Though academics are certainly an important part of school life, especially in one’s elementary or secondary school years, there’s more to it than getting good grades. In fact, many students lead more fulfilling school lives when they’re involved in co-curricular activities. In addition, joining a co-curricular club in a Singapore school can do more than simply brighten up a student’s school years. Co-curricular achievements and leadership experience in co-curricular clubs can also set a student up for future success, like admission into a top institute for higher learning or a career related to their hobby or interest.
It may initially seem like a strange time to pursue club involvement, given the difficulties students face in the era of online learning. But Singapore schools have upheld the value of co-curricular activities even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic becausethey contribute towards students’ overall happiness and holistic formation. Co-curricular activities are especially important in international school education, as they are avenues for students to learn and practice values like cultural appreciation, communication, teamwork, and the betterment of a global society.
Parents, teachers, and even international students themselves shouldn’t discount the value of a rich extracurricular life. Co-curricular activities might even end up being the highlight of a student’s enrollment in an American school in Singapore. For some perspective, here are five ways that co-curricular involvement can enrich an international student’s stay at their school. Whether they join a club for science, mathematics, arts, culture, sports, debate, or civic engagement, the time they spend on extra-curricular activities may be very rewarding indeed.
Co-Curricular Involvement Can Facilitate Self-Discovery and Self-Confidence Among Students
For many students, co-curricular activities are where they get to know themselves, where their innate talents lie, or simply what they find fun and fulfilling. Joining a sports team may help a student discover their knack for strength, speed, flexibility, or making important decisions on their feet. On the other hand, when they sign up for an arts-related club like the drama club, they may hone their skills in singing, dancing, and expressing themselves.
Even if they don’t end up in star roles, students can bolster their confidence and sense of selfhood when participating in co-curricular activities. That’s why it’s always a good idea for a student to try different activities and choose what they like best.
Co-Curricular Activities Can Help Students Practice Real-Life Application of Their Lessons
Some parents may think that co-curricular activities distract students from performing well in their academics. But if students practice good time management and balance their schoolwork with their co-curricular activities, the two areas may actually have a positive impact on each other.
For example, if a student joins the school paper, they can apply the lessons that they’ve learned in their language class. In turn, because they were able to practice their language skills outside of the classroom, the student may actually get better at the subject.
Co-Curricular Provide Great Opportunities to Socialize
Co-curricular clubs are often where students make fast friends. After all, the club, team, or society affords them some common ground by virtue of their shared interests or passions. In an international school, where students come from diverse backgrounds, this sense of connection to others is especially meaningful.
It might be difficult at first for students to communicate or to be completely perceptive about cultures other than their own, but this will definitely change for the better after they’ve bonded and shared experiences with their clubmates or teammates.
Students Can Demonstrate Leadership, Competence, and Other Values During Co-Curricular Activities
Extracurricular activities also provide students with chances to step up and show good character. A sport can teach a student discipline, dedication, and consideration of the roles that other people play in securing a winning outcome. In contrast, involvement in the debate club or model UN society can impart lessons about how to craft a compelling argument, how to consider all sides of an issue, or how to advocate for justice and the common good through a particular initiative.
Some of these lessons on character can’t be taught in the classroom, and thus, they should be discovered through co-curricular involvement.
Co-Curricular Involvement Will Stand Out in Students’ College and University Applications
Lastly, co-curricular involvement will count in the student’s efforts to get into their college or university of choice, and it could thus become a factor in their being successful in their chosen career. Most college admissions committees look at students’ involvement, achievements, and leadership roles in their past co-curricular clubs, and some deem extracurriculars as important as grades.
Club involvement for a particular field might factor into admissions for particular college programs. For example, if a student was active and secured important achievements in their mathematics guild, they could be considered for prestigious bachelor’s degree programs in mathematics and in hard sciences. But even involvement in co-curricular activities that are unrelated to the student’s academic interests may be read as a good thing. It can demonstrate how well-rounded a student is and how they have the potential to excel in many areas.
As illustrated above, there are a lot of benefits to joining extracurricular clubs or teams. Students should be encouraged to pursue the activities that interest them and to learn important lessons that will serve them later on in life.
If you are a parent, be supportive of your child’s co-curricular activities and help them balance their extracurricular life with school. And if you are a student, take the plunge and join a club or team that will enrich your life outside of the classroom!