Students in schools, colleges and universities take part in extracurricular activities after school hours and sometimes on weekends. Many international schools in Malaysia have a wide selection of extracurricular activities for students to choose from.
Here are five benefits of joining extracurricular activities.
1. Encourages a healthy lifestyle
Extracurricular activities geared towards sports and outdoor activities promote good physical and mental health. Students who are active in sports such as basketball or swimming are getting some exercise and burning calories. Extracurricular activities also provide a break from the stress of studying and homework. Music and art activities help students relax and take their minds to a positive place.
2. Teaches important soft skills
Joining extracurricular activities gives students the opportunity to learn invaluable soft skills that are not necessarily taught in the classroom. Students learn the importance of teamwork when working together with others. Leadership skills are also taught if students are elected as team leader or president of a club. In addition, students learn how to manage their time well as they have to juggle academics, socialising and extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities also allow students to improve their communication skills as they will be interacting with students and teachers outside of a classroom setting.
3. Increases self-confidence
Most students join extracurricular activities based on their interests and passions. It is also a platform for students to find and showcase their talents. Self-confidence is fostered when students discover their talents and excel at a new skill. A sense of accomplishment and pride is gained along with self-confidence. Being complimented for their skills or winning competitions also boosts the self-esteem of students.
4. Builds friendships and relationships
Extracurricular activities allow students to meet new people who share the same interests as them. For example, a student who is part of a sports team can mingle with his teammates from different backgrounds, cultures and of different ages. Students also get a chance to build a relationship with teachers and facilitators. Furthermore, students have the opportunity to meet their peers from different schools through competitions and field trips.
5. Improves overall academic performance
Taking part in extracurricular activities may increase brain function, improve focus and create drive. Students can also apply the soft skills they have picked up through extracurricular activities to their studies such as time management and communication skills. Extracurricular activities also encourage students to have positive attitudes toward school and higher academic aspirations. The key is not to take on too many activities which may result in students not having enough time for their studies.
Here are some examples of extracurricular activities offered at international schools:
Badminton, squash, tennis, table tennis, swimming, rugby, hockey, football
Journalism club, yearbook committee, foreign language classes, arts and crafts as well as photography, cooking, student councils and library committees, debating, public speaking
Red Crescent Society, Scouts, fundraising and volunteering activities, discovery trips and cultural exchange programmes, Model United Nations (MUN), World Scholar's Club, Duke of Edinburgh Award
Music: Acoustic guitar, piano and violin
Group: Orchestra, marching band, choir, rock band
School productions, musicals, dance recitals (ballet, hip hop, traditional)