“How do I choose an international school, and what type of school is the best fit for my child?”

This is a common question that comes to many parents’ minds when deciding which international school to choose from. With over 170 English-medium international school choices alone in Malaysia, the options can be overwhelming. At The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), families of 1,700 students representing over 65 nationalities can attest to why ISKL is the right fit for a holistic learning journey. 

In line with the school’s vision, ISKL champions personal growth, development, and self-directed learning, together with an inclusive education support system that nurtures all learning needs with a school-wide student support and counseling program. Our educational approach is incorporated into our school’s motto to ‘Be All You Are’, which encourages our students to explore their passions and interests, achieve their goals, and better understand themselves. 

In line with this, ISKL offers a flexible curriculum that provides individualized programs to meet students’ best abilities, interests, and aspirations – a ‘best fit’ approach. In Grade 9 and 10, our students have access to an innovative learning program that reimagines the school experience at ISKL, called PRAXIS 2030. Featuring a smaller learning community and flexible timetable, PRAXIS 2030 focuses on problem-based learning and situates the current Science, English, Social Studies, and Art disciplines around a series of complex, compelling problems that demand an interdisciplinary approach.

In Grade 11, students can choose to undertake the full two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP), or combine individual IB, Advanced Placement (AP), and High School Diploma courses via the ISKL Pursuits Program to create a customized program that meets the specific individual needs of each student. 

ISKL is unique in offering this combination of curriculum options and our students find that being able to tailor their educational program to their interests, aspirations, and university choices enables them to take advantage of global opportunities. Regardless of which pathway the student chooses, the curriculum provides strong academic results that outperform regional and worldwide averages. 

At ISKL, service-learning is an integral part of the school curriculum and we believe that this shapes global learners with strong values that will last a lifetime. Our school-wide service learning program encourages students to make positive changes in the world around them and become involved in the exploration of community needs, solution planning, and action. 

A wide selection of extra-curricular activities provide students with an avenue to participate in sports, theatre, the Arts, advocacy, community partnerships, and humanities clubs, among other enriching activities. The Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asia Schools (IASAS) program comprising of a variety of athletics, Cultural Convention and Tournaments, Model United Nations (MUN), and language and culture programs provide students with an avenue to participate in tournaments with other international schools in the region. 

Besides that, High School students have the opportunity to engage in our Global Action Program (GAP). providing service in remote communities around the region. GAP increases students’ awareness of emerging global issues by involving them in a range of cultural, environmental, and service opportunities within Southeast Asia. As passionate advocates for the benefits of outdoor experiential learning, we see GAP as the culmination of a school-wide program designed to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to make a tangible impact within the wider community. Our students begin with overnight trips in Grade 4 and 5, then on to one of the highlights of Middle School – Malaysia Week – before taking on the exciting challenge of GAP.

ISKL also boasts a faculty comprising a portfolio of inspirational international educators. Over 90% of ISKL’s faculty hold a minimum of nine years of teaching experience, over 70% have a Master’s or Ph.D., and 62% of IB teachers are also IB examiners. Our students benefit greatly from this knowledge base as teachers apply their experience and additional insights into classroom teaching and learning. 

From a parental perspective, ISKL has an active Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) involved in organizing and participating in many activities such as new parent receptions, fundraising, and community-building events. The PTA’s role is to work closely together in building a strong school community where all children benefit, answer questions, and offer support to new and returning families. 

In 2018, we moved to our new Ampang Hilir location, a purpose-built 26-acre campus that offers a range of academic, athletics, and arts facilities. There are state-of-the-art technology and science laboratories, indoor and outdoor sports complexes, and an aquatic complex featuring learn-to-swim, competition, and Olympic-sized pools. The Performing Arts Centre includes a 600+ seat theater, a 600-seat elementary theater, a black box-style theater with 345 retractable seats, and an amphitheatre. 

There are many things that set our school apart from the many international schools in our region, and one of the most significant is our status as a not-for-profit, parent-governed school. ISKL’s not-for-profit status means that revenue is reinvested back into the school to benefit all students. This enables us to invest in hiring the very best educators available and faculty typically stay with ISKL for 5 years or more; well above the international school average. This has been ISKL’s legacy since our founding in 1965, and we aim to continue providing all members of our ISKL family with the right tools to become highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizens. 

Head over and find out more about the 12 reasons why you should choose ISKL!

About ISKL 

Established in 1965, The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL) has become known as a center of excellence in the world of international education. ISKL is a co-educational, private, not-for-profit school responsible for the learning journey of over 1,700 students aged 3-18 years representing more than 65 nationalities at its campus in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

ISKL offers a robust international curriculum which combines leading North American educational frameworks with global best practice.  The curriculum recognizes that students are on a lifelong learning journey and is driven by ISKL’s mission to challenge each student to “Be All You Are” and develop the attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding to become a highly successful, spirited, socially responsible global citizen.

ISKL is accredited internationally through the Council of International Schools (CIS), and in the United States through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). There is a strong focus on service and sustainability across its divisions and is a member of the Eco-Schools organization and the Green Schools Alliance.

Read: International School Curriculums in Malaysia (Part 2)