What to Consider When Applying to an International School
Every parent wants their children to have the best education possible. For many, this means their children studying the world's most prestigious universities. However, as these universities are incredibly selective, parents want to make sure their children are well-prepared from the very start.
This is the reason many parents from developing countries such as the Philippines opt to enroll their children in international schools. Although these schools were originally intended to service the children of expatriates, many today have a sizable local student population.
International schools, such as those in the capital city of Manila, teach children according to global standards and gives them the necessary qualifications to be able to apply to the best universities in the world. This allows them many options in terms of their future education and career plans, which is exactly what parents believe will guarantee them a good future.
However, getting into an international school is not as simple as it seems. These schools have strict admission policies and requirements that need to be followed to the letter. Hence, there are many things you must consider if you plan to have your children study in an international school in Manila. Here are some of them:
Curriculum and Method of Instruction
Even though your child goes to a school with top-notch academic curricula and facilities, this is for naught if the child cannot grasp and understand the concepts being taught. Each child is different in how they learn and pick up information, so it is best to look at which school's teaching style is suited to your children's needs and will help them thrive in the right environment.
Schools also offer different programs based on different educational systems. Hence, depending on what type of education you want for your child - British or American; traditional or progressive - you need to find the perfect school that fits right into your plans for your child.
Availability of Places
While many international schools do accept local students, priority is given to those of non-Filipino citizenship. Many even have a quota for how many local students they can take in for each year level.
Hence, you need to make sure that there is a place for your child available for the coming year. This means inquiring and making reservations early so that you are sure to have a place in your first choice of school.
International schools do not come cheap. The annual tuition and miscellaneous fees can be up to more than five times that of a local private school. This does not include any additional charges for extracurriculars or learning support that you may incur throughout the year.
Thus, you need to make sure that you have the finances available if you plan on having your children study in an international school. If necessary, you can try to look for scholarships or outside funding opportunities to make sure you have the financing sorted. Given how financially significant this commitment is, it is important that this is something you are willing to truly work and sacrifice for.
Most international schools use English as their primary language of instruction. Thus, proficiency in English is one of the considerations when choosing to admit students. If your child's native language is not English, or if he or she has difficulty with the language, it is best to have them take additional classes to improve English proficiency. In these circumstances, it is best to ask the school directly what the best course of action to take is.