp of the language of the native population that they can receive their education using this second language. Such schools are generally run by the lights of the local population rather than a curriculum and pedagogy that would be expected in the United States. Thus, students may be asked to participate in different subjects, different sports, different activities, and taught with different approaches. Students may find differences in expectations and grading, in approaches to assessment, and in the amount of homework assigned.

Schools Offering an International Credential

The best-known international credential may be the International Baccalaureate, or IB, degree.  (IB actually offers programs for students aged 3 to 19.) The International Baccalaureate was developed in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968, and is now offered at about 3086 schools in 139 countries around the world, including 1213 in the United States. It is a pre-college graduate degree and attempts to educate learners who are balanced, caring, communicators, inquirers, knowledgeable, open-minded, principled, reflective, risk-takers, and thinkers. The course ends with a set of examinations. In the United States, St. Timothy’s School in Stevenson, Maryland, claims to be the only all-girls school in the United States to offer the IB diploma.

Schools Bringing an International Sensibility to Another Country

A school like the British International School of New York meets the criteria for the second group by offering the International Baccalaureate degree, beginning in 2009. However, it is also international in another sense, and that is in combining the IB program with the English National curriculum. Thus, even on their own soil, Americans can experience education as it is provided in England. The school can provide the taste of another approach to US students, as well as continuity to students from the UK who are temporarily living in New York, but plan to return home to complete their educations at some point. The school provides education for students turning 4 to students turning 14—that is, Nursery school to British Year 9/US Grade 8.