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What Does it Mean to be an International Student?

13 January 2017

Today, traditional geographic boundaries are being broken. The Wright brothers, Alexander Graham Bell, Tim Berners Lee... aeroplanes, telephone and the World Wide Web, to name a few, are some inventors and inventions that revolutionized the world. All these examples demonstrate the fast pace of growth that brings the world closer together through the process of globalization, something that none of us would have anticipated a few decades ago. Active promotion of internationalism allows us to prepare each other for the exponential growth of the world and the uncertain future that lies ahead.

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Our names are Sammi Huang and I-Zac Lee and we are the Internationalism Leaders at the Nord Anglia International School Shanghai, Pudong. We fought for the role to promote the concept of internationalism throughout our school and to guide the younger students to become more culturally aware and globally integrated. Internationalism is significant to us because we have both lived in Shanghai for more than ten years, and have both had the opportunity to witness how this city has experienced a rapid pace of growth and developed into a highly globalized metropolis. Being able to understand differences in culture and traditions allow students of the family of Nord Anglia schools to adapt to the dynamic landscape of the world that is constantly changing.

We initially wanted to launch a survey on a small scale within our school, as we felt it would help us understand more about the current outlook of this topic within our community. We were given the opportunity to launch a project with a magnitude far beyond what we had expected. We incorporated questions from the OECD’s Global Competency survey, as we wanted to compare the results with our survey against statistics from the OECD survey worldwide. In order to ensure that the survey was coherent and appropriate, we drafted and submitted several survey proposals. To enforce this, we also conducted a pilot survey at our school. A range of students aged 12 to 17 were randomly selected to What does it mean to be an International Student? complete the survey in order to receive some feedback on the length, difficulty and content of the survey and adjust it accordingly. After our pilot survey, we were able to tweak the survey to address the issues that were reported and make the necessary changes, ready for the commencement of the survey.

Moving forward, we hope to launch the online survey in January, which students will be able to acces through Global Campus Online. We encourage maximum participation from all students in all schools, as we would love to use these results to produce an analytical conclusion regarding what the term ‘internationalism’ means within Nord Anglia schools. With luck, the next time you hear from us again will be when we share our findings and results.

We look forward to the official launch of this survey as well as the results that are generated from the survey. Having the opportunity to survey all 43 Nord Anglia schools is very exciting and we believe that this will provide us with more insight and knowledge into the meanings of ‘internationalism’ and ‘global citizenship’.