The Difference between Local and International Schools in Singapore

Most expatriates send their children to international schools, while Singaporeans mostly send their children to local schools. However, some expatriates choose to send their children to local schools, while some Singaporean parents opt for international schools.

Although the government gives priority to Singaporean students when it comes to admission in government-run schools, some international students have been accepted into the system, after registering in the Admissions Exercise for International Students (AEIS).  It is also crucial to note that there is a third option of local international schools. Such schools offer students the choice between Singapore and international curriculum. Local international schools are privately funded but managed by the Ministry of Education.

Singaporean culture vs. global learning

The curriculum in local schools focuses primarily on Singaporean culture. Educators strive to ensure the students understand as much as possible on Singapore’s culture. The international education system focuses on global learning, with the use of international examples.

Students in international schools have a more extensive outlook on the international scene as opposed to those in local schools. Considering the changing trends in the world, some parents feel it is important for their children to have a global outlook and are confident in having this information passed to them through education.

International teachers

One evident difference between local and international schools is the number of foreign teachers in international schools. Since international schools are private, international teachers have been recruited in most of these schools to ensure the students get the exposure the curriculum seeks. The curriculum of the international school aims to give students an exposure to the global scene. Some of these schools feel students will get a better picture of the societies included in the curriculum from teachers who are from some of these areas.

The teachers in the local schools are primarily Singaporean. The Singapore government is committed to protecting local professionals and it is primarily Singaporeans who apply to work in local education, rather than foreigners. Therefore, the ratio of teachers in the government managed schools are mostly Singaporean teachers.

Teacher-student ratios

Some parents overlook the tuition fees of international schools because of the smaller teacher-student ratio. Some schools have between 15 and 25 students per teacher. Parents who feel such a ratio gives their child a greater opportunity of getting personal attention from the teacher opt to take them to international schools. The local schools have approximately 40 students per teacher.

International schools are co-educational

The international schools in Singapore are co-educational. This means that boys and girls study together. This is a contrast to the local schools where parents have a choice between taking their children to a girls, boys, or co-educational school. Some parents prefer taking their children to a single-sex school, so they prefer the local schools because of the availability of this possible choice.

Autonomy on curriculum

The international schools have autonomy over the curriculum they teach the students. Therefore, there are a few differences in some of the international schools, especially those that are linked to specific countries. For example, there are some differences between the American and British systems of education. Local schools must adhere to the guidelines from the Ministry of Education.

The decision a parent makes when it comes to a choice between the local and international school is highly dependent on the parent’s preference. Looking at the differences between the two education systems will make the decision-making process more manageable.

How Bilingualism Transforms Students in International Schools

Learning other languages, besides English, is an option available to students in international schools in Singapore. The language the child is interested in has been critical in the decisions taken by both the parents and students when choosing the school in which to enroll. For example, a child interested in French is likely to select a good international school that offers this language in the list of foreign languages taught. Learning a foreign language has significant benefits to a student, irrespective of age.

From students to inquirers

One of the pillars of the curriculum in international schools is the ability of students to become curious and find solutions to some of their questions. Learning foreign languages helps students to be curious and to start making inquiries. For example, the students may want to independently find out the French equivalent of the objects they encounter.

The inquiry nature of students of language extends to other parts of their lives. Before taking any step, such students will seek to understand why, how, who, what, and where. This helps them to make calculated moves in a bid to avoid regrets.

From students to thinkers

Teachers always endeavor to help students to think before responding to questions, orally, or in written form. This is because some students fail to think through their answers before responding. These careless mistakes have cost some students careers that require excellence. Learning a foreign language requires a critical thought process, especially when forming sentences.

From students to communicators

For a student to talk in a foreign language effectively, he or she needs to learn how to communicate. This means using the right tense and sentence construction. Many of the students learn a language they hope to use in the future. They, therefore, learn how to communicate amongst themselves, and with the support of their teacher, they will be able to communicate effectively.

They become knowledgeable

At a young age, the ability of children to absorb information is impressive. Learning a foreign language is an additional knowledge that depicts a student’s ability to absorb information, including speaking other languages. Besides learning about the language, students tend to become curious about the origins of the language, the people that speak it, and the country to which the language is attributed.

Students become risk-takers

Imagine growing up speaking one language and being bold enough to learn another one later in your life? It takes courage to opt to learn a language and even speak it, even though you’re not sure if your pronunciation is right.

Learning a new language requires boldness and the knowledge that you will be corrected if you err. Students who fear to take the first step in anything thing out of fear of failure have plenty to learn from their language lessons. Learning that they will lose nothing but have a lot to learn from attempting something changes their outlook of life and risk-taking.

It is critical for teachers and parents to get students to appreciate the additional benefits of learning a foreign language. Some students imagine it will be much harder to start learning a new language. However, they will have an easier time once they appreciate the impact learning the language will have in their personality and outlook in life.

Questions to ask before enrolling in a private school in Singapore

Families often move to new locations around the globe on orders by their employer, to be closer to family, and change their lives for the better. For many parents, the primary concern when relocating their family to a new location is their children’s education. Finding a new school can be daunting, especially in a different country. If you are from Europe, you can consider an International School in Singapore that follows a curriculum close to the European curriculum.

Starting school for the first time, or changing schools is a big deal for both parents and children. They are faced with a new environment, new classrooms, new classmates, new teachers, different responsibilities and new challenges. Dr Vanessa Von Auer, Principal at Integrated International School, recommends this six-step approach to prepare yourself and your child.

Tips for making a smooth transition

  1. Most of us feel better about change and new experiences when we know what to expect. Before the first day, visit the school and go on a tour to familiarise your child and yourself with the place. If this isn’t possible, look at the school website. Read more about it here. 

Dr Vanessa Von Auer share some tips to parents in hope of a smooth transition for families who are relocating elsewhere. Children need a stable learning environment, and a seamless transition between academic styles of teaching work best. Here are some questions to consider when selecting a school so your child can succeed:

How long will we be in Singapore?

The amount of time you plan to live in Singapore should be a significant factor in choosing the right school for your child’s future. If you are in Singapore for less than three years, consider enrolling your child in an international institution that teaches similarly to the education system in your home country. When your family moves again, your child will be more prepared to transition back into another school and be familiar with the curriculum and examinations. If you are looking for a suitable private school, one can consider GESS who provides an international teaching style that may be beneficial for families with children who relocated from other country.

Do you want your child to be immersed in a new culture?

New schools with different cultures can be challenging at first, but the experience can help develop your child into a well-rounded individual. Experiencing and learning about other cultures is an enriching experience for children, and will help them better adapt to change in their adult life. Singapore typically follows a bilingual school system, exposing students to multiple languages that can prove to be advantageous in a child’s future. However, the schools in Singapore have rigid academic requirements, regardless of language barriers, and offer a competitive learning atmosphere, often with little to no focus on humanities or the arts.

Besides academics, what else does the school offer?

International schools in Singapore offer outstanding facilities for students, but there are subtle differences that can affect your ultimate decision. Parents that are interested in their child’s abilities outside of core-curriculum should inquire about the school’s specific extracurricular activities. Students with a background in music, sports, dance, or the visual arts will not find options at every school. If you want to keep your child engaged in these other activities, you will need to add these criteria to your search for schools. The good news is there are lots of schools that cater to these types of programmes while also offering excellent academic courses.


The best way to determine if a school is right for your child is to visit the school and see for yourself. When considering private schools in Singapore, parents will often want to consider the length of time they plan to live in the country, the type of culture they want their child to experience, and what the schools on the list offer as far as academics and extracurricular activities.

Advantages of Learning Arabic

Communication is what makes the people understand each other and in order for communication to happen, language must be present. Language can be used in written or in verbal form. We have a huge number of languages around the world and it would actually be nice to discover and learn about some of these languages. Typically, one person can speak one language, but some people actually know how to speak more than one language.

If you are looking for Arabic Tuition Singapore, you should check out Berlitz Language School. They are one of the most established and oldest language schools in the world, and they offer a wide range of language courses and at varying proficiency levels. If you want to learn Arabic seriously, you should check out their site above.

In this article, we are going to talk about learning how to speak Arabic.

To start, Quran School is going to give us some of the incentives and advantages of learning Arabic.

Incentives and Advantages of Learning Arabic

Arabic is one of the most spoken languages in the world. It currently sits on number five of the most commonly spoken languages in the whole world. It is the language that is spoken across the Muslim world for it is in Arabic that the Quran, the final revelation was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) over 1440 years ago in what is today Saudi Arabia. Quran Arabic lessons online are provided by many schools that act as digital Islamic academies across the world. Learning the Quran is an obligation on all Muslims, not just reciting it and to complete this obligation some Muslims across the planet have to go through many hurdles and many still remain depraved from learning the greatest knowledge known to man. For such people Quran Arabic lessons online provide the necessary alternative they need to attending physical institutes, or to search for a qualified teacher. Online Quran education has its own merits and advantages that are credited to online schooling techniques. One of the main advantages of online Islamic teachings is that the student can have the services of a qualified teacher or scholar and have instant answers to any questions that he or she might have about Islam. Read more here.

One advantage given above is that Arabic is the 5th most commonly spoken native language in the world which means that if we now how to speak Arabic, then the chances are that we would be able to speak, communicate, and transact with more people around the world. Wouldn’t that be exciting?

Now, Michael Hinckley will give us some benefits of learning the Arabic language. Let us read below.

Benefits of Learning the Arabic Language

The Arabic language has a deep and rich history but has largely remained the province of scholars for many years, if not centuries, in America. Since 2001, however, the importance and benefits of understanding this complex and nuanced language cannot be overstated.


The Arabic language was spread throughout the Mediterranean, Europe, Asia and Africa by conquering Muslim armies beginning in the 7th century A.D. The Arab armies brought Islam and by extension, Arabic, to millions of people in the centuries following their conquests. Arabic has since filtered into European languages, and Arabic-derived words appear in mathematics, astronomy, chemistry, the military, mythology and legends, and in common colloquialisms. As the sacred language of the world’s second-largest monotheistic religion, forms of Arabic are spoken by more than a billion people worldwide. Read more here.

One of the benefits given above involves religion. Muslims highly value their Quran and in order for them to understand what is written in their Quran, they should be able to speak and understand Arabic. That is why learning how to speak Arabic is also highly important for them. In addition to that, The Catholic University of America will give us top ten reason for learning Arabic.

Top Ten Reasons for Learning Arabic

  1. Arabic is spoken by more than 280 million people as a native language.

This makes it the fifth (or fourth if Hindi and Urdu are counted as one language) most widely spoken language of the world. Being able to talk to that many people is definitely a huge motivation.

  1. Arabic is cool.

Not many Westerners speak Arabic and having some command of the language will immediately make you appear extremely sophisticated and clever in the eyes of many.

  1. Arab culture is rich and diverse.

Everybody should be able to find some aspect of the culture that they find intriguing. Just to give a few examples: have you ever listened to the Lebanese singer Fairouz or the Egyptian singer Amr Diab? What about sitting in a typical Maqha (café) in the middle of a Suq (market) while listening to a soryteller? Or reveling in the beauty of Arabic calligraphy? Or reading the 1001 Nights in the original? Read more here.

One of the reasons given above is that the Westerners demand for people who are fluent Arab speakers is high but their supply is low. This means that if you are one of those who could speak Arabic, then it would be a great advantage especially if you are seeking for a job. It could open a lot of doors and opportunities for you. Not only can Arabic help with bringing people together, it could also help in several more ways.

Can learning a new language increase the quality of your life?

If you want to get ahead in life, you have to study, learn and grow each day. Presently, a lot of people are doing all they possibly can to improve the quality of their lives so that they can connect with new people and take on new opportunities. Do you know that learning a new language can help to improve your social life?

If you are keen to pick up a new language at an established school, Berlitz Language School provides a wide range of courses for you. They are a long established brand, and if you are serious about picking up a new language you can check them out above.

The following article by Carol Beth L discusses how learning a new language can improve your social life.

The social benefits of learning a foreign language

Learning a foreign language can benefit you in real and measurable ways. In fact, the benefits of being bilingual include higher salaries, more job opportunities, and healthier lives.

And yet, despite evidence that learning a foreign language is incredibly beneficial, many Americans remain monolingual. Even with language courses in school, the majority of young adults speak only a single language. Learning a language as a child can avoid many roadblocks that adults and young adults frequently face.

Learning a language isn’t just beneficial for practical reasons, like boosting your career options — it’s great for improving your social life too. Let’s take a look at six social benefits you’ll receive from learning a foreign language. Read more here.

You likely now know that learning a new language can improve your social circle and help you connect with new people. But is it worth it to go through the pain of learning another language just to improve your social life?

The following article by Benny Lewis discusses some 12 reasons why you should learn another language.


12 reasons everyone should learn another language

For a second imagine that you can speak a lot of languages, imagine the opportunities that will come your way. Well, your thoughts could become a reality if you take the bold step to learn a new language. For some, learning a new language is not really something that they are excited about. They often say –Why learning another language when I can speak one fluently. Here are few of the best reasons why you should consider learning a second language. Read more here

You probably now know some reasons why you should learn a new language. If you live in Singapore, you probably might want to learn English, Japanese, French and many more. But how are going to go about it?

The following article by Zakaria Muhammad shed more light on some class you can take to learn a new language in Singapore.

Language classes in Singapore: where to learn English, French, Korean, Japanese and more.

Who needs a language translator with these weekly lessons and short crash courses? Here are several schools in Singapore to pick up a new language, or two!

While most of us know at least one language – written or spoken – studies have shown that there are plenty of benefits to learning more than one! For instance, do you know that learning a foreign language increases brainpower, improves multi-tasking skill and slows down the onset of dementia? Read more here to learn the various classes you can take in Singapore to learn a new language.

Learning a new language not only improves your social circle but also improves the quality of your life. If you live in Singapore, you can learn a new language faster by taking a language class.


Finding the right private primary school in Singapore

Travelling abroad to explore new opportunities is a common experience for many families, and there are many reasons to relocate to another country, such as job opportunities and a better education. For some, the change of scenery is an exciting adventure, and for others, the decision to move is almost overwhelming. The primary concern for parents in a new country is their childÕs education, and it is essential to find the right place for the child to develop the skills they need mature into a prosperous adult. Schools should provide a safe setting for students to develop skills that will help them succeed in life, and therefore, should be an emotionally and academically stable environment. Parents are looking for schools that provide diverse and rich academic material, especially for a student with a bright mind. There are several aspects involved in selecting the right school for your child, and the decision you make will impact your childÕs emotional maturity, mental strength, and social skills. Here is a method for selecting a private primary school in Singapore for your child: Research the school – Take the time to look around online and create a list of schools that are initially appealing. Schools provide information about classroom size, student population, and resources. Ask the school about their waiting lists, and try to assess if their teaching style is best for how your child learns. * Track application deadlines – The perfect school is unavailable if you miss the timeline to enroll your child. Record important dates on a visible calendar, so you do not forget to submit applications on time. Singapore schools offer enrollment in various ways, and some schools are more strict about the application process than others. * Visit the school – One of the best ways to ensure a successful match for your child is by visiting the school and experiencing the learning environment first hand. Most schools offer tours of their facilities, and your family will have a better understanding of what to expect by physically going around campus. While you are visiting, pay careful attention to how the students interact with their teachers, and if the faculty seem genuinely happy to educate children. Visiting the school is a great way to narrow the shortlist of schools you have developed from online research. * Ask about extracurricular activities – Students that succeed in life must be well-rounded and have a foundation for other things besides academics. Learn about different opportunities the school provides, such as foreign languages, sports, and the arts. Academic environments that support child’s interests will help your child have a happy transition into their new school. * Compare schools – Take notes while you research the schools available to your child, and create a list including pros and cons for each. Compare curriculum and try to narrow your choice down to three schools that are affordable, have an excellent location, and seem right for your child. The decision you have to make is not easy, and comparing schools will help you feel confident that you have made the proper selection for your child’s future. Ultimately, you want to find a school that is not just an internationally-recognized learning environment but is also a school that aims to develop students to be the masters of their future. Schools should prepare students for a seamless transition into any IB school across the globe. The educational goals of the institution should instill a passion for learning in its students, and they will achieve a lifetime of learning, living, and giving. Most parents prefer private schools that offer intimate classroom settings where teachers have the opportunity to give individual attention to students to ensure they succeed in a challenging learning atmosphere.