What is the difference between International School and National School


International Schools vs. National Schools: A Deep Dive into Their Unique Offerings
AOSR community - International School in Rome


When pondering the educational landscape in Italy and Europe at large, a frequent question arises: "What sets international schools apart from national or 'normal' schools?" As the Head of School at the American Overseas School of Rome (AOSR), with a rich experience spanning over two decades in international education, I'm uniquely positioned to shed light on this topic. Furthermore, AOSR stands out among Rome international schools as a beacon of internationalism. Let's delve deeper into the distinctions.


1. Holistic Development and Global Open-Mindedness

The heart of an international school's philosophy often revolves around the holistic development of students. This not only emphasizes academic prowess but also fosters open-mindedness and cultural inclusivity. Such schools create an environment where students from varied backgrounds come together, bringing a global perspective to the classroom. This dynamic, as outlined in the seminal work "Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds" by David Pollack and Ruth Van Reken, resonates profoundly with the ethos at AOSR. These core values elevate our school, setting it apart as a leading institution in Rome.

2. Curriculum Fluidity and Global Transferability

At its core, the curriculum of international schools like AOSR is designed for mobility and adaptability. What does this mean? Students transitioning from AOSR can easily integrate into other international schools across the globe, align with British and European national curricula, and adapt effortlessly to North American educational systems. This seamless transition offers families the flexibility and assurance that their child's education is consistent, top-tier, and universally recognized.

3. Welcoming International Students: A Melting Pot of Cultures

One of the evident hallmarks of international schools is their diverse student populace. AOSR, for instance, champions this multicultural ethos, opening its doors to students from all corners of the world. This cultural mosaic enriches the learning experience, cultivating empathy, understanding, and global citizenship.

In conclusion, while national schools play a crucial role in preserving and imparting native culture and traditions, international schools like AOSR offer a globalized, comprehensive educational approach that prepares students for an increasingly interconnected world. If you're considering international schooling in Europe, especially in the enchanting city of Rome, AOSR stands as a testament to excellence in international education.

International School Rome Elementary School

A Deep Dive into the Teaching and Learning Ethos of AOSR

At the very heart of the American Overseas School of Rome (AOSR) lies a profound commitment to teaching and learning. As a school with an international outlook, we believe that shared principles and understandings guide our actions, ensuring every student benefits from the best practices in education. What are these principles? 

  1. Holistic Development: At AOSR, we recognize that optimal learning is achieved when we cater to an individual's comprehensive growth – encapsulating their social-emotional, physical, and academic realms. Through engaging and differentiated teaching methods, we create student-centered opportunities that cater to each learner's unique needs.

  2. Clarity in Concepts: Beyond rote memorization, learning at AOSR is about fostering a deep-rooted understanding of concepts, allowing students to engage critically and creatively with content.

  3. Skill Development: True learning manifests in the acquisition and application of target skills. At AOSR, we emphasize skills delineated in our curriculum, ensuring students are adept in both theory and practice.

  4. Adapting to a Global World: In an ever-evolving global landscape, the ability to adapt is invaluable. We nurture students to make sense of the world, encouraging them to be responsive and proactive global citizens.

  5. Empowering Action: Equipped with knowledge and understanding, our students are emboldened to take meaningful actions, shaping their environments positively.

  6. Self-awareness: We foster an environment where students are encouraged to reflect, recognizing their strengths and pinpointing areas of improvement. This introspection is instrumental in personal growth and development.

AOSR: Championing the International School Paradigm

The student-centered approach is what distinguishes international schools, and AOSR epitomizes this ethos. Drawing from my personal journey as a mother of four children brought up abroad, I can attest to the unparalleled value AOSR brings to the table. It is more than just an institution; it is a nurturing ground that prepares students for success, irrespective of where their future ventures lead them.

For parents contemplating an international education for their children in Europe, especially in the picturesque landscape of Rome, AOSR stands as an emblem of academic excellence intertwined with global consciousness.