School Design

Key Characteristics of an Asia Society International Studies School

A student works in a classroom.

Each school in Asia Society's International Studies Schools Network (ISSN) has a mission to create a learning and child development environment in which every student is ready to compete, connect, and cooperate within a global community. All students will be ready for college or other postsecondary education of their choice.

To achieve this mission, each school must help students develop the new knowledge and skills that they will need in an ever-shrinking world and to blend it with a core curriculum in ways that ultimately contribute to students’ overall intelligence.

ISSN school design begins with a definition of “what success looks like” in the form of a Graduate Profile. The Graduate Profile delineates the knowledge, skills, and habits of mind needed to be college ready and globally competent. In turn, the School Design Matrix provides a comprehensive approach to school mission and culture; curriculum, assessment, and instruction; school organization and governance; teachers' professional development; and parent and community involvement. The matrix guides the implementation of best practices needed to achieve the tenets of the Graduate Profile.

The ISSN school design enables schools to develop:

  • An intellectual mission focused on international studies that targets educational excellence for every student
  • A curriculum that meets state standards and integrates international content throughout all subject areas
  • Engaging, inquiry-based instruction and multiple forms of assessment that promote deep understanding
  • The opportunity for students to study one or more world languages, including an Asian language
  • Innovative uses of technology that support instruction and linkages to schools around the world
  • A school culture that promotes a sense of belonging for every student and supports students’ personal growth
  • Opportunities for student and teacher international travel and exchanges
  • Internships and community service opportunities at internationally oriented businesses, cultural institutions, and universities
  • Faculty engagement in continuous high-quality professional development including international travel and exchange

Contact Kate Farmer to learn more about the International Studies Schools Network.

More About ISSN


  • We've compiled resources to help you cut through the stereotypes surrounding North Korea and more deeply examine the country, its people, and the complexities of its politics and nuclear program.
  • resource
    The effects of climate change are more prevalent and dangerous than ever before, but the US plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement nonetheless. How do educators teach such a topic to students? Here, a plethora of resources.
  • Learn about a new global competence course offered by the Center for Global Education in collaboration with Arizona State University.
  • resource
    How do you talk about President Trump's stance on immigration with your students or children? We've compiled a wealth of resources to help you do just that!
  • Does President Trump have the capacity to understand and act on issues of global significance? Asia Society VP of Education Tony Jackson explores.



Questions about ISSN? Please contact us.

Kate Farmer

Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021