Shakespeare posited that a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. A school with the word international in the title is still a school. But does that one word make any difference to how they do things or is it just a naming scheme?
So, what exactly is an international school?
The rise of globalization and burgeoning middle class have led to a mushrooming number of schools claiming to be international. When looked at closely, these schools offer an assortment of different curricula such as the International Baccalaureate, Cambridge and Edexcel curricula among others.
What criteria is employed in determining whether a school is international?
There are a variety of criteria that have been haggled over for years. In 2009, the International Association of School Librarianship met and came up with a list of criteria that a school should meet in order to be worthy of the tag international. These are:
• Sizeable short-term teaching staff from multiple nations.
• Students are able to transfer their credits across different schools in different nations.
• An international curriculum.
• At least a bi-lingual student population, with either English or French being the language of instruction, and an obligation of taking another language.
• A transient student population.
• Accreditation from an international institution.
• An international curriculum as the curriculum of instruction. The most popular being International Baccalaureate (IB), and British-styled curricula offered by Cambridge and Edexcel.
• Non-selective enrollment of students.
Who are the students most likely to attend an international school?
Because of the flexibility international curricula offer, the school is going to be populated by children of businesspeople, expats, and diplomats and other non-residents of a country. In addition to the aforementioned, the children of locals will make up a significant portion of the population of an international school in Thailand. The percentage may vary though, as each school has different standpoints.
This mix leads to an exciting culture for all involved, including teachers, as it offers everyone involved the opportunity to mingle with an learn new cultures different from their own.