Mark Twain International School: Challenging Educational Frontiers

International School

Population mobility has grown as a result of globalization. Today, cultures and subcultures from around the globe are blending in countries all over the world. Children and youth need to be able to understand, respect, interact and communicate productively with individuals from diverse cultures and religions, since they are growing up in a world that is becoming increasingly interlinked. A global-minded school can provide ample opportunities and support for students of all ages to learn about other nations and cultures throughout the teaching and learning process.

In the global education arena, international-mindedness, diversity and inclusion are being embraced by a wide array of forward-thinking organizations, that can empower schools on this challenging journey of progress and hope through change. A leader in the field, the International Baccalaureate (IB), introduces the concept of global-mindedness in all its programmes for students ages 3 to 19. It entails being aware of, respectful of, and appreciative of many cultures. It encourages students to embrace diversity and to recognize the value that various viewpoints can contribute to learning and to our daily lives. A global-minded approach fosters respect, teamwork and progress, leading also to high degrees of empathy and compassion.

In developing their global awareness, students are encouraged to ask many questions. They are expected to act responsibly and lend a hand wherever they can, while understanding other perspectives. Excellent communication is essential to successful, balanced professional and personal lives in a global context, making proficiency in more than one language fundamental. The sum of these standards and principles is cultivated early on and throughout the challenging IB programmes.

Considering this interweaving tapestry of cultures and nationalities, Mark Twain International School has created an innovative environment fostering students from over 50 nationalities.

A Global-Minded School

Every school year since 1995, Mark Twain International School, IB Continuum World School, welcomes students ages 2 to 19 into its dynamic and exciting teaching-learning community in the Bucharest-Ilfov region of Romania. Whether they apply for the Global Bilingual Division (English-Romanian) or for the International Division (English), Mark Twain IS consistently places students at the centre of its pursuits, concerns, and aspirations as a global-minded school.

Prospective families may choose between International Baccalaureate programmes (Primary Years, Middle Years, Diploma) or the National Baccalaureate programmes, accredited nationally, according to their preferences and objectives. From their very first steps on their journey at Mark Twain IS, students and teachers alike are aware of and humbled by the privilege to learn and work in a supportive, forward-thinking environment, while, in other parts of the world, children and youth, despite their ardent desire, do not have access to quality education as a fundamental right.

The Mark Twain International School is dedicated to providing its students with a challenging yet nurturing learning environment that is suited to their unique requirements, learning preferences, and educational objectives and that will motivate them to develop into knowledgeable lifelong learners.

Redefining Premium Education 

Mark Twain International School’s core mission is redefining premium education in Romania, not only for its current student base through its versatile portfolio of accreditations and human resource development, but for new students as well, by expanding its reach through advancement and development initiatives in order to provide wider access to its academic offer in new like-minded preprimary, primary and secondary schools – a premiere national network Mark Twain IS is presently setting up to this end.

And with this growth, Mark Twain IS is also redefining the profile of contemporary students: diverse children and adolescents of many backgrounds.

“Mark Twain International School has recently announced the partnership with Opus Land Development to soon launch a new school campus in Cosmopolis, the leader on the residential market in Central and Eastern Europe, repeatedly awarded as one of the strongest residential brands in Romania. The opening of an international school, which also benefits from national accreditation, in the heart of this impressive community near the capital, is an unprecedented opportunity for quality private education in Bucharest and Ilfov. Thus, we welcome many children and students from the wider area to access our premium education offered for the entire K-12 continuum. It is an honor for us to join forces with the developers of Cosmopolis City, with whom it will put into practice, for the first time, an innovative vision for the school. The new school will implement a rich educational offer, bilingual or exclusively in English, with well-trained teachers, special resources and facilities, in a modern ‘green school’ type campus, specially built to be able to carry out high-performance study programs at international standards.” 

– Anca Macovei Vlasceanu, Founder & CEO, Mark Twain International School, Romania

Being a Richly Rewarding School

Students of Mark Twain IS learn, from the start, how to master multiple languages of the world, how to question things and how to search for the right solution for any situation or context. They become not only academically and emotionally literate, but also technology savvy with abundant access to computers, VR stations in creative Maker Space, and the new interactive displays introduced schoolwide.

Sports, physical education, mental health, and well-being are also central to the school’s programs. Students feel empowered and included and are encouraged to hope, to find their voice and to take action, creating added value in their midst and positioning themselves usefully and skillfully at the center of the global community, where they belong.

Students at Mark Twain IS gain the skills, attitudes, and knowledge to rewrite tomorrow, thus designing a better world for everyone. They are immersed in modern and innovative curricula, thriving academically and personally, becoming knowledgeable, brave, open-minded, principled, and balanced.

They are honed for an effervescent, ultra-dynamic society which is provocative, and perpetually changing for everyone. The progressive programs offered by Mark Twain International School are designed to be richly rewarding to them as they grow and move forward with their studies, empowering them in the process.

A Stronger Portfolio

Celebrating its 28th anniversary in 2023, Mark Twain International School is proud to be one of the most experienced international schools in Romania. Challenging educational frontiers with its two divisions of study, Global Bilingual (English-Romanian) and International (English), the School has a strong portfolio of accreditations to support its mission:

  • The full International Baccalaureate continuum (PYP, MYP & DP)
  • The Cambridge International Education Assessment for Primary and Secondary
  • National recognition from the Ministry of Education via four accreditations covering the entire K12 route
  • The delivery of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award in Romania
  • Recognized Cambridge English Exam Preparation Centre.

Nurturing Global Citizens of the 21st Century

At the core of the school’s approach to premium education is the IB continuum: a broad, conceptual, connected curriculum, empowering students, as early as the preprimary stage up to graduation, to achieve intellectual and academic success and to develop a wide range of human capacities and social responsibilities.

Students are encouraged to be inquisitive, knowledgeable communicators and brave life-long learners and to become open-minded, caring, balanced, and principled global citizens of the 21st century. Critical thinking is promoted as they strive to reflect upon and learn from their actions. Annual pass rates for the International and National Baccalaureate are prevalently 100 percent, with graduates receiving offers to date from 150 of the world’s top universities.

Healthy relationships, ethical responsibility, and personal challenges are all promoted. Over 50 vibrant nationalities are represented in the student community, and as students increase their understanding of the world’s cultures and languages (including their mother tongue), they explore globally significant ideas, become confident in their own identity, join with others to celebrate common humanity and to learn how they can make a change with their own voices. Educational and cultural exchange programs are available every school year locally, but also globally, in the USA, Greece, China, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom.

The average teacher-student ratio in the school is 1:6, and the annual teacher turnover rate falls below 5 percent, thus facilitating optimal levels of consistency, care, and attention to students’ needs. The faculty is well-qualified, with most holding master and doctoral degrees and being active participants in the Professional Development programs offered in both national/international networks.

Ideal Infrastructure to Support the Mission

Operating on two green campuses near Baneasa Forest, Mark Twain International School welcomes its students to over 16,000 sqm of verdant open spaces and 7,500 sqm of modern buildings. The school offers 40+ extracurricular classes dedicated to arts, sports, and further academics, as well as student services: freshly cooked meals, pastry/bakery onsite, and door-to-door school bus service, infirmary with the on-campus doctor and nurse, well-being, counselling and mental health support, special home delivery of school resources/care packs, and parent support.

Students participate in a variety of activities that foster brilliance, intellectual acuity, and creativity. Despite having high academic expectations, the school environment is safe, welcoming and promotes respect. The school can recognize each student’s unique talents, support their various learning styles, and assist them in realizing their objectives, thanks to the low student-teacher ratio, and to its outstanding student-centred programmes.

Offering students high-quality international education by establishing a 21st-century learning environment where students from all walks of life thrive, grow, and develop in the spirit of exploration, innovation, and achievement was the original goal of the founders, which is still firmly at the heart of the school’s philosophy today.

The school has naturally developed as a response to the local community’s need for a globally-minded institution where teaching is conducted in either English or in a bilingual English-Romanian. It is founded on the firm conviction that international education is essential for students’ development into fulfilled and actively involved adults of the world.

Celebrating Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Mark Twain IS celebrates the diversity of civilizations from all across the world and is grateful for the shared humanity. It eagerly anticipates sending out tolerant ambassadors who have mastered working cooperatively with other global citizens to improve the planet. Mark Twain IS is devoted to the principle of unity in harmonious variety.

It demonstrates dedication to high-quality language instruction and internationalism in a variety of ways, including through the English and Bilingual divisions, the rich languages programme (including Languages B, Mother Tongue and Ab Initio), the diversity of its student body, faculty and staff, its rigorous IB continuum of learning, and its ongoing national-international Professional Development programmes.

Additionally, Mark Twain IS actively encourages students to participate in extracurricular activities in the humanities, sciences, athletics, performing and visual arts, as well as in spirited campaigns for social responsibility, environmental awareness and community involvement.

Catering to Unique Requirements and Needs

The Mark Twain International School is dedicated to providing its students with a challenging yet nurturing learning environment that is catered to their unique requirements, learning preferences, and educational objectives in order to inspire them to become knowledgeable lifelong learners.

Its graduates will have acquired the skills necessary to meet the demands of modern life with self-assurance, integrity, compassion, creativity, and a love for world peace as global citizens.

With the aid of solid interpersonal ties, shared objectives and principles, and effective communication, the Mark Twain IS Council of Directors, Leadership, and Management Team ensure a successful, collaborative, and inclusive work environment and conduct across departments. They are in charge of coordinating all activities related to the mission of the institution, its governance and management, its leadership in education, its strategies and policies, its standards and procedures, its studies, its admissions, its registration, its national and international accreditations, its human resources, its professional development, its communication, and its international relations.

As governors and administrators of an IB World School, each member of the team regularly participates in national and in-school education management professional development sessions as well as international leadership PD programmes, conferences, and workshops.

Ensuring Education at Elevated Global Standards

To ensure the highest educational standards and the comfort required for all school activities, Mark Twain International School provides a wide range of departments and services to support its students on their academic journey.

The continuum of premium international education provided via the International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a guarantee for students, teachers, and parents, that the mission and vision of the school are upheld and further developed:

The Primary Years Programme enables children to develop into engaged, compassionate, lifelong learners who respect one another and themselves, and are capable of actively contributing to the society that surrounds them. It emphasizes the whole growth of the child’s development.

The Middle Years Programme is inclusive by design; students of all interests and academic levels can benefit from their participation. It is a rigorous framework that pushes students to create practical links between their studies and the real world.

Last but not least, ample research has proven the benefits of choosing the Diploma Programme and preparing for the International Baccalaureate Exams. Students are rigorously prepared to succeed academically in areas of great breadth and depth of knowledge, as well as being supported in their physical, mental, emotional, and ethical development throughout the two-year programme.

MTIS students are inspired to achieve their potential and prepared to participate in a variety of age-appropriate academic challenges, as well as in social, cultural, and sports competitions, with consistently outstanding results.

Promoting Academic Integrity and Keeping It Intact

Academic Integrity is central to the principles and school culture of Mark Twain IS, as it permeates all of its programmes, centred on the Schoolwide Academic Integrity Policy.

The IB Academic Integrity Policy mandates that Mark Twain IS students learn how to accept accountability for generating sincere and true individual and group work; correctly cite sources, appreciating others’ contributions and thoughts; using social media and information technologies properly; during exams, observe and abide by moral and honest behaviour.

The IB Learner Profile also contributes generously to the school culture, ethics and personal development principles, by offering a comprehensive set of attributes students can aspire to and develop as they grow, ranging from CARING and PRINCIPLED, BRAVE and BALANCED, REFLECTIVE and OPEN-MINDED, to being RISK-TAKERS and INQUIRERS, THINKERS and COMMUNICATORS.

Raising the Calibre, Above and Beyond

Mark Twain International School has also had the pleasure of launching its first off-campus Preprimary School in 2022 thanks to the Blue Lighthouse Academy initiative, the new network of premium preschools powered by Mark Twain International School, and designed to bring quality contemporary education closer to families with children in diverse communities across Romania, offering: engaging programmes and resources, high calibre educational vision and process, dedicated and qualified faculty and staff, effective and high quality support services.

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