While most parents focus on conventional education for their children, there’s always room for innovation. Whether you want the child to build strong foundations or look forward to sending your child overseas for schooling, the idea of alternative schooling gives you a good start. Essentially, these schools practice non-traditional curriculums and teaching methodologies. While doing so, they follow the objective to cater to individual skill sets, encourage creativity, integrate cultures, and use innovative educational approaches.

Even better, your child gets individual attention in small class sizes and access to experiential learning in these institutions. Although the educational approach and methodologies are experimental, students often excel even though they never get exposure to a traditional classroom, school uniform, or grading system. It comes as no surprise that alternative schools have exceptional track records of sending their students to the best international universities. We have an exhaustive list of top alternative schools around the world.


Location- Multiple locations

The Waldorf School dates back to 1919 when it was started as a small institution in a tobacco factory. It has come a long way over a century and become a model to emulate, with its focus on social development rather than conventional teaching. Your child will learn history through myths, legends, and Biblical tales instead of textbooks. Mathematical concepts will be taught through dance, so they will retain them forever.


Location- Multiple

A travelling high school, THINK Global follows a novel concept whereby it moves to a new location each semester, which means students get to change different countries while they study here. The school was founded in the USA in 2010, with a mission to deliver immersive experiences in multicultural classes. Each student gets an iPhone, iPad, and MacBook for assignment accomplishment and impression fixations. Your child will also get to be a part of THINK Spot, the school’s own virtual space.



Location- New York, USA

Also founded in 1919, the Dalton School was the brainchild of Ellen Parkhurst, a young teacher who came up with the idea of breaking down lesson plans in contracts. Every contract comprises recommendation literature, troubleshooting questions, and food for thought. Students have the freedom to choose a contact depending on the tempo that works for them. Teachers serve as consultants and periodic examiners. The school was acclaimed as the best preparatory school in 2010 on Forbes list. 


Location- Ojai, California, USA

A private, co-educational school, Oak Grove School is the next on the list of the best alternative schools for international students. The school was established in 1975 bythe Krishnamurti Foundation of America. Apart from academic education, the school’s curriculum includes the Arts of Living and Learning. Your child will learn them through classroom practice and the culture of the institution that focuses on developing the qualities of mind, heart, and body. Approximately 20% of the student population here is international. They reside in Besant House, the family-style boarding facility available for them.



Location- Toronto, Canada

ALPHA Alternative School started in 1972 to emulate the ALPHA philosophy that every child is unique and must develop their own tempo. At the school, the classes have children of different ages. The older ones take care of the younger students while the younger ones learn from older peers. Lessons go beyond the general disciplines as children are taught creative activities such as modelling and cooking.



Location- Leiston, Suffolk, England

Founded in 1921, Dresden (Germany), Summerhill School runs on the Suffolk campus since 1927. The alternative school follows traditions and encourages active participation in self-management for its students. It holds public meetings three times a week, where everyone has the freedom to talk on matters as trivial as rest time and stolen notebooks. The co-educational boarding school offers progressive, democratic education for children of all age groups and from around the world. The school offers a multi-cultural environment, with students coming from far and wide, including England, Germany, Holland, France, Switzerland, Norway, Poland, America, Israel, Russia, China, Japan Korea, and Taiwan.


Location- Brussels, Belgium

One of the oldest on the list, Decroly School (the Hermitage) dates back to 1907. The school follows the vision of a Belgian professor Decroly, who believed that children should perceive the living environments they live in. At the primary level, education is based on the basic interests and needs of young children, such as food, weather protection, and rest. They collect information about products and use them for learning the native language, math, and natural science in classes.


Location- Roermond,The Netherlands

The Agora is a school with no classrooms or curriculum, making it different from any other educational institution. It isn’t surprising that parents around the world are keen to explore how it works. The education is centred around projects because it focuses on learning, not teaching. Students have the freedom to learn topics and things that match their interests. Subjects range from German mountain guides to blacksmithing, Mongolian horses, tables and skateboards. 


Location- Copenhagen, Denmark

Another alternative school that deserves a mention in the list is Ørestad Gymnasium, which was established in 2005. The school is acclaimed for the best architecture, while the education offered here goes on a few profiles, which also change yearly. The courses centre on innovation, with the likes of globalization, digital design, biotechnologies, and different kinds of journalism. Seniors have the opportunity to explore the world of media.



Locations- Abiansemal, Indonesia

Green School was set up by John and Cynthia Hardy in 2006 as an educational village community with a tailor-made campus amid the jungle and rice fields. When the school opened in 2008, it had 90 students, and the number has grown to 400 students. The institution is accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC) and imparts education through a holistic, community-integrated programme that fosters entrepreneurial learning. Awarded as the “Greenest School on Earth” in 2012, the school offers a life-changing experience for international students. The school has expansion plans, with locations like New Zealand, Western Cape Province of South Africa, and Tulum Mexico coming up. The student body in Bali has expats from Australia, America, and Western Europe.

Let us list some more leading international schools country-wise-




Each of these alternative schools has unique offerings for students, making them worth exploring for parents who think outside the box. Go ahead and pick the one that is right for your child!

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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