Pinewood International School of Thessaloniki -A dynamic answer to modern needs

International schools have been mainly the answer to a pragmatic need – that of an increasing number of globally mobile families. Modern technology, globalization and international business have made today’s world a small one. As a result, people travel extensively. Sometimes their profession requires them to switch their country of residence more than once in their lifetime. Their children often travel with them, to a country where a foreign language is spoken and where the education system is different than anything they are used to. Therefore, international schools have been established around the world primarily to serve this population. These schools operate in English and usually offer an internationally recognized curriculum that allows students to continue school or their tertiary education in a different country with minimum adjustment problems. Although international schools were first established to serve expatriate families, their growing number around the world offers today’s parents an alternative kind of education for their children. International school students learn and play in a multinational environment, where not only their education but also even life encourages cross-cultural understanding, friendships with people from different backgrounds and religions, and tolerance. In addition, the nationals of the host country have the opportunity to receive an English education and graduate to universities abroad prepared for many of the challenges (linguistic, cultural etc.) they will face there. Besides, it is scientifically proven that children can learn a language and its accent as well as their mother tongue when they are young (some say before they are six), a fact that attracts many parents of preschool and kindergarten students to international schools. In Greece, there are a number of international schools that have been established in response to the need and the demand for international education. Pinewood School is the only one located in Thessaloniki. Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece, is undoubtedly one of the most important centers in the Balkans. Its strategic location in the Mediterranean as well as its size, economy, history, and natural and cultural appeal have attracted many foreign businesses. At the same time, as the second biggest city of an EU country, Thessaloniki hosts a number of international and European organizations of different scope and purpose. Pinewood is a non-profit organization founded by the Pinewood School Association in 1950 and today enrolls a student body of approximately 200 students from 30 different countries, in grades preschool to 12. It is a modern and very high standard school that celebrates diversity in nationality, gender, religion and culture, and aims to educate the whole individual – intellectually, morally, socially and physically. Pinewood is fully accredited for preschool through grade 12 by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and its secondary curriculum is a complete American-style college preparatory program. The school also delivers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program in grades 11-12, which provides the students the necessary preparation to continue their studies in colleges and universities all over the world. Today, the school is allowed by the Greek government to enroll Greek students in grades 7-12, thus providing a dynamic alternative to lyceum, and allowing Greek students to receive a class education in English. Choosing the right school for your child is a challenge. In a world of plurality, diversity and movement, international schools prepare students to face challenges and thrive in different environments. Pinewood has been doing that successfully for over 50 years and its students graduate equipped to succeed.