Moving your family to a different country can be complicated if you have school-aged children. Fortunately, Singapore is a great place for expat families partly because of its inclusive world-leading educational system. Not only can international students enter mainstream primary and secondary schools, but they may also enroll in junior colleges.
However, not all expat children can easily adapt to mainstream Singaporean schooling, particularly if they come from a country with a very different school system. For this reason, many expat families will choose to send their children to an international school.
Most mainstream schools and all of the best international schools in Singapore will offer your child high-quality education that meets or exceeds global standards. In addition, many of the benefits of overseas education in Singapore go beyond what your child will learn from the curriculum. Below are 7 important lessons your child will learn when they are educated in Singapore.
Children build the basis of their worldview while they are still young. If they are not exposed to other ways of thinking in their early years, they may get resistant to these later on.
While it’s not always a good thing to expose children to ideas they may not be prepared for, positive ideas surrounding cultural and ethnic diversity should be inculcated. As the local Singaporean experience shows, encouraging people from different cultures to interact in a controlled environment can be beneficial in building tolerance, especially when done early. This is an experience that has been mirrored in more diverse neighborhoods throughout the world, including in the United States.
Regardless of whether your child enters the mainstream or alternative school systems, being educated in Singapore ensures they will eventually learn tolerance and acceptance of different cultures.
If you’re moving to Singapore, you and your child will have to learn to be used to an entirely new way of living. The burden may be heavier on your child, however, as anyone who has to go to school in another country will have to learn to adapt or else face serious problems. Thankfully, Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world, which means that your child can experience these challenges free from serious dangers.
Though going to school in a different country will probably be uncomfortable for your child initially, the experience should allow them to develop positive ways to handle adversity. These experiences can help build character and give your child the mindset they need to survive any other crises they may face in the future.
Going to a school overseas will always be an ongoing exercise in compromise, especially in a country as cosmopolitan as Singapore. Your child will have to learn to deal with others with very different backgrounds on a daily basis. Being able to compromise effectively may lay the groundwork for effective conflict resolution, future leadership roles, and healthy levels of empathy.
International students often find themselves needing to be more assertive and decisive than they otherwise would be, thanks to the challenges of their situation. In many of the best international schools in Singapore, being decisive is almost a requirement due to the pedagogy approaches of international education systems such as those endorsed by the International Baccalaureate.
Being able to practice agency and decision-making early on can help your child become more self-actualized. This confidence, in turn, can be highly beneficial in virtually all endeavors they may undertake in the future.
As with many other Asian countries, Singapore holds very strong communitarian values. In the course of your stay as an expat, these values will manifest themselves in different ways to you and your child. While there are many exceptions, most Singaporeans and long-term foreign residents will try to look out for each other’s welfare. This is in contrast with other cultures that place a stronger emphasis on the welfare of the family or the individual.
To be able to practice such a value system, there is an implicit bond of trust among Singaporeans and foreigners who call Singapore their home. This often leads children raised in the environment to have a sense of social conscientiousness that isn’t typical elsewhere.
Enrolling your child in a Singaporean school has a wide range of benefits. In academic terms, they may be more challenged here than they would be in most other countries. However, they will also learn many other important lessons that are not necessarily in the curriculum.
Soft skills such as adaptability, tolerance, decisiveness, and compromise are almost certainly going to be developed thanks to the unique circumstances surrounding an international education. In the long run, these may be more important for your child’s holistic development than any other lessons they may learn in the confines of a classroom.