Role of extracurricular activities in an international school environment - Bangkok Prep

Role of extracurricular activities in an international school environment

Extracurricular activities play a large part in a student’s life, especially in an international school environment. From our experience, when a student joins an international school, they can feel out of place in the initial stages of the academic year. Having them sign up for ECAs can benefit a student in many ways, such as improving their social skills, boosting their confidence, and making them feel at home. Being part of an extracurricular activity is far more than learning a new skill; it is becoming part of something, a place where students can genuinely belong and get the much-deserved rest they need between their studies. In this article, we will talk about the many benefits students can have through taking part in ECAs. We will also introduce you to some of the most popular types of ECAs that you will find in international schools. International schools are renowned for providing extraordinary education, top-of-the-range facilities, and extensive extracurricular activities. For the first part of this article, we will discuss some of the excellent benefits of participating in ECAs.

Making students much more desirable to universities

When a university sees that an applicant has taken part in extracurricular activities, it can tremendously increase a student’s chances of being accepted. Extracurricular activities display a student’s discipline, motivation, dedication, and versatility.

These personality traits are precisely what a university will be looking for. Of course, grades matter too, but extracurricular activities allow universities to understand their potential students on a much deeper level. If a course has limited places, it will almost certainly be offered to the candidates who show strengths in multiple fields through taking part in ECAs.

Improvement in motivation and time management

Anybody who has children has almost definitely witnessed the frequent stages of procrastination. Unfortunately, this is something that can’t always be avoided, but it is something that can be improved.

When children are under too much pressure to study or participate in things that don’t particularly excite them, their motivation levels become low. This can have a terrible knock-on effect on other aspects of their lives.

If a child finds an extracurricular activity they enjoy, you will begin to see a skip in their step. Soon enough, they won’t struggle to get out of bed and will be far more punctual, knowing there is something to look forward to at the end of the day.

Providing a well-needed escape from studies benefits their education.

Similarly to what we mentioned about motivation, you will often see improved studies linked with extracurricular activities. Even if they don’t always show it, children can often become highly stressed with their schoolwork, especially if they take on too much with additional tutoring or classes.

This stress isn’t caused by not having enough time; it is due to boredom and becoming tired of doing similar tasks. Extracurricular activities provide an escape in which their mind can be taken away from their studies and focused on something that they don’t only enjoy but is hugely beneficial to their mental health. This improvement in mental health will begin to show in the quality of their schoolwork, focus, and happiness.

Learning new skills, making friends, and boosting confidence

Taking on an extracurricular activity will undoubtedly result in a child learning a new skill. Over time they may become very good at this skill. Also, when joining the ECA regularly, they will likely make plenty of new friends who share these new hobbies. Both of these things work tremendously towards giving a child a massive boost in confidence.

You will begin to see how confident and proud they are because of their achievements. It is crucial in a child’s development and growth to feel confident, as it can positively impact their self-esteem. This will enable them to delve into their creativity, take pride in their schoolwork, and excel towards a successful future.

Entering a world of discovery

In an international school, children will encounter far more extracurricular activity options than anywhere else. Though the amount of choice might seem daunting at first, it allows a child to try and test out various activities and discover what they love.

It is essential to allow them time to choose what they want to be a part of. Of course, you may know what is best, but it is much more positive towards growth and development if they discover this for themselves. Once they have found something they care about, that is when all of the other positives will begin to happen. You can sit back and watch them flourish throughout their daily lives.

Most importantly, meeting like-minded individuals can boost a child’s social capabilities.

If a child has never tried an ECA, it is unlikely they will manage to meet many like-minded people. Of course, they will have friends who perhaps like the same game or collect the same toy, but there is far more depth to the relationships they develop through their chosen ECA. As previously mentioned, extracurricular activities will give a child something they are passionate about learning, so the friends they make through this activity will share the same passion.

Through this, they will learn the art of quality conversation, and these social skills can be the beginning of a lifetime of social confidence. Even as adults, meeting someone we can discuss our interests with is fantastic, so it is vital to give this to children too. The sooner they develop these skills and passions, the better off they will be.

What types of ECAs will you expect to find in an international school?

Although ECA options can feel almost endless, there are three popular categories that we would like to mention.

  • Society clubs: These are ECAs such as Model UN or debate society. They focus on language, critical thinking, and structuring essays and arguments. They can also lead to nationwide competitions.
  • Athletics: International schools will have many different sports ECAs. They are incredible for health, confidence, social skills, and focus. They, too, can lead to taking part in nationwide competitions.
  • The arts: This can range from learning a musical instrument to participating in theatre productions. They are great for developing new skills, feeling pride, dedication, making friends, and building tremendous confidence.

Would you like to know more?

If you want to learn more about extracurricular activities or any aspect of life at a top international school, contact one of our expert team members at Bangkok Prep today. We are an international school that has created an outstanding learning community, encouraging everyone to reach their full potential.

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