The red bricks of the American International School (AIS) in Kowloon Tong give a warmth to the campus that continues all the way into the classrooms. AIS is an all-through, independent, non-religiously affiliated school. It follows the US standards-based curriculum including the Common Core State Standards for all grades, responsible for determining exactly what students should know at the end of each level.
Like many international schools in Hong Kong, AIS’ focus is on producing conscientious global citizens, explains Head of School Cameron Fox. “We’re preparing students for a rapidly changing world by developing committed life-long learners ready for the responsibilities and expectations of global citizenship,” he says.
As a result, the school has a strong idea of the staff it wants to attract, looking for people who will go out of their way to develop a bond with the students.
The student body is multicultural, with more than 30 nationalities represented, including about 20 per cent from the US and 15 per cent-20 per cent from Hong Kong. The staff is also international, with about 40 per cent hailing from the US and others from Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, France and Singapore.
With such a wide age range, the events timetable is bursting at the seams, with highlights including the elementary school’s Literacy Week and Celebrate Kindness Week, university and career fairs for high schoolers, and school-wide events. “There’s also the upcoming high school talent show, which takes on a life of its own,” Fox says. Performing-arts enthusiasts can join the high-school drama club, which puts on original shows that students write, produce and direct. AIS graduates pursue courses in higher education in some of the world’s major universities.
One of its star seniors, Dean Kim, has already received an offer from internationally renowned university Johns Hopkins, where he hopes to continue his studies in engineering. And it’s not just current students who are loyal to the school; one alumni is back in her former school to finish her teacher training. “Several of our students, who are now living all over the world, pop in to say hello when they’re in Hong Kong,” Fox says. “Those moments are really special to me.”
American International School
Address: 125 Waterloo Road, Kowloon Tong
Contact: 2336 3812