Singapore’s status as a global hub of commerce and industry has meant that international schools have become more common here than in many other countries. Though such educational institutions in Singapore primarily cater to expatriates, these schools have also grown in popularity with local families seeking alternatives to the country’s mainstream educational system. That said, citizens are usually required to request an exemption from the Ministry of Education (MoE) in order to be exempted from attending a local school.
Singapore-based expat families are spoiled for choice when it comes to school selection. However, those that use proven curriculum systems such as International Baccalaureate (IB) are currently the most popular. These time-tested systems also continue to provide a benchmark for international education in general.
Thankfully, enrolling your child in an international school Singapore expats trust is fairly straightforward. Below are some of the benefits children can expect when they are enrolled in these institutions.
1. Better Exposure to Foreign Cultures and Languages
Sending your child to an international school will guarantee that they will be in contact with peers and educators from diverse cultural backgrounds. Being educated in such a context can help your child become more open-minded, tolerant, and cosmopolitan in their outlook. This can be critical in helping your child develop social skills that cross cultural divides, something that can be immensely useful in many contexts in a highly globalized world.
Also, international schools will almost always offer classes in languages other than English, usually in other widely used international languages such as Spanish, French, and Mandarin Chinese. Having a mastery of a language other than English offers children the opportunity to see different perspectives and ways of thinking. There is also evidence showing that multilingual learning has benefits for human brain development, potentially helping your child succeed in their future endeavors.
2. It May Be a Better Fit for Your Child
Though Singapore’s mainstream education system is widely regarded as among the very best in the world, no mainstream system can account for all learning styles and challenges. This is especially true if your child spent their earlier years in another country’s education system.
Generally speaking, international schools are often the better choice for children from foreign backgrounds and those who have problems fitting in with peers within a mainstream system. Administrators and instructors at international schools are also trained to meet the educational needs of foreign children as well as locals with unique needs.
This unique specialization can be critical, as culture shock can be difficult or traumatic for some children. In this way, putting your child in an international school may be key in easing their transition to a new way of life.
3. International Education Tends to Be Holistic
Most international schools offer extensive opportunities for extracurricular activities, with most having special clubs that are quite rare in mainstream school systems. Extracurricular activities are a great way to help expand your child’s world and spark their passion for learning. These activities are also a good way for your child to socialize within a structured, positive framework.
The educational approach at international schools also tends to be more personalized. IB-authorized schools, for example, have curriculums that are more similar to those found in colleges and universities than in mainstream elementary and high schools. Students have the option to choose certain subjects and are typically given personalized goals.
Taken together, these approaches create an educational experience that is rigorous, more holistic, and less oriented toward passing standardized examinations. If you’re concerned that the mainstream school system isn’t providing a well-rounded education for your child, then an international school may be worth considering.
4. International School Education Can Be Impressive
Sending your child to an international school in Singapore may help them land a good job after they graduate. Job candidates with an international school background are often seen as desirable, as they are also more likely to be seen as more understanding of cultural nuances.
Savvy HR managers will often prioritize job candidates with international education for positions that require regular contact with foreign customers or working with an international team. Because international schools also emphasize soft skills, graduates of these institutions may have advantages in advancing in their careers over peers who were educated in mainstream systems.
Which International School Should You Choose?
Thanks to the continued growth of transnational communities, international schools have become more popular than they have ever been. International business hubs like Singapore have seen the number of international schools skyrocket along with globalization.
However, not all these schools are the same and not all of them offer curricula that may make sense for your child. If you want your child to reap the typical benefits of an international education, it may be a good idea to stick with long-established international schools Singapore expats depend on.
With globalization set to continue at a rapid pace for decades to come, having an international education under a proven curriculum may give your child a decisive advantage in what is sure to be a more competitive future.