The private school provider, with some 70 schools worldwide, is planning a range of festivals across its schools in Latin America to expand knowledge and awareness to opportunities to study international.
With 11 schools in Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia catering to some 18,000 students, it will host five events in September welcoming higher education providers to share opportunities, master classes and taster sessions.
“South America is ready and these kind of initiatives are generating the necessary energy that is needed to start moving students to international education,” ISP’s regional head of Marketing & Communications for South America, Pablo Valenzuela told The PIE News.
Until now, similar non-profit events have been “pretty unusual” in the region, organisers say.
While the region is not comparable to Asia in demand for international education, interest in overseas study is growing, regional managing director for South America, Michael Bartlett, explained.
“[There is] more and more interest but frankly, much less knowledge of what the options are,” he said.
ISP has introduced the project to supplement its future pathways initiative, which aims to help students understand their future career options domestically, higher education, vocational education or in the workplace.
The chain of schools, which caters mainly to local populations rather than expat families, will host 30+ universities at the five festivals between September 25-30. Each event will also welcome competitor IB, international and other partner schools from the local areas.
“Typically our schools have done this on their own and hosted 10-12 universities,” Bartlett said.
While the ISP IB school in Quito sees around half of its graduating cohort continue to overseas studies, in Chile the proportion doing the same drops to 5%.
“Our school in Lima has a hundred students this year taking on some kind of international exchange, virtual or face to face. So the interest is definitely there,” he said.
“This is going to be brand new for schools in Chile”
It’s not clear how much the events could increase the 5% figure in Chile, Valenzuela continued, but it is hoped that students and families will have a better understanding of opportunities overseas.
“It’s a festival. It’s a little bit different. It’s not just a fair,” Valenzuela stated.
“We’re trying to make it more engaging for parents, for students, for teachers. This is going to be brand new for schools in Chile. And I think it’s going to be one of the countries where this would impact the most.”
The festivals will visit schools in Santiago in Chile, Lima in Peru, Quito and Guayaquil in Ecuador and Bogota in Colombia.