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Education in the US
Accreditation and IB Programs
Would you like to enroll your child in an international school in the US? Then you’ve come to the right place! Our article has important information on choosing the right school, the admissions process, tuition and fees, and different types of programs and degrees.
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Degrees and Curriculum
One of the many reasons why expats choose international schools for their children is the curriculum and degrees they offer. They are often not that different from those which are common in their home country. Expats who stay in the US temporarily often send their kids to an international school in order to make the transition between several different school systems less difficult.
International schools in the US offer varying curricula, focusing on different languages, different elective courses, and different degrees. Try to figure out if the degrees are recognized in your home country or even on an international level. Talk to the school’s officials about how former students reintegrated into the educational system of their home country. In the end, you need to evaluate your own situation. Your plans to return home or to relocate to an entirely different country play an important role in choosing the curriculum and degree which best fit your child’s academic prospects.
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International School Accreditation
Some international schools in the US are officially accredited by different organizations such as the Council of International Schools. These organizations set certain standards for international education and encourage schools to reevaluate and improve their academic program constantly. They evaluate the curriculum, after-school activities, and the professional experience of the entire staff.
An accreditation proves that a school has achieved a high standard in education and is always trying to uphold this standard. You can find a list of accredited schools in the US on the homepage of the Council of International Schools.
International Boarding Schools
Like regular boarding schools, international boarding schools offer an extensive curriculum, lots of extra-curricular activities, and close academic supervision. The excellent education children receive there often leads them to the best colleges and universities in the country.
International boarding schools have stricter admission requirements than other international schools. Your child may have to provide recommendations, a personal essay and the results of an internationally recognized English test like the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).
Due to their experience with students from diverse backgrounds, international boarding schools are a good choice for expat children. They often offer different language courses, support their students in adjusting to the new environment and prepare them for college. Like all boarding schools, international boarding schools are an expensive alternative to other international schools. Due to the cost of room and board as well as around-the-clock supervision, tuition and fees can amount to twice or even three times as much as expats would otherwise pay for an international school.
Schools Offering the International Baccalaureate
Some international schools, also referred to as IB world schools, offer the International Baccalaureate. The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation offering four different programs:
- The Primary Years Program (ages 3 to 12)
- The Middle Years Program (ages 11 to 16)
- The Diploma Program (ages 16 to 19)
- The Career-related Certificate (ages 16 to 19)
Each program focuses on a different age group and aims to provide children with an internationally focused education. The last two years of the International Baccalaureate will let your child acquire a high school diploma which is recognized worldwide. It is not necessary to participate in the first two programs in order to acquire that diploma.
Not only private, but also some public schools in the US offer the International Baccalaureate. They are therefore well-suited to offer an international education. You can find a complete list of IB World Schools as well as further information on the various academic programs online.