Zagreb American Academy Offering Students Different Experience

Lauren Simmonds

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As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, in the new school year 2021/2022 which is set to begin this autumn, the American Academy High School will start teaching for the first time in Croatia. The new Zagreb American Academy represents a network of American schools from Prague, Brno and Bratislava which unite with an individual approach to students and a high level of professionalism of teachers from all over the world.

Why exactly did they choose Croatia in which to expand their network and how exactly will the programme be conceived from September onwards? School principal Ondrej Lepka explains that they have been monitoring potential new markets across Europe where they could expand the network of international schools for some time now.

“Zagreb is a relatively large capital city with only two international schools, which is quite unique in the European context. Also many Czechs, including me and our senior management, have been to Croatia many times and we really love this country so it was an easy decision. We’re happy to be able to bring our unique educational concept to Zagreb,” Lepka stated.

The new Zagreb American Academy’s target audience is students preparing to study abroad, but the principal points out that the facility is very much open to all students who want to attend an international high school in English, regardless of whether they will study abroad afterwards or not.

Their school is inspired by best practices from around the world, Yamini Singh explains, especially when it comes to North American and Finnish models, adding that the emphasis is placed on creating independent, critical thinkers who are fully prepared to be global citizens in the future.

“One of our main directions and the greatest benefit of the North American model of education is the freedom for students to choose and thus develop their own interests, without neglecting the basics. This approach results in well-rounded students who don’t limit their studies to just one area. This is so important as the world looks to its increasingly complex future; students who focus on only one area of ​​study will be at a disadvantage. We’ve now moved away from the ”old school” method of teaching; it is no longer about memorising and repeating facts, but about real research and student-centered learning,” explains Singh, adding that students will solve unexpected problems and develop their own projects.

She is also proud that their teachers, who are mostly of North American and Croatian roots, have extensive international and pedagogical experience.

For more on education in Croatia, make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle section.


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