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By Sibel Tinar, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – In this day and age a good education is the most valuable asset one can have in an increasingly competitive professional world. Accordingly, The British School, Rio de Janeiro has been setting its sights, and by extension its pupils’, high, offering a balanced curriculum with a global approach. The school works hard to ensure students have the assets they need to get into the best universities and find what they are passionate about, following their chosen career path to wherever in the world it may take them.

A view from the Botafogo campus of The British School, which also has units in Urca and Barra da Tijuca, photo courtesy of The British School, Rio de Janeiro.

The British School is an independent, non-profit institution offering comprehensive education with English-language instruction from pre-nursery through to high school, in a diverse and positively challenging environment that balances its emphasis for academic achievement with the concern for the personal and emotional development of its students.

The school is unique in the sense that it combines the British, Brazilian and the international aspects of education, culture, and expectations, recognizing its role in contributing to the development of globally aware and responsible citizens. Whilst Brazilians comprise the majority of the student body, the school welcomes every background and nationality, and currently has students from forty different countries, giving an international, multicultural character that in turn promotes cultural exchange and openness.

Achieving the ambitious task of following the International Baccalaureate (I.B.) and the Brazilian programs simultaneously, academically, The British School puts emphasis on creating the ideal conditions for students to realize their full potential, giving them as many options as possible to help shape successful futures.

Small class sizes and a 1:10 teacher to student ratio ensure that the school tends to individuals’ needs, and this has brought success in both the vestibular/ENEM (Brazil’s university placement examination), and the numerous tests and admissions requirements for overseas universities.

Mortarboards are thrown into the air on graduation day, photo courtesy of The British School, Rio de Janeiro.

With an admirable track record in university placement of their alumni, The British School prides itself on preparing students equally well for education and life in any country or university, and rightly so, given the fact that all of their 2009 graduates have been placed in reputable programs in renowned universities in five different countries.

Half those graduates have opted to attend a university in Brazil, the overwhelmingly popular choice among them being PUC-Rio, which is among the best universities in Latin America, while the other half has preferred to study in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, or the Netherlands, with admissions to top institutions such as Cambridge, London School of Economics, Harvard, and Yale.

Three graduates have chosen to take a gap year, taking the year off in order to travel and/or work, a practice encouraged especially in the British and Australian educational systems, while not one student among the graduates has remained unplaced or undecided.

The global approach adopted by The British School is reflected in the inspirational individual stories of its students and alumni as well, as in the case of Igor Tumasov (class of ’08), originally from Ukraine, who had the opportunity to choose between two revered institutions in the USA: Georgetown, and Emory University. The latter has awarded him a grant of USD$50,000 per year, an extremely rare honor for an international undergraduate student.

The school’s in-house Admissions and Marketing Officer, Adriana Nogueira de Andrade, herself a graduate of The British School, puts it succinctly by saying that there is “no limit to what the students can go for and achieve”.

Born to Brazilian parents in England, and having studied in the USA after graduating from The British School, Adriana is a shining example of the school’s diverse character, and an enthusiastic supporter of its eclectic curriculum that combines arts, languages, sports, community service, and scientific fieldwork.

“It gives our students the opportunity to learn as much as possible, to learn how to learn and where/how to search, to understand what they really want to do after they leave school, and how to go after their dreams, while understanding the world they live in and the needs of those around them” she says.

* This is a paid Advertorial for The British School, Rio de Janeiro.

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