INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL COMMUNITIES BUILD BRIDGES BETWEEN CULTURES
The ability to adapt confidently to diverse environments is a superpower in an increasingly interconnected world. In that regard, the benefits of an international school community – where students from all over the globe come together to learn and grow – cannot be overstated. Let's take a closer look at some of those benefits.
Exposure to different cultures
What better way to learn about the cultures of others than by daily exposure to them? As one TASIS England student put it,
"I love the diversity of my School because it's a way of meeting [people from] different cultures and learning about different countries without even leaving the campus."
In an international school community, students will discover the customs, traditions, and ways of life of their peers. They broaden their perspectives by developing a deeper understanding and appreciation of diverse ideas and points of view. This cultural exchange also builds empathy and expands essential interpersonal skills, such as communication and cooperation, that will serve students well as future global citizens.
A sense of belonging
International schools can foster a real sense of community and belonging. Something remarkable happens when young people from different backgrounds come together to learn, play, and work towards common goals. Cultural barriers break down as students learn to value each other's unique perspectives and develop a greater understanding and respect for one another. Students forge a network of friends from around the world, and these relationships expose them to life-enriching experiences and opportunities at school and beyond.
Language learning opportunities
Another enormous advantage of an international school community is the opportunity for language learning. Nothing beats real-world practice for acquiring fluency. Interacting with their multilingual schoolmates fast-tracks students' language skills and gives them a competitive edge in the global marketplace. In addition, the learning outside the classroom that results from their natural curiosity about the history and culture of their peers' countries enriches their education and helps them better understand the world.
For schools with a large international community, it is crucial for students to have the opportunity to showcase their own culture and traditions. Programs and activities that are part of the fabric of school life, such as International Week at TASIS England, support and celebrate this diversity while promoting each student’s pride, self-confidence, and sense of belonging. Events such as cultural fairs and language exchanges expand students' horizons and develop cross-cultural awareness.
Multiculturalism within a school provides countless rewards for the entire school community. Students develop the qualities and worldview that equip them to flourish in our increasingly global society, now and in the future. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, schools can help young people establish connections and build life-long relationships. A TASIS student sums it up perfectly:
"If all the countries in the world, despite all of their diversity, could get along with each other like we do, the world would be such a peaceful place."
These are just a few ways a school’s international community can build bridges between cultures. What others can you think of?
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