What is an International Preschool?
International preschools can be identified by their:
- Multinational and multilingual student body
- High rotation in the student population
- Multinational and frequently shifting teaching staff
International preschools welcome local children, but mainly cater to students who are not
nationals of the country in which the preschool is located. In our situation, this means that
a high number of our students come from a country other than Germany. This may include
children of the staff of international organizations or businesses, and children from families
with mixed nationality parents. The curriculum in an international preschool is also different to that of the local preschools. At Busy Bees, our program is structured and learning-based, much more similar to preschool systems in the UK and USA than the mainly play programs of German kindergartens.
Why choose an International Preschool?
International families usually choose international preschools when they only intend to be in the foreign country for a short period of time. At the end of this time (often the duration of an employment contract for an international company) their children must re-enter their usual education system, or move on to a different international setting. Many local families choose an international preschool to give their child an opportunity to learn the language of the international school – in our case, English. Some families have plans for long-term travel or to move to another country for employment, and want to prepare their child for an English speaking environment. Some local families prefer the educational structure an international preschool provides, or simply want their child to have a wider world view through meeting and playing with children of other cultures.
Families of mixed nationality (German and another nationality) often want their children to develop their non-dominant language. For example, a number of our families have one German and one American parent. The children in these families experience German at home, on TV, in the playground and in the general environment. These parents want their children to be immersed in an English language environment for part of their day, to bring about a balance in the development of the two languages.
A Global Perspective
Our students and staff come from many different countries, and speak a wide variety of languages. We encourage diversity, and are proud of the multicultural preschool community we have built. Our position as an international preschool allows us to do this by bringing international and local families together, and giving them an opportunity to develop relationships, share experiences, and create a mutual respect and understanding. Most importantly, it allows our students to gain a unique perspective of the world, where they learn to embrace their own culture, whilst respecting and appreciating others. There are few preschool environments in the world where the first thing a four year old child asks a new child is: “What do you speak?”