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International Bilingual Department

Offering students the possibility to thrive in both a Danish and International context

Bilingual Primary (and now) Secondary Education

Institut Sankt Joseph will once again be expanding its groundbreaking international bilingual program into grade 8 (stage 9) beginning in August 2016. The program will be running classes from ages 5-14, or stages 1-9 of the Cambridge International Examination system.

Only 18 months removed from the opening of the international bilingual department, the program has seen its student body grow from 75 students in 2014 to 150 in 2016. Institut Sankt Joseph feels that this growth is a testament to the fact that families quickly understand that Institut Sankt Joseph´s international bilingual program is exactly what they have been waiting for to be possible in the Danish educational system.

The program is explicitly designed to offer the academic quality and transferability of Cambridge International Examinations, in addition to providing a framework for the possibility of authentic integration and internationalisation. The school attempts to achieve this by providing a dual curriculum model, where Mathematics, English and the Sciences are taught in English by native English speakers following the Cambridge International Examinations system, whereas Danish, Art, PE, Religion and Music are taught in Danish. By native Danish speakers following the Dansk fællesmål (Danish National Curriculum).

Authentic Integration-Authentic Internationalisation

It is the firm belief of the school that Institut Sankt Joseph´s bilingual approach to an international education is quite distinct from other international programs in the area. The programme is the first fully integrated English/Danish international programme of its kind in Denmark.

The school feels that too many times children go to international schools that teach exclusively or primarily in English, and never become fully integrated members of the Danish society they live in. In addition, Institut Sankt Joseph believes that the concept “internationalisation” needs to be more than just a buzz word in schools. According to the school, authentic integration and internationalisation requires making international/Danish friends, learning together in the same environment. Institut Sankt Joseph´s bilingual program is committed to providing a program that can overcome the societal barriers to successful internationalisation and integration. The program aims to not only accommodate short term expats, but also long term expats, mixed background families residing in Denmark and Danish families returning home from abroad. The goal is to provide a program, wherein students become fully bilingual, and thus, equally prepared to attend a Danish gymnasium or an International high school.

Building upon the Bilingual Summer Program

The concept behind the international bilingual program was first put into reality over three years ago. As a pilot project, which demonstrated the school´s willingness to engage in bilingual education, Institut Sankt Joseph launched its summer school program in July 2013. Now in its third year, the programme continues to grow. The summer school program has had over 100 children in attendance, split approximately 50/50 between Danes and students from other countries; all involved in different learning, sports and creative activities. The children in attendance have continually shown that differing languages and cultures do not necessarily need to be barriers, but rather can create an environment that helps expand friendship networks and promote understanding of other cultural perspectives regarding learning and socializing.

Preparing students for Denmark and Abroad

Institut Sankt Joseph’s International Bilingual Program is only 16 months old, but already the program has taken major steps in transitioning from an idea into a reality in the Danish educational system.

  • For more information please email International Department Leader Thomas Knudsen Mulhern at tkm@sanktjoseph.dk, or to officially register for the International Bilingual Program waiting list please click here
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