Challenges Faced by Students in International Schools - Bangkok Prep

Challenges Faced by Students in International Schools

International schools seem to be ever-increasing in popularity. Countless families worldwide want their children to have a well-rounded, global education. International schools offer a unique environment where students from diverse cultural backgrounds come together to learn, grow, and enjoy a world-class education. While attending such a dynamic and proactive educational environment has numerous benefits, it is worth noting the challenges often associated with it. Acknowledging what our children might be going through is the first step towards enhancing their school life. Today, we want to discuss why parents choose international schools, student challenges, how international schools help them overcome them, and some things parents can do at home to create a seamless transition when their children join.

Why Parents Want Their Children to be Part of an International School Environment

Before exploring the challenges, knowing why parents want their children to be part of an international school environment is essential. Everyone’s reasons may differ, but from the feedback we receive, the primary reasons are as follows. Global Perspectives and Networking – International schools are perfect for exposing children to diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives. The friends they encounter throughout their education journey will also create tremendous opportunities in their lives beyond school. This makes international schools the best place to become a true global citizen. High-Quality and Transferable Education – International schools often teach the best curriculums in the world. This provides an outstanding education for students, and the qualifications they achieve will be transferable. Students who attend international schools can usually transition between schools seamlessly and get into whatever universities they want. Language Acquisition – being immersed within an international environment facilitates language learning better than anything else. Many students leave an international school not only as a master of the lingua franca but also as a multilingual. This can dramatically enhance success in future employment. Extracurricular Opportunities – International schools are renowned for providing extensive ECA programs for their students. This means that children are more likely to enjoy school and enthusiastically approach their educational journey.

The Challenges that International School Students Can Sometimes Face

While international schools are tremendously beneficial in the long term, students who are new to the environment may face some trouble in the initial weeks or months of joining. Below are some of the common challenges international students might face. Cultural adjustment – One thing to remember is that joining an international school often means adapting to a new cultural environment. This can undoubtedly be a little overwhelming for children and lead to feelings of homesickness, confusion and isolation. Language Barriers – If a child’s first language is not the primary language of instruction, it can create language barriers. Though international schools have faculty and facilities to deal with this, it can impede communication and academic progress in the beginning stages. Academic Rigour – International schools often follow some of the best curriculums in the world. If a child is not familiar with this standard of education, it can seem a little too demanding at first. Social Integration – Forming new friends and navigating social dynamics in a multicultural environment can sometimes be challenging. Additionally, international schools significantly focus on working together and building solid friendships. If a child is shy or introverted, this can be off-putting during the first week or so.

How an International School Helps Children Overcome These Challenges

Despite the challenges children might face when they join, most international schools have highly experienced staff equipped with various methods to help them overcome each one. It is a top priority to ensure every child in an international school is as happy as they can be, so we hope this list puts your mind at ease if you are concerned about your child joining. Cultural adjustment – International schools focus heavily on creating an open-minded, culturally aware, and empathetic environment. When students join, teachers and students alike understand precisely how they are feeling, so they know what it takes to give them a warm and respectful welcome. There are also various members of staff who will be highly qualified and experienced in dealing with this situation. Language Barriers – Students often pick up a language exceptionally quickly when immersed in an environment that requires them to use it. Their language skills usually improve to an extremely high standard within no time. Additionally, international schools have faculty specifically trained to deal with students struggling with adjusting to a new language. Academic Rigour – International school students usually excel when placed in a challenging academic environment. The teachers are also trained to teach in a particular way that eases new students in. Students at international schools will receive more support than many other learning environments, meaning that they will adapt quickly to international learning standards. Social Integration – One of the goals of an international school is to create confident, well-rounded, open-minded, collaborative, and understanding students. With such a heavy focus on these areas, new students usually receive an exceptionally kind welcome when they arrive, as well as constant support from everyone around them. There are also SEN coaches and counsellors to guide students who struggle more than others.

Ways You Can Help Prepare Your Child for an International School

As a parent, there are several things that you can do to prepare your child so they are fully ready to take on the new challenges and experiences of an international school. Promote Cultural Exploration – Expose your child to various cultures through travel, books, music, and food. Promote Language Learning – This can be done by opting for specific movie media or signing them up for classes. Foster Independence – Encourage them to take on age-appropriate responsibilities and make decisions for themselves. Support Social Development – Help them develop strong social skills by encouraging them to participate in group activities, play sports, or join clubs. Provide Emotional support – Children need someone to understand how they are feeling, so ensure they know you are there to listen to them if they ever have a problem.

Do You Need More Information?

We hope this short but comprehensive guide on international school challenges and how to overcome them has been helpful. If there is anything else you would like to know about international schools, feel free to contact Bangkok Prep today. Our experienced and dedicated team will gladly assist you however they can. We are one of Southeast Asia’s best international education providers, and we are driven by our mission, vision, and academic excellence.

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Primary School

The Head of Primary at Bangkok Prep emphasizes the importance of primary education in shaping students’ lives academically and socially. The school aims to prepare global citizens capable of facing life’s challenges in an ever-changing world. With a dedicated team of educators, Bangkok Prep sets high standards, encouraging students to dream big and work hard towards their goals.

Aligned with the National Curriculum of England and Wales, the school’s curriculum is adapted to reflect Thai culture and society. Teaching follows an innovative thematic approach, integrating real-life contexts with academic rigor to develop well-rounded individuals. Learning is personalized to cater to diverse abilities and talents, fostering mutual respect, trust, and inclusivity.

Bangkok Prep’s primary curriculum extends beyond statutory requirements, focusing on engaging cross-curricular themes to facilitate high-quality learning. Emphasizing active and interactive learning experiences, the curriculum encourages exploration, questioning, and collaboration. The school aims to nurture students’ curiosity, helping them discover lifelong passions and talents while preparing them for a fulfilling future.

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When choosing Bangkok Prep for your child, you’re welcomed into the school family, ensuring a warm and supportive environment. The admissions process begins with completing a brief enquiry form, followed by an invitation for an introductory visit and tour. Conveniently located on Sukhumvit 77, Bangkok Prep offers both Primary and Secondary campuses. Upon deciding on Bangkok Prep, applicants submit their application form and required documents. Assessment sessions are then scheduled based on the applicant’s year level, ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours. The assessment includes various activities and tests tailored to different age groups. After assessment, the admissions team evaluates the application and notifies the family of the decision within 1-2 weeks. Successful applicants receive a formal offer letter and an invoice for initial fees, including placement, security, and registration fees, which must be paid within the specified timeframe to secure the child’s place.

Early Years

At Bangkok Prep, the Early Years curriculum follows the Early Years Foundation Stage framework of England, emphasizing thematic topics and child-led learning for a stimulating and enjoyable school experience. It nurtures learning through play and focuses on developing concepts, skills, and positive attitudes across various areas including personal, social, emotional, communication, language, physical, literacy, mathematics, understanding of the world, and expressive arts and design. The curriculum prioritizes individualized learning, ensuring continuous progress while maintaining confidence and a can-do attitude. Specialist sessions in Thai language and culture, music, library, physical education, and swimming further enhance learning opportunities. Supervised by native English teachers and Thai-speaking teaching assistants, children immerse in language acquisition through the immersion method, preparing them for the international community. The Early Years program prioritizes outdoor learning environments, valuing them as essential for children’s wellbeing and development. It serves as ideal preparation for the transition into primary school and provides resources for parents on the Foundation Years website.

Secondary School

Bangkok Prep prides itself on being a distinct international secondary school in Bangkok, prioritizing student needs and providing a stimulating learning environment. Central to this is the pastoral system, where each student is assigned to a tutor group led by a Form Tutor, ensuring personalized care and support. The curriculum evolves to meet students’ changing needs, offering a core curriculum supplemented by option subjects as students mature. Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9) focuses on a broad curriculum adapted from the English National Curriculum, fostering personal growth. In Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11), students choose option subjects alongside a core curriculum, culminating in IGCSE examinations. Key Stage 5 (Years 12-13) sees students specialize in Advanced Level courses while also engaging in a core curriculum and receiving support for university applications. Bangkok Prep fosters a warm, inclusive community and actively participates in regional competitions and events. The school encourages student involvement and leadership, ensuring a thriving learning environment. Contact information is provided for further inquiries.

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