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Is Attending an International School Worth It? Everything You Need to Know About Your Child’s IB Education

Every parent wants to see their child succeed—both in childhood and adulthood. And you have many choices for what school to send them to. In Myanmar alone, there are over 46,000 K-12 options! You could enroll your child in a traditional public school or choose a number of different private schools.

But you want to ensure that your child gets the best possible education. After all, you want them to be successful in their future career. How can you be sure that you are enrolling them in the best school for them?

In this blog, we will discuss International Baccalaureate (IB) schools in South Asia and if international school is worth the investment. This type of K-12 education is very specialized and an excellent way to prepare your child for continued education and an outstanding career. At Brainworks-TOTAL, we believe that parents should partner with their student’s school and teachers for a truly transformational education, which is why you should be as informed as possible about your options. With this knowledge, you can be better informed about school choices for your child, how much they cost, and how they differ from public schooling.

What is an International School?

An international school is a school that offers an internationally recognized curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) program and the Cambridge International Curriculum. These schools go beyond the standard curriculum of most public schools to give students a more enriching experience. Because of their international status, these schools have diverse student bodies, with students from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds.

International schools often offer instruction in multiple languages that emphasize global awareness and cross-cultural communication skills. They may also have partnerships with schools in other countries, providing opportunities for students to participate in exchange programs or study abroad.

Unlike public schools, many international schools are private and carry a tuition fee. Many parents would say that the investment in international school is worth it for their children. Overall, international school education is designed to provide students with a global perspective and a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in a rapidly changing and interconnected world.

IB Schools vs. Traditional Schools

While some parents opt to send their children to traditional schools, Myanmar and South Asia have a wealth of IB schools to choose from as well. Below are a few differences between IB schools and traditional schools.

  • Curriculum: IB schools offer an internationally recognized curriculum emphasizing critical thinking and inquiry-based, concept, and context-based learning. Traditional schools follow a national or state-mandated curriculum and are dependent on government funding.
  • Class sizes: IB schools also tend to have smaller class sizes and more individualized attention from teachers, as well as a more rigorous academic program. IB schools will offer advanced placement courses and may require students to complete a research project or extended essay.
  • Student body: Because they attract students from many countries, IB schools often have a more diverse student body. Traditional schools, on the other hand, generally serve students from a specific geographic area.
  • Tuition: IB schools are typically private, and tuition is paid for by the student’s parent or guardian. Traditional schools, on the other hand, are funded by the government and are free to attend.

Standards, Philosophies, and Accreditations of IB Schools

International Baccalaureate (IB) schools are set apart from other schools by their rigorous and internationally recognized academic standards and philosophies. IB schools focus on developing knowledgeable, inquiring, and globally minded students, with a strong emphasis on critical thinking, creativity, and service to the community.

The IB Organization ensures schools meet high standards in curriculum, teaching, and learning. In addition, IB schools follow a specific educational framework and assessment system that is recognized by universities and colleges worldwide, providing students with a competitive edge in the college admission process. The IB Diploma Programme is highly regarded for its comprehensive curriculum, which includes six subject areas, a unique Theory of Knowledge course, an extended research-based essay, and Creativity, Activity, and Service (CAS) expectations.

IB focuses on education both in terms of what to learn and how to learn. While inquiry sets the foundation for IB’s learning process, conceptual and contextual learning helps students to have a broader understanding of the learning process. IB also supports the development of skills for life, such as thinking skills, communication skills, research skills, self-management skills, and collaboration skills.

Outcomes of an IB Education

An IB education prepares students academically, socially, and emotionally for post-secondary education and their professional careers. IB students have a higher chance of receiving college scholarships and going on to pursue successful career paths. In general, IB students are more culturally aware, skilled at critical thinking, and better able to interact with a rapidly-changing world.

According to research from the IB Organization, students enrolled in IB programmes are more likely to:

Costs of an IB Education

IB Diploma programme costs vary from country to country and school to school. It depends on the vision and outcomes of the schools. On average, a two-year diploma program (completed when the student is around 16 to 19 years old) could cost around $50,000 internationally.

At BrainWorks-TOTAL, we strive to keep tuition costs lower than $24,000—lower than many other IB schools—so all Myanmar families feel equipped and able to send their children here and invest in their true success.

Aside from monetary costs, the IB program requires parents to invest time and attention into their child’s success. This includes supporting their child’s learning inside and outside the classroom and helping them stay organized and manage their time effectively.

Parents can also play an important role in helping their children navigate the college admissions process and prepare for the next stage of their education or career. This may involve providing guidance on selecting colleges or writing college essays, as well as encouraging their child to explore different career paths and opportunities.

Ultimately, a successful IB education requires a partnership between students, parents, and educators, all working together to help students achieve their full potential and prepare for a successful future.

Common Questions About IB Schools

At Brainworks-TOTAL, we often get questions from parents who are unfamiliar with international schools and how they can benefit their children. Here are some frequently asked questions about IB schools.

Is an International School Education Right for My Child?

International school education is an excellent option for families who are looking for a global education experience for their children. This type of education is ideal for families who want their children to be exposed to a diverse range of cultures which can lead to a more well-rounded educational experience. Below are a few reasons families consider international schools for their children:

  • Academic rigor: IB schools are especially ideal for children who are academically bright. Many international schools offer a challenging curriculum, including the Cambridge International program, which can help prepare students for college and beyond.
  • Language learning: International schools often offer instruction in multiple languages, providing students with the opportunity to become fluent in languages beyond their native tongue.
  • A personalized education experience: International schools often have smaller class sizes, allowing for more individualized attention and support for each student.

Overall, international school education is a great choice for families who want their children to receive a high-quality education that prepares them for success in a globalized world.

What career goals does IB education support?

International school education can support a wide range of career goals depending on your child’s talents or capabilities. With a wide array of extracurricular activities offered, your child will have every opportunity to explore what they enjoy doing and what they excel at. Here are just a few career options that are favorable for IB students:

  • International Business: International schools offer a global perspective and emphasize cross-cultural communication, making it an excellent preparation for careers in international business.
  • Diplomacy and International Relations: International schools often have a diverse student body and encourage students to think critically about global issues, making excellent preparation for diplomacy and international relations careers.
  • STEM Fields: Many international schools offer a strong foundation in math and science, making it an excellent preparation for careers in STEM fields.
  • Creative Industries: International schools often focus on the arts and creative industries, making it an excellent preparation for careers in these fields.
  • Public Service: Many international schools emphasize community service and social responsibility, making it an excellent preparation for careers in public service, such as law, politics, and non-profit organizations.

At what age should I enroll my child in an IB school?

A child can be enrolled in an IB school at any age. Many international schools offer programs for students from pre-kindergarten through high school, and some even offer adult education programs for professionals. At Brainworks-TOTAL, we recommend enrolling your child as young as possible so they receive the full, robust curriculum an IB school has to offer.

International schools typically have a diverse student body, and hence international schools often have programmes that are designed to meet the needs of students with different educational backgrounds and experiences.

Ultimately, international school education is designed to provide students with a global perspective and a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in a rapidly changing and interconnected world, regardless of their age or professional background.

Is an International School Worth It?

At Brainworks-TOTAL, we would give this question a resounding “Yes!” But we understand that parents may have hesitations about sending their child to a more expensive schooling option, or a different school from their Myanmar peers. But we fully believe that if you want to set your child up for success, then an international school is absolutely worth it. No matter what school you choose for your child, look for one that values the following characteristics.

Total Education

Your child needs more than academic knowledge. To become truly successful, well-rounded people, they need an education that nurtures their intellectual, physical, and emotional capabilities. That’s why at Brainworks-TOTAL, we go beyond classroom instruction. Our students also engage in personal growth curriculum, community service opportunities, and extracurricular activities that develop every part of their being.

Parent-Teacher Collaboration

True success is nurtured at school and in the home. Children benefit most from a school that brings parents and teachers together. At Brainworks, we work closely with the parents, there are regular academic progress meetings organised by the school. In these meetings, parents work together with other parents of similar levels to have a better understanding of their child’s position in academics. Other than the regular academic meetings, there are several informal meetings. Other than that a parent can approach the school and special meetings are organised to cater to individual needs.

Highly Trained Staff

A quality education requires quality teachers. We not only bring the best staff but offer continuing education and growth opportunities for them.

At Brainworks, our training department invests heavily in our teachers. Staff complete at least 18 full days of in-house training every year, further mastering their technical skills and learning the latest teaching methodologies. Most of our teachers are certificated through the University of Cambridge Certificate or Diploma Programme. These diverse training methods pay off, resulting in more dynamic classrooms, more engaged learning, and tighter and more supportive communities.

Give Your Child A Chance on the World Stage

We hope this blog gave you the information you need to make the right educational decision for your child. At Brainworks-TOTAL, we are an IB school dedicated to giving Myanmar and the world’s future leaders every tool possible to develop a world of nations that communicate and collaborate with mutual respect.

Enroll your child at Brainworks-TOTAL today and give them the gift of an assured pathway to academic and career success. Join our vibrant K-12 community and give your child the opportunity to thrive in an academically and socially competent future.