What is the Difference Between International School and National School?

GIIS Curator
Nov 30, 2021
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With the increasing number of international schools, it is normal to wonder what different your child would learn in an international school rather than a regular national school. 

Is there a different curriculum in international schools? Or do they not follow CBSE guidelines? Are there better facilities available for children in international schools? Is the fee more than that of regular schools? 

The list of questions is endless. Nevertheless, you will find answers to at least some of the most common doubts surrounding international vs national schools in this post.

School education plays a vital role in the development of a child. It is the best gift that parents give to their kids. All children are blessed with some or the other talent, which can be discovered and nurtured through right education. 

Therefore, to further enhance children’s innate abilities, it is imperative to enrol them in a school that would not only polish their natural skills, but also encourage them to learn and experiment. A good school would give wings to your child’s curiosity.

Prior to discussing the difference between the two types of school, let’s first see how a school gets the tag of being international.

For a school to be an international school, a set of prerequisites has been set by the International Association of School Librarianship (IASL). The prerequisites include:

1. Since English is the most commonly spoken language around the world, every school wanting to be international must have English as its primary language. 

2. The school must follow the curriculum of the US or the UK or an international curriculum such as International Baccalaureate, Edexcel, Cambridge Assessment International Education, International Primary Curriculum, or International General Certificate of Secondary Education.

3. The school should be accredited by international organisations such as the Council of British International Schools or the Council of International Schools.

4. The school should admit students without being partial or discriminating against any student. The admission process has to be non-selective, which means no child should be given special/partial treatment. Any child that matches the admission criteria should be given admission irrespective of gender, race or ethnicity.

What Exactly are the Differences Between the National and International Schools?

1. Children studying in an international school have a better chance at becoming global citizens by easily getting admitted in foreign universities across the globe. Most of the international universities accept the curriculum taught in international schools as the curriculum gives more exposure and practical knowledge to children.

2. International schools offer an inclusive educational curriculum that allows children to understand different cultures of the world. National schools do not offer any such thing as they focus more on textbooks.

3. Endless career opportunities are available for international school children that are much better and advanced than that available to national school children. International schools offer a robust curriculum that allows students to be courageous, curious, experimental, civilised and knowledgeable. For example, GIIS Noida, which is one of the best CBSE schools, curates its curriculum using new and advanced academic philosophies so that an ample number of career opportunities are available for students when they grow older.

4. Apart from the students, a great sense of diversity could be found among the teachers of an international school. Many international schools have teachers from different cities and countries, this allows students to interact with people apart from their native places. Teachers bring along different experiences and stories for students to get encouraged and learn something about a new culture.

5. International schools have a fixed teacher-student ratio, where the number of students is always on the lower side. Unlike national schools, international schools do not believe in fitting a large number of children in one classroom. International schools are known for quality education and individual attention. Since, the student to teacher ratio is low, every child gets undivided attention from the teacher.

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6. In terms of facilities and infrastructure, there can never be a comparison between an international and a national school. An international school offers an array of facilities, like swimming pool, skating rink, horse-riding, amphitheatre, football grounds, multiple laboratories and libraries, smart classrooms, well-ventilated buildings and much more. Global Indian International School in Noida has different libraries and swimming pools for kindergarteners and primary students. The school has also dedicated laboratories for different subjects like Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry, Biology etc.

7. Most of the international schools allow parents to choose from the different curriculums available like Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE), International Baccalaureate (IB) or International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

8. Many international schools offer various foreign languages like French, German, Spanish, Japanese etc. However, national schools usually don’t offer foreign languages. Learning a foreign language at an early age sharpens the children’s minds, while giving them an edge over others.

9. It is a fact that international schools are a little more expensive than national schools. But, considering the quality of education, amenities, infrastructure, facilities and numerous opportunities available for children, every penny is worthwhile.

Quality education, better socialisation, unmatched career opportunities and development of moral skills like empathy, morality, good conduct etc., are some of the advantages that international schools offer. 

Since school isn’t something that parents change on a yearly basis, it is better to choose the right school in the first go so that the child doesn’t have to adjust or make new friends over and again.

Education is the most precious gift that parents give to their children, so choose the best of the best for your child.

GIIS Curator

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