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ABOUT US — What Parents Say
"BIS (ESCA) was the natural choice for us as we already knew a family at the school and wanted our children to join a diverse and inclusive community as non-native speakers. Over 3,5 years we have seen our children grow into confident, diligent and academically strong students. Through performances, challenges, fun activities and daily hard work the teachers enable all students to find their potential and develop their skills in the most wonderful ways. This school build characters and we truly appreciate the enthusiasm and continuous striving for improvement that permeates the whole school. Superb teachers and dedicated staff at all levels. Attentive and caring students that look after each other and act as role models for the younger ones at all times. The IB Learner profile certainly shows in the daily interaction between everyone at BIS. Joyous rigour! As parents we have been involved in various bodies of the school and we wish to highlight the opportunity to help influence the direction and growth of this unique institution in the Kyrgyz Republic. By choosing BIS you not only set the scene for an amazing development path for your own child. You also support the ambition to create positive impact on overall education in the country. We left BIS to return to our native Denmark and remain grateful for the fantastic experience it was for the five of us to be part of BIS!" Skov-Hansen family
Before we moved to Bishkek from Korea, I looked through the websites of several possible schools. On arriving in Bishkek, we visited ESCA, and I had a very good impression of the welcoming and friendly atmosphere. Since Korea is such a homogeneous nation, I wanted my kids to learn cultural diversity and broaden their view. ESCA seemed to be the right school for my kids when we arrived, and it turned out to be a right choice after all! The teachers and school staff were so cooperative that I felt free to ask for help. I initially assumed that David and John would struggle to understand classes in English for the first several months. However, they quickly and easily settled down and once they got used to the school, their English and academic grades improved a lot. At ESCA, students have many chances to present their works, doing scientific experiments, building teamwork. Through this learning process, my kids gained confidence and were not afraid of performing in front of others. I can't believe that it has been already over two months since we came back to Korea. We are thinking of the good days, friends and teachers at ESCA, and David still wants to go back to ESCA. Thank you for giving us a wonderful memory! Jiyoon, Sujin, David and John
“Our two children attended ESCA from 2012 to 2015, with our daughter in Primary 4-6 and son in Primary 2-4. The school was very new when we started and had a tremendous growth from 30 students when we joined to 130 students when we left. Throughout this growth, the school kept its very warm and caring attitude and atmosphere and developed very nicely, despite the normal difficulties in setting up any new school. In spring 2015 we moved to Thailand where our children attend a German language school. Apart from initially struggling with German as their new school language, they have no difficulties in following the new curriculum and are very well prepped thanks to the dedicated and professional teaching staff at ESCA. We are grateful that they had prepped our children so well, both building up their academic skills and their social skills so that they are confident and open-minded. ESCA is a real community school. Everyone who wants to engage will be able to play a role. As a parent you realize that the idea to leave education and character building to a school isn’t going to work unless you get engaged and work hand in hand. ESCA provides that environment for engagement and does their part very well, and always has an open ear for children and parents! The School Board is also very active and effective and so are the Parents Association who also support the school tremendously and help to further develop the school. Our children miss ESCA dearly. They had lots of fun there, even and especially in the class. They surely had fun while learning! They have only good memories about ESCA and so do we as parents. We can highly recommend the school to any parent who is looking for a high quality education in a very safe and caring environment.” Weyerhaeuser family ;)
"Our family arrived in Bishkek in August 2012, and we had no difficulties to identify the best school for our children, Wayan and Madé, 4 and 8 years old at that time. We had been looking for a welcoming school, able to provide quality education following an international curriculum, offering an open learning environment and providing out-of-school activities. The first visit at the school confirmed what we had heard from colleagues and friends: ESCA, while still in development, was a school committed to provide first class services, in a happy environment. ESCA has been a central element of our three-year stay in the Kyrgyz Republic. Our kids have loved to attend class, and have expanded their world, through all sorts of creative and sportive activities. If they have never complained about going to school, they have quite often protested when they had to leave it in the afternoon. As parents, we have found a very welcoming “ESCA community”, which invited us to be involved in the school life and development. Through our engagement in the parents’ association and the governing board, we have been able to become part of the school. Our children have greatly benefited from their education. Coming from a French speaking school, they had very little difficulties to adapt to the Cambridge curriculum. That was certainly facilitated by the small size of the classes, the flexible but structured teaching programme, and the dedication of the staff. We have seen them progressing in all subjects, while at the same time developing their personalities. Following our recent relocation to Indonesia, Wayan and Made have joined a new school. They have done so apparently without too much difficulty, even if they are back in a French school. Their level in the main subjects is up to the mark, and they keep the positive attitude towards learning that has been instilled by ESCA. Looking back at these three years, we are confident that choosing ESCA for the education of our kids was one of the most important elements that made our stay in Kyrgyzstan so enjoyable." Suryani and Remy Duiven, now in Indonesia
“When we moved to Bishkek in summer 2013, finding a good school for our three children was a top priority. We were looking for a supportive family friendly school with a focus on social and personal development as well as academic learning. After looking at all the schooling options and visiting prospective schools, ESCA was the clear choice for us! Our first impressions of the school, the teachers and the parent body were very positive. Parents and teachers were extremely helpful, friendly and supportive. The atmosphere at the school was always welcoming and ESCA provided a very wide range of after-school activities which our children enjoyed. The school was also constantly improving and has an extremely supportive and positive parent body involving both local and international parents. This support network is very helpful for parents newly arrived in Bishkek. The teachers seemed to have a genuine affection for the children and our children were always happy to go to school which is a good sign. The Preschool was a particularly nurturing environment. Our youngest child, who was 3 years old, still talks about her “Kyrgyzstan school” every day, retelling stories of books read and teachers who were helpful and kind. ESCA made a big attempt to celebrate key festivals, introducing the children to other cultures and traditions so our children now are very aware of diversity in language and culture. There is an emphasis on acceptance and awareness; everyone knew where everyone else was from on a map. We only left ESCA because we had to leave Bishkek for Australia. If we ever move back to Bishkek, ESCA would be our first choice again!” Amanda Buckingham
"Why I want my children to study at the European School in Central Asia. Because the school has been initiated by a group of devoted parents; Because it is a nonprofit school – available funds are reinvested into development of the school; Because the school is accredited with Cambridge International Examinations and the school can provide me with supporting documents upon my request; Because Aktan now has a native level of English; Because the school is developing and during the meetings the school management provides a report and shares the plans for future; Because the school does not have a rich investor – the school is investing effort into being competitive – and it’s working well; Because the school is teaching us (parents and children) to plan our future ahead. Aktan is 13 years old and we are already selecting classes that he will be majoring in; Because I receive a school calendar with all events before the start of the school year; Because teachers of this school come from many different parts of the world and children are learning to think globally; Because the Parents Association is not a group of women, collecting money for repair, but a functional influential body of the school; Because the school administrator does not forget to send information, which they promised to send during the meeting; Because I can request that the school reception orders a cab for my children; Because children come from different countries and it is interesting for me to observe how other parents nurture their children; Because students sell popcorn to raise funds for their community service; Because during the school assembly, the Math teacher, Mr Comar gave a star certificate to the hamster who passed away, because Juju taught children to be caring and broad-minded; Because my son gets praised by the PE teacher for his sense of humour; Because when my children are sick, they miss going to school and don’t want to stay at home for another day; Because ESCA provides a friendly family kind of environment. I am interested in expanding the number of students in the school. It will let the school develop faster and as a result children will have more opportunities for learning and developing." Ainura Amanalieva
"We arrived in Bishkek from Ashkhabad where my son Jonas had been at a school with the American Curriculum. Partly for this reason and partly because my wife – Tone – was hired to teach at ESCA and we wanted Jonas to be independent, not labelled as a “teacher’s kid”, Jonas started in Bishkek at a school with the American curriculum. However, by the second term, Jonas was taking the after-school Extra-Curricular Activities at ESCA as they were great fun for him. As we realised that ESCA was a great school with an inspiring and challenging curriculum, we discussed the possibility of moving Jonas to ESCA. But Jonas resisted because he did not want to leave his friends. Over time this changed as he attended ECAs and summer schools at ESCA, and he had friends in both schools. Just after a year, Jonas made the choice to move to ESCA, going into Primary 4 with Ms Cilla and it was the best choice for all of us. Jonas became more confident as a person and his academics improved a lot under the guidance of Ms Cilla. She showed him how to write good stories, how to use internet as a resource and to be able to pick up important facts and rewrite or retell. The class had an amazing investigative student centred atmosphere and it was perfect for an inquisitive mind like Jonas´s. He improved in Maths as well and started to build strong foundations and was given extra tutoring to catch up on what he had missed earlier. ESCA was a safe place for him to try, to make mistakes and to build great relationships. He even started to understand the importance of homework. The best thing for me as a father was to see the joy he brought home from school every day and the stories he would tell. It was not difficult to tell that we had found the right match for him and that he was thriving. As a family we are all sad to have to leave ESCA behind and we know it will be hard to find another ESCA out there, but we will try. But this is the life we lead and we must move on to another country. We wish ESCA all the best in the future and Thank You for the “Home away from Home” you created not just for my son but for my wife as well." Rick Dotson
We heard about ESCA before we even arrived to Bishkek since a Swiss friend of ours already had his son in the school. So, on the morning after our arrival, we visited ESCA with our children just to see and get the first impression. We immediately felt the family atmosphere at the school and were impressed by the attitude of teachers to the learning process and to children. We made our choice for ESCA and have never regretted it! Our daughter finished the school year with awards and both of our children found good friends and the best memories. We had to leave ESCA due to moving to another country but our children still remember their school days at ESCA very fondly. Cholpon and Pierre-Paul Antheunissens
“Our friends highly recommended ESCA to us because of the internationally recognized curriculum, multicultural environment, and high attention to students. For us, the best thing about the school was that our kids were happy there. They integrated well and absolutely loved the school, teachers and fellow students. They picked up English quickly and were able to communicate with international friends and they enjoyed the wide variety of extracurricular courses. It was also great to meet other parents and attend cultural events, organized by the school. We were sad to leave ESCA when we decided to move as a family to the USA. We thank everyone at ESCA and wish the school great success in future.” Maksat Korooluev and Asel Akmatova
“We chose ESCA because of the good and friendly environment and professional approach to education. We heard a lot of positive feedback from other parents and we felt that our children would be safe and learn a lot, especially English. We liked the detailed attention to each child in the school and the way parents were informed about the child's progress. Communication between the school and parents was always at very high level. The best thing is that every class has two teachers, providing English language support for those who are learning. After a couple of weeks our children had already made good progress in English. We also saw that our children were happy overall and looked forward to going to school every day. The main benefit for us was learning English and how to communicate in English with native speakers. Our girls got a real sense of what an international school is like so they will feel confident and safe when they go to school in Washington.” Albina and Nate Collingham, “now moving to the USA”
“When we arrived in Bishkek we faced the problem of choosing a school for Daniar. We visited several schools and Daniar attended classes in a few different schools. After this we chose ESCA! For him the main criterion was the environment and other students. For us it was the teaching team who did not press children with their authority but who taught and conveyed the material to students to make it understandable and encouraged students to ask questions. Moreover, children are absolutely happy in this school! Lots of thanks to teachers for their professionalism and friendship with children. Daniar still misses his friends, teachers and the environment. ESCA is a wonderful place for children to learn and grow!” Irina and Nurbek Egen, now in St-Petersburg
“ESCA was recommended to us by a Swiss friend and it was a great recommendation! The school has a wonderful family atmosphere so it feels like you are part of a big family. Our girls loved the inspirational teachers and the creativity in arts and learning. One unexpected benefit was the great range of extra-curricular activities every day which are almost impossible to find in any other school” Laira Rodriguez and Christian Steiner, “now in Madagascar after three delightful years in Bishkek”
“Our kids were at ESCA from 2011 – 2013 and they still miss the school and talk about it. They loved their teachers and all of the activities, and we liked the family atmosphere and how easy it was for parents to be heard and be involved. We were also happy that the school felt like part of the community and had a nice mix of students from all over the world, including Kyrgyzstan. And we will never forget the wonderful plays that the students put on, The Wizard of Oz the first year, and Peter Pan the second year.” Stephanie and Christian Wright, now in Croatia.
"When we were living in Bishkek, our son, Ali Zain, greatly enjoyed the very healthy and lively learning environment of ESCA, where highly skilled and very caring teachers teach the Cambridge curriculum in a multicultural and multilingual environment. As parents, we feel blessed to be associated with ESCA, a school that provides real care and quality education. This supporting culture means that children at ESCA are very confident and motivated to learn. Committed management is also constantly improving the school to ensure excellence in education for our children. Since moving to New Zealand, we miss the ESCA community and our son misses everything from school!” Sadruddin & Shamsah Noorani
“When we arrived in Bishkek, we chose ESCA for Elias because the Preschool program had a good reputation and was open for two-year old children. The program turned out to be very strong and Elias learned so much and his speech improved dramatically. But the main benefit was social in that he learned how to pay attention, take turns, wait in line, and to get on well with other children and adults. Even after the school was over, Elias asked if he could see his friends and teachers. For a two-year-old, those are lasting friendships! As parents, we especially appreciated the newsletter, pictures, conferences and end of the year album since Elias could not tell us about his day in detail. We’ve also enjoyed getting to know the other ESCA parents, who generously welcomed us into the fold. The parent association did a great job of making us feel included and valued as part of the ESCA community.” James Morris and Kristin Roberts – now moving on to Tbilisi
“Our three children joined ESCA shortly after its opening in 2011. We chose the school mainly because of the British curriculum which our children enjoyed in their previous international school. Even though the school infrastructure was still being developed when we joined, we liked the positive dynamic atmosphere of the newly opened school. We also liked the interaction with other parents who really care for the school. Our children have very good memories of ESCA, especially of their teachers who used modern teaching methods, paid a lot of individual attention to each child and created a positive learning environment. It was a real pleasure for every child to attend school. Our youngest child learned English very quickly and all children took part in Kyrgyz and international cultural events which enlarged their cultural understanding. It is good to know that ESCA is still expanding and we wish the school great success in future!” Sophie Romanens & Andreas Schmid, now back in Switzerland after 2 years in Bishkek and 1 year in Madagascar
"When I was in Kiev, I was always concerned about my children going to school for the first time. I used to see the first graders with enormous backpacks and was thinking about how their childhood is finished and the madness starting. I was thinking about the high work-load and the meltdowns due to crazy academic demands and lack of sleep and other things. But fate decided that we moved from Kiev to Bishkek just at the time our son went to first grade and here we chose to go to ESCA. During the first term I couldn’t understand what was happening and why my child was so excited to go to school. The homework was minimal - just five math problems to repeat the topics covered in school and three pages of an English book. During the second term I started to worry. But then I calmed down as I realised that it is just a well organised system of the priorities of the school and great teachers. In the school there is always an environment of creativity. Every student’s voice is heard and they always participate in the school activities - not because they have to but because it’s fun. For example, when my boy was in kindergarten in Kiev he was always shy and would never dance or sing in front of people, but at the recent Nooruz festival at ESCA he was on-stage with all his classmates dancing a Tajik dance and wearing Tajik traditional clothes and hat. For me, these social developments are just as important as the academic ones. Even for academic skills, my early fears about academic knowledge didn’t come true. Here at ESCA, academic rigour grows gradually but in a quality manner. In other words, my eldest boy is now moving to 5th grade with a good foundation and he studies with a full academic load without any fear or pressure. He goes to school with pleasure, with a good attitude towards education and with understanding of why he needs to go to school. Our choice is ESCA!" Natalia Osavoliuk
When we came to Bishkek with our French and German speaking children, there were not many international school options and ESCA was the only school which provided comprehensive support for English learning and rapid integration, so we chose ESCA. It was a great choice because our girls absolutely loved the school! I don't know exactly how it works, but ESCA is a friendly and happy place. Going to school and learning became a pleasure, even for homework. The learning approach is very flexible and oriented towards the children's specific needs and capacities. Having small classes and caring teachers is a great help and children feel really comfortable. ESCA makes a lot of effort to bring non-English speaking children up to the level of "usual" classroom English, with specific assistance adapted to the level of each child. Personal development and confidence also plays an important role in an international environment with children from many different backgrounds. It is a real opening towards the world, learning about different cultures in a pleasant environment. Because we often move internationally for professional assignments, our children have changed school at least once a year. Of all the schools they have been to, ESCA is definitively one of the best! There was still so much more to discover and we are all sad to leave ESCA and Kyrgyzstan. Alexandra Spernol, mother of Laure (6) and Susan (9); moving to Qatar.
“When I started to look for a school for my children in Bishkek in 2011, I found a newly opened school with charismatic teachers in quiet neighbourhood where my children went until 2014, when we had to move away because of my work. I have to say with all our hearts that ESCA was great choice to get a European style of education. My children enjoyed every part of school and they were always ready to go to school with enthusiasm. I can say that they grew up with ESCA as self-confident children who learned to have respects for others. They enjoyed the professional teachers who were dedicated to their job, the friendly family environment, ‘wushu’ classes, sand pit, golf tournament etc. My daughter, who suffers from allergies, got individually prepared meals, which shows that the support environment in this growing and expanding school is able to take on individual needs. I have to say that I really enjoyed the school as a parent. Regular performances by children and activities organised with parents made us part of the ESCA family. My children still talk nicely about their "Kyrgyz" school and nowadays they are being smart in their EU school, by saying that they already learned everything in their Kyrgyz school :) I am thankful to everyone in ESCA from management, teachers and support environment for being a great place for my children for the last three years. We look forward very much to come back there for summer camp which is organised in July after school to enjoy sleeping in a yurt overnight with some hot marshmallows in our mouth.” Katerina Zdarska from Brussels
We have very good memories with ESCA. We chose ESCA because of its internationally recognized curriculum and because it pays high attention to the students. The good thing about ESCA is that all staff are always cheerful, welcoming and helpful. The atmosphere is so safe, friendly and in addition to this it encourages the students a lot. ESCA is simply the best choice of a school! Our children, Zeena and Mohid, enjoyed it a lot in the school and they were able to communicate in English in a very short span of time. We are now in Swaziland and really miss ESCA.We wish we could continue with ESCA. Sara and Ahsan
We have good impressions of ESCA since we enrolled Angelina to preschool in spring. We liked the universal curriculum, which provides children from various countries and cultures with essential knowledge. Education at ESCA is high quality and modern. Thank you for the warm and family atmosphere at ESCA, where we always enjoyed going and seeing smiley faces of people welcoming us. All staff were always so caring about children, knowing each child’s name. My daughter admires preschool and rushes there every morning and seeing her so happy is the best reward for me. In terms of overall development - she learned a lot of new and interesting things. Almost every single day she brings new and beautiful crafts and drawings home. Within the period of time Angelina attended ESCA preschool, we were able to observe significant progress in her development, including her social skills and being able to learn a new language in such a short span of time. ESCA became a second home for Angelina, full of friends, love and care. As a mother I would like to thank the management and teaching staff of ESCA from the bottom of my heart. I wish ESCA many generations of good students with bright minds and kind people among them, who will help their countries to achieve spiritual, economic and political development. Gulsha Kanbotoeva, Angelina’s mom, from Russia

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International Schools in Bishkek