Are international Schools better

Jun 12, 2024 | Blogs

Education is a cornerstone of personal and societal development, and parents often grapple with where to send their children for schooling. Among the myriad options available, international schools have gained significant attention. But are international schools better? This blog post explores this question by examining various aspects such as curriculum, teaching quality, cultural exposure, facilities, and overall student development.



One of the most compelling features of international schools is their curriculum. Unlike traditional local schools that follow a national syllabus, international schools often adopt globally recognized curricula such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), or American Advanced Placement (AP). These curricula offer a more holistic education, emphasising critical thinking, creativity, and global awareness.

At IVA Global, we offer three streams between the South African curriculum, the International British Curriculum, and the IEB Curriculum.


Advantages of an International Curriculum

  1. Global Recognition: Diplomas from international schools are widely recognized by universities worldwide.
  2. Holistic Approach: The curriculum often includes a balanced mix of academics, arts, sports, and extracurricular activities.
  3. Language Proficiency: Many international schools offer bilingual education or intensive language programs.


Potential Drawbacks

  1. Cost: The advanced curriculum can come at a higher price than local schooling options.
  2. Relevance: Some parents worry that an international curriculum may not adequately prepare students for local university entrance exams or job markets.


Teaching Quality

Teaching quality is another critical factor that sets international schools apart. These institutions often attract highly qualified teachers from around the globe who bring diverse teaching methods and perspectives into the classroom.


Benefits of High-Quality Teaching

  1. Experienced Faculty: Teachers in international schools typically have advanced degrees and extensive teaching experience.
  2. Innovative Methods: Modern teaching techniques like project-based learning and technology integration are standard.
  3. Personalized Attention: Smaller class sizes allow for more individualized attention to each student.


  1. Teacher Turnover: High turnover rates can be an issue in some international schools due to contractual terms or relocation.
  2. Cultural Differences: Teachers from different backgrounds may face challenges in understanding local customs and student behaviours.


Cultural Exposure

One of the standout features of attending an international school is cultural exposure. These institutions are melting pots of different cultures, languages, and traditions.


  1. Diverse Environment: Students interact with peers from various cultural backgrounds, fostering global citizenship.
  2. Language Skills: Exposure to multiple languages enhances linguistic abilities.
  3. Broader Perspectives: Students gain a broader worldview, which can be beneficial in future academic and career pursuits.


  1. Cultural Disconnect: Some students may feel disconnected from their own culture due to the diverse environment.
  2. Identity Issues: Navigating multiple cultural identities can sometimes be challenging for young minds.



International schools are often well-funded institutions that boast state-of-the-art facilities, including modern classrooms, science labs, sports complexes, libraries, and art studios.


  1. Advanced Resources: Access to cutting-edge technology and resources enhances learning experiences.
  2. Extracurricular Activities: A wide range of extracurricular activities helps in all-round development.
  3. Safety Measures: Enhanced safety protocols ensure a secure learning environment.


  1. Accessibility: Such facilities might not be accessible to all due to high tuition fees.
  2. Overemphasis on Extracurriculars: Sometimes, there might be too much focus on extracurricular activities at the expense of academics.


Overall Student Development

The ultimate goal of any educational institution is holistic student development—academically, socially, emotionally, and physically—and this is where many believe international schools excel.


  1. Well-rounded Education: Emphasizing academic excellence and personal growth prepares students for future challenges.
  2. Global Opportunities: Graduates often find it easier to gain admission into prestigious universities worldwide.
  3. Soft Skills Development: Programs focus on developing critical soft skills like leadership, teamwork, and communication skills, which are essential in today’s world.


  1. Pressure: The rigorous academic environment can sometimes lead to stress among students.
  2. Exclusivity: High costs make these opportunities accessible only to affluent families, although this is changing
  3. Adaptation Issues: Students transitioning back into local systems might face adjustment challenges.



At IVA Global, we are the foremost 3D virtual school. An international online school engaging in a new 3D virtual world to captivate students and deliver high-quality education at reasonable prices. And in doing so, we have won the global online school of the year for a second year running.

So, are international schools better? The answer isn’t straightforward; it depends largely on individual needs and circumstances. While they offer numerous advantages like superior curriculum quality teaching and cultural exposure, they also generally come with drawbacks like high costs and potential cultural disconnects. Before deciding, parents must weigh these factors carefully and consider what aligns best with their child’s unique needs and aspirations.

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South Africa Curriculum

IVA Global Online School in South Africa aligns strongly with the vision of the IEB which is to advance quality teaching and learning in South Africa through an assessment process of integrity, innovation, and international comparability.

IVA Global Online School employs highly experienced IEB teachers, daily engaging students through live synchronous online lessons.

IVA Global Online School is a registered IEB centre.

International British Curriculum

Interest in the International British curriculum continues to grow as it provides students from outside the UK the opportunity to attain a strong international qualification.

IVA Global Online School offers live synchronous lessons according to a structured timetable with highly qualified teachers.

Students can complete their GCSE’s and AS levels within 2 years.

IEB International Curriculum

The IEB-ISC is a “Globally-oriented qualification with its roots in Africa” and is suited for Grade 10 to 12 students living outside South Africa.

The ISC is an international qualification in that it is intended to be offered across borders in different countries, particularly in Africa.

The USAF (universities of South Africa) evaluation of the IEB-ISC provides assurance of its quality and students are able to pursue university studies in South Africa and abroad.

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