A global community: the best learning environment for today’s students
As the world becomes smaller and more globalised, for young people today there are endless benefits to learning alongside students of other nationalities.
There are many schools both in the UK and around the world that define themselves as 'international', and whose communities consist of students from a range of countries and cultures.
Whilst it is sometimes assumed that young people prefer to study alongside peers who have the same cultural and linguistic norms, at Kings we have found the opposite to be true. As Olivia, a current A-level student from the UK, comments:
"There are so many people from across the world here. The different cultures are amazing and it just brings a whole different atmosphere that I've never experienced before. It opens you up to a whole new world."
Offering a British curriculum that is both globally recognised and revered, but in an international setting, really does afford students the best of both worlds.
Creating global citizens
A common goal amongst international colleges such as ours is to create global citizens who have an understanding of other countries and cultures beyond their own. For us at Kings, that is no different.
Global citizens will play an integral role in our future, as the world we live in becomes increasingly interconnected and the need for cross-cultural cooperation and collaboration more vital. Global citizens are defined as individuals who are aware of the world and have a sense of their role in it. They also respect and value diversity and participate in communities at all levels (from local to global).
By nurturing these attributes in students, we are able not only to equip them with the skills they need for future success, but also to create a welcoming and harmonious learning environment that also helps ensure it is a successful one.
Sadie, who is from Vietnam and is currently preparing for university with a Foundation course commented:
"I've found it a really positive experience, I've gained an appreciation of different religions, different nationalities, and know how to embrace the differences. I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to go to the UK and actually meet these people — they're wonderful!"
Developing skills for future success
Global awareness and international collaboration during the formative years is acknowledged to produce more rounded individuals, who are able to see things from different perspectives and therefore make informed decisions.
Students who are educated in global communities such as ours are also more likely to gain transferable skills that expertly prepare them for the next step in their educational or professional life, be in the multi-cultural environment of a university or working within an international context beyond that.
Often referred to as 'soft' skills, they include problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, and make our students extremely sought after to global companies, who according to the Association of Graduate Recruiters (now known as the Institute of Student Employers), often find that they are lacking in many of today's graduates.
Many of these skills were also among those mentioned in a study conducted by the World Economic Forum, which highlighted those most likely to be most desired by employers in 2020.
Developing a wide network of contacts
As is undoubtedly the case within many global learning communities, our students consistently tell us about the depth and quality of the friendships that they forge with their peers at Kings.
All of our students form long-lasting friendships and networks, which — without even trying — opens up a host of global opportunities to them, whether on a recreational or professional level. Mimi, from Hong Kong, who went on to study a Law degree at Lancaster University commented:
"At Kings, I have met friends from different parts of the world. Occasionally, I travel to France, Korea, China and Taiwan to visit friends. The feeling of having friends in various places around the globe is amazing because you get to experience life with the locals! My friends from Kings and I have gone through a lot of important stages in life such as living alone away from home in an entirely new environment for the first time and going to university. It is my pleasure to have known them, and I am incredibly thankful that they have supported me for so long."
Serhat from Turkey made an excellent friend in Guillaume Duchene whilst studying at Kings, and is hopeful that they will be enter into business together after university, saying, "I met my best friend here and I hope we will be operating business in the future!"
Colette, from the UK, whose son Joe studied A-levels with us, also commented on the quality and quantity of friendships that he has made at Kings (described by Joe as 'friends for life'), saying:
"The environment here has been amazing, and the relationships he has made. I think has been a great bridge for university because he has come out of the school environment into a college and made a great bunch of international friends."
As a report by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) and CFE Research and Consulting on 'Global Graduates' concluded, it is of paramount importance that educational institutions such as ours provide the right environments and opportunities for young people to develop not only sound employability skills but global competencies and a globally attuned mindset.