Celebrating the Success of ISP’s International Learning Opportunities for Students (ILOS)

At ISP, we pride ourselves on being a global group of schools. One of our core principles is to be truly international, working in partnership within and across regions, cultures and languages.

A key benefit of our global community is the opportunities that this can present for our students. At ISP, we are able to provide our students with unique opportunities that enable them to develop and gain a meaningful understanding of global communities and cultures, as well as learning how to work together on a global platform.

As part of this, ISP offers the International Learning Opportunities for Students (ILOS), which features several programmes and activities that aim to give our students across the globe the chance to grow and experience learning outside of the classroom. Over the course of these unique programmes, our students work towards:

  • Developing their language and communication skills
  • Experiencing and learning about different cultures and traditions
  • Connecting and sharing with other ISP students from other countries, and build friendships
  • Developing transferable skills including critical thinking, confidence, teamwork and leadership
  • Developing their understanding of their capabilities, strengths, and areas to grow.
  • Becoming more responsible, global citizens

We kicked off the 21/22 academic year with the ISP Virtual Buddy Exchange programme, the ISP Maths Challenge, the second ISP Virtual Model United Nations and the ISP Futures. The programmes were attended by thousands of our students around the world, who have benefited from wealth of positive learning experiences and personal development opportunities.


One of our most successful ILOS projects, the Virtual Buddy Exchange Programme (VBEP) gives our students the opportunity to take a virtual, around-the-world journey to meet and get to know other ISP students from across the globe.

The first intake of the programme ran during October and November 2021, and was attended by a staggering 220 students, from 44 different schools, in 13 countries. With a maximum time difference of eight hours, the VBEP enables meetups as far apart as Chile and the UAE, and even Malaysia and Mexico. VBEP students and coordinators alike find the experience invaluable and eye-opening.

Meeting lots of students from different places and cultures was enriching and has given me a new perspective regarding the way I can relate to new people and present my culture to others.

VBEP Student at Instituto Tomas Jefferson Valle Real, Mexico

The best moments are when you build confidence with other students. You can make a lot of friendships in other countries thanks to this amazing programme.

VBEP Student at Colegio La Colina, Colombia

Being able to witness the progress of the students from Week 1 to Week 6 was amazing. I could see how my students improved and developed new communication skills and gained confidence in themselves.

Valeria Taborda
VBEP Coordinator at St Jude School, Costa Rica

In total, participants connected with their ‘virtual buddies’ through 660 video calls, each providing plenty of opportunities to practise their language, presentation and personal skills, all while having fun, making new friends, and learning more about other cultures.

We’re delighted with the wonderful experiences that our students had on the VBEP programme, with 94% telling us that they would take part again in the future if possible. And it isn’t just our students who can see the impact – over 90% of our teachers report that their students developed a range of core life competencies such as digital collaboration, self-confidence and organisational skills.


We know how crucial mathematics is for our students. Not only does maths have a vital role in understanding other subjects such as science, music and even art, but it also encourages logical and analytical thinking, supporting better reasoning and problem-solving.

That’s why, in November 2021, we held the ISP Maths Challenge, a free, week-long, online competition for ISP students that features a range of exciting team and individual prizes up for grabs.

Open to students aged 5 to 18, over 15,000 pupils took part from nearly 50 schools in 15 different countries. In fact, we had 6,145 more students participate compared to last year – a fantastic 66% increase!

The excitement of the students when I walked into the classroom to talk about the programme was incredible.

Coordinator from Kehoe France South Shore

The (best thing about the competition was the) fact that we got to compete with so many people around the world - it was a pretty thrilling experience - we all kept trying to one-up each other to see who would get more points in our class.

Tenby Schools Penang

The competition does wonders for each student’s ability to compute numbers mentally. Without this, students waste time when trying to complete more challenging questions. Having students experience “aha!” moments and continue to try until they were successful was also great to see.

Johannes Bodenstein
Vice Principal of Reach British School in Abu Dhabi

It was great to see so many of our students get engaged and get involved. 30 of our schools also took part in a social media challenge that ran alongside the programme, helping to spread the word and invite our students to discuss, collaborate and motivate each other.

We’re incredibly proud of the hard work and determination all of our students showed throughout the challenge, and it was a pleasure to watch them flourish and challenge themselves.

You can watch the ISP Maths Challenge Winners Announcement below.


The ISP Virtual Model United Nations took place in November 2021, with the aim of amplifying the voice of tomorrow’s leaders by placing students in the shoes of a UN diplomat.

The ISP MUN provides students with an authentic opportunity to develop their diplomacy and international relations, as well as practising research techniques, public speaking, debating, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills.

We were delighted to see so many of our students take part in the virtual programme – 274 pupils represented 35 of our schools across 11 countries. For more than the 60% of the participants, that was their first MUN experience.

82% of the participants stated that the programme helped them to be better at using their critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership skills and 77% reported to be better at problem-solving and conflict resolution thanks to the MUN.

The best part was working together with all the other delegates to come up with a resolution. It was exciting and fun to collaborate with all the others and come to a sound conclusion after hours of debate.

Delegate from Lynn-Rose Schools

The speakers… made me realise that everyone can make a change in this world.

Delegate from Instituto Tomas Jefferson Valle Real, Mexico

This unique programme gave our students an invaluable opportunity to broaden their understanding of global politics and diplomacy, using their own voices to advocate for action and change on a range of globally critical issues such as human rights, climate change, economics and mental health.


To support and empower our students to take environmental action, this year we launched an exciting new grant scheme to encourage and enable student-led environmental projects or events at ISP schools.

A team of students at each ISP school could apply for a small grant to run a project of their own design that either has an impact on the environmental footprint of the school or raises awareness amongst the wider school community.

37 of our schools will be running projects this year, all led by our students. There are projects all around the world, and we have been so impressed with students’ creativity, passion and imagination. Some groups are experienced and adding to a portfolio of existing action, others are newly formed eco-teams and green clubs. There’s everything from stingless bee hives to up-cycled sensory gardens.

We want to improve the Green Garden in order to create a place where everybody can learn about both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. At the same time all the students will work and take care of the plants that we are going to grow there. Taking care of this area will help us to learn how to take care of the Earth and the importance of teamwork and responsibility.

Verdia Team
Internacional Aravaca

We can’t wait to learn from our students and see the impact of their projects in action!


We’re delighted with the success of our ILOS programmes so far this year and can’t wait to welcome our students to our next learning initiatives and events.

Throughout 2022, we’ll hosting the following programmes as part of our ILOS series:

These events offer our students the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the world and global community in which we all play a part. A truly unique experience for the ISP community, we want to encourage all our students to embrace the opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, and become more responsible, global citizens.

For more information about our ILOS series of events, and our plans for 2022, click below to read the full brochure.

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