Choosing between international schools and private schools can be difficult. Each type of school recommends itself as the best chance of success for young students, but there are major differences in the style of education.
An international school is more focused on students who hope to complete their education abroad. These college-bound students need their courses to conform to an international standard, so that the coursework is accepted by universities in other countries. International schools may focus on helping students get into universities in a certain country. If so, the coursework will all be completed in the language of that country. If there is not a specific focus, all coursework is generally completed in English. Students graduating from an international school can expect a language-immersion environment. There may even be children of foreign nationals attending an international school. This means that some students may only speak English or another foreign language. Going to an international school is a multicultural experience. They are best for students who require fluency in a foreign language and an internationally transferable degree.
Private Schools are focused purely on giving students the best education possible. They will include less international curriculum, but more country-specific curriculum. While an international school will focus on students’ acceptance into foreign universities, a private school will focus on national universities. The wider scope of international schools may mean they don’t offer coursework which is required for national universities. Click here to learn more about private and international schools.
For example, private schools in Malaysia teach courses on Malaysian history. An international school may not have courses on your country’s history and culture. A private school may not conform to international standards, but may give students the best chance for local and national university acceptance. Private schools usually offer foreign language classes, but may or may not be foreign language immersion experiences. Most non-language classes will be taught in your native language. Many students and parents find this preferable, especially if the student does not have prior experience in foreign languages. This allows more focus on the subject matter in other classes.
Whether your are looking for a tighter focus on local education, or a wide focus and international degree, choosing a school is a personal choice. Take time to consider the student’s goals. Will the student attend college internationally? Is local history and culture more important than multicultural education? Will the student be able to excel in a foreign language environment? All of these things must be considered when deciding between private and international school education.