The Importance of Extracurricular Activities in International Schools

September 6, 2023

Extracurricular activities (ECAs) can play a vital role in a student’s growth and development. These activities are additional subjects that a student can participate in outside of regular school hours. They help students discover their passions and learn new skills, giving them a feeling of purpose and help increase self-esteem. Not only do ECAs promote positive growth, but they can be helpful when it comes to university applications. When a university sees these additional subjects on a student’s resume, they know that the student is driven, passionate, and suitable for further studies.

Today we will talk about the many benefits of taking part in ECAs, why it is important to encourage them, how they help with further education, and give you an idea of the kind of ECAs you will expect to find in an international school.

What are the benefits of extracurricular activities?

Improves academic studies – We know that it might sound a little contradictory, but extracurricular activities really do help children to excel in academics. Rather than dividing a child’s attention, the much-needed break from studies improves their focus during school. In addition, when a child finds something they are passionate about, it promotes a sense of purpose and creates a positive outlook towards all aspects of their daily lives.

Enhances their social skills – Joining an extracurricular activity not only means learning a new skill, but it involves becoming part of a group where all students will share similar interests. This doesn’t just go for sports ECAs, either. Even learning a musical instrument means being part of a team. This environment can work wonders on a child’s social capabilities.

Boosts confidence – At some point, all parents have probably witnessed their child’s confidence levels drop from not achieving the desired grade or being unable to do something others can. Exploring various options for extracurricular activities can ensure that a child finds something they enjoy and be good at. This can be highly confidence-boosting for children, which in turn, helps with their studies and other aspects of their lives. When people lose confidence in one thing, it can often lead to losing it in another. Maintaining a high level of confidence in students through ECAs can keep them motivated to stay on top of their studies and be generally happier.

Allows them to explore new hobbies and interests – The great thing about ECAs is that a child can take their time to explore various options until they find something they love. If a child decides they do not enjoy the ECA they have chosen, nothing is stopping them from picking another, and another, until they can settle for one that suits their interests. Often, we see students explore multiple ECAs and finally fall in love with the one they least expected.

Discover a world beyond school – As adults, we are very aware of the importance of a good education. Unfortunately, not all children see it this way. School can be a difficult time, often leaving them feeling tired and overworked. Of course, this isn’t because it is tiresome or arduous; it usually comes from a lack of choice and feeling like it is all there is to life. Allowing a child to get involved in ECAs gives them the freedom they desire to explore a world outside of school. This can have an incredible impact on a child’s energy levels and increase productivity elsewhere.

Develops time management and self-motivation – It can be surprising how a child’s time management is enhanced when they are driven by an activity they want to do. Extracurricular activities can give a child the motivation they need to dramatically improve their punctuality. For example, if your child struggles to get up for school in the morning, giving them a reason to want to get out of bed is the way to go.

How can extracurricular activities help with a university application?

It might not be a necessary part of the criteria to get into university, but they generally favour applicants who have taken part in ECAs. This is because they can show the university more about the applicants’ character, interests, achievements, and motivation. This can tell them how a student is likely to contribute to their community. When university courses have limited placements, extracurricular activities can give a positive insight into the student’s personality, giving them the upper hand.

What extracurricular activities are good for children?

The only person who can make this decision is the child. There are a number of options out there, so it is good to let them see them all before making any decisions. Here are a few popular choices to give you an idea of what subjects and activities you are likely to find when exploring ECA options in an international school.

Sports – These are a very popular choice with students and are almost guaranteed to build social skills and confidence and give them a sense of achievement. Popular sports ECAs include football, basketball, swimming, golf, and cricket.

Performing arts – Being involved in performing arts is a fantastic way for children to express themselves, make friends, improve self-esteem, and discover a new passion.

Learning a musical instrument – Learning an instrument is a great way to improve motivation, time management, and patience and feel proud of their achievements.

Clubs and Societies – A popular choice for extracurricular activities is joining debate societies, chess clubs, maths clubs, and so on. These clubs and societies allow a child to take their skills further by participating in country-wide or even international competitions.

Want to know more?

If you want to learn more about available extracurricular activities and their benefits for your children, contact Bromsgrove International School Thailand today. BIST is proud to host over 40 extracurricular activities for its students. Our experienced team can give you all the help and information you need to help you make the right decisions for your child to excel. So, get in touch, and let’s achieve excellence together.