Pan American International School is a true international school. Paraguayan students comprise about 50% of our student body, while the rest of our students hail from disparate parts of the world. We currently have students from the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Holland, Korea, Taiwan (ROC), Japan, People’s Republic of China, Israel, Lebanon, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay, Guatemala and Jamaica. In the past we have also had students from Norway, Sweden, Panama, Peru, Italy, and Spain.
The chance to interact daily with students from other nations, to learn first-hand about foreign cultures and traditions is an invaluable part of the educational experience at PAIS. Firstly, because there is so much diversity at the school, the environment is more welcoming to new students, who have often just moved to Paraguay and are uneasy about entering a new school. Students develop increased communication skills through the exchange of ideas with peers having backgrounds very different from their own. Students also develop a more global mindset, and learn tolerance and respect for differences in culture, religion and beliefs. In short, students grow intellectually and emotionally through having friends and colleagues from other nations, and PAIS works to promote this valuable adjunct to their overall educational development.
One of the ways in which PAIS fosters cultural awareness is through the recognition of the national day of each country represented at our school. On each country’s national day, we perform a flag-raising ceremony and play its national anthem. This is often followed by instruction and discussion in the classroom about the country, its culture and current events involving it. Each year we also celebrate International Day, where children put on a theatrical show and parents often bring traditional foods from their respective nations to share with everyone, and to talk about aspects of their home nations. This one of the most popular events at our school and is always well-attended by students families.