International education

Boy with map of Africa reflected onto his face

International education helps to prepare young people for life and active participation in a global multicultural society, by developing in them a knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland's place in it.

Curriculum for Excellence specifically refers to young people 'developing a knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland's place in it'. International education can play a meaningful role in achieving all of the four capacities.

International education is a broad concept, and it can be exemplified in a variety of forms and experiences. These include school-based experiences, often using ICT, in addition to school links, exchanges and overseas visits.

National support for international education

The Scottish Government recognises that international education can significantly improve the classroom experiences for children and young people.

in order for Scotland and its people to succeed and flourish in the globalised 21st century that we live in, we must all become and live as global citizens.
Mike Russell, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Scottish Parliament on 4 March 2010

The Scottish Government's international perspective indicates that:

  • The focus should be on Scotland and Scotland’s place in the world - challenging our ambitions against the achievement of other countries and aiming to have a confident sense of self.

  • Learning in schools should promote an understanding of Scotland, our culture, heritage and history, our environment and our place in the world.

More from Education Scotland

  • Studying Scotland

    Bring a Scottish context to your teaching through a range of exciting resources that will enhance the learning experience for both you and the learner.

  • Sharing practice

    Examples of how global citizenship has been embedded into learning, teaching and the life of educational establishments.

  • Resources

    Resources to help staff implement global citizenship in Curriculum for Excellence.

Go to the Exploring Climate Change website, a resource for Scottish secondary schools to encourage young people to investigate and act to tackle climate change
Go to the Schools Global Footprint resource and calculate your school's impact on the environment


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