International Academy of New York Aims to Shape Students into Compassionate, Confident Global Citizens

International Academy of New York, an international school in Manhattan, is a bilingual school with two language tracks: Spanish and Mandarin. Students enrolled at IANY learn to embrace other cultures and become compassionate, confident global citizens. 

“Being a mother of two daughters, there are some things that are very important for me. One is that my daughters feel empowered: that they feel comfortable, that they’re not afraid of raising their hands and speaking out,” says Leslie Lupton, mother of Zadie, a third-grader, and Darien, a kindergartener, at International Academy of New York. The school, currently located on the Upper West Side while its Upper East Side location undergoes renovations, offers pre-nursery (2s) to third grade. It’s adding fourth grade for the next academic year and will continue to add a grade each year through eighth grade.

During a recent art exhibit, Zadie and Darien stood in front of the whole school community (students and parents) and talked about their artwork, Lupton shares. “They had this confidence that I think is part of what the school is teaching, which is really empowering the students and giving them the tools they need to be confident,” she says.

As part of IANY’s curriculum, students choose an immersive language track—Mandarin or Spanish—and spend 40 percent of the week speaking and learning in that language.

“My husband’s family is Spanish-speaking, so initially there was the assumption that my two daughters would go through the Spanish track, but we thought this is a great opportunity to expose them to a new language,” Lupton says. “And my daughters have embraced it to a degree we never even imagined.”

Zadie, for instance, is really embracing Chinese music, Lupton shares. Zadie learned to play the Chinese flute and performed at last year’s Lunar New Year celebration at Queens Museum. In addition, both girls were part of a group of seven International Academy of New York students who were invited to perform at the 2019 gala for the China General Chamber of Commerce.

Shaping empathetic global citizens who embrace other cultures and have the confidence and compassion to contribute and thrive in the world is just what IANY aims to do through its multicultural, bilingual community. “We’re a very diverse school, in faculty and the family community, in every sense of the word: religiously, racially, socioeconomically, culturally,” says Emily Benson, director of admissions at International Academy of New York. The student body hails from 25-30 different countries, and the school celebrates all of those different cultures, she adds.

Because of this, IANY students will go out into the world with a deep understanding of what it means to be a vital part of the global community, Bensons says.

Main image: Third-grader Zadie (left) and kindergartener Darien are learning Mandarin at International Academy of New York.
Courtesy International Academy of New York