Several factors go into choosing a school, such as the location, type of teacher training, and curriculum. Plus, if you are deciding between a private or international institution, you will need to consider cost. You also need to keep in mind the most important factor: the needs of your child. Do they require small class sizes or are big ones okay? What extracurricular activities are available, and how easily can they join a social group?
Do I need School Search Services?
As an expat with children, searching for an international school can feel like one of the more intimidating aspects of a relocation. Luckily, our school search service is here to help guide you through the process. We offer advice on the questions you should ask when searching for a school abroad and help you to learn about the best schooling options for you and your family.
International vs. Local Schools
One of the first things to consider when looking at overseas schools is whether you will enroll your child in a local or international institution. There are benefits to both. The decision comes down to the individual needs of your child, how long you plan to stay in a country, and what is the education system like in regard to curriculum and enrollment standards.
The Benefits of Choosing a Local School
If you plan to live in a new country for more than two years, sending your child to a local school may be a good option. By attending a local school, kids can immerse themselves in the language and culture of their new home, helping them to adapt faster and feel part of the community more immediately. This is especially true with younger children. Depending on the country that you move to, attendance at a local school may be free or low cost.
The Downside of Choosing a Local School
The downside to choosing a local school is that you run the risk of your child feeling like an outsider. This is because they may be one of the few foreign students, or possibly the only one. This could make them feel like an outcast and prevent them from experiencing a full social life. Older children may be especially sensitive to this, and even more so if a language barrier is involved.
The Benefits of Choosing an International School
Choosing an international school education allows children to continue with the curriculum of their home country, so that they can more easily adapt to their native land when they return. It may also be possible to find international schools that teach in your child’s native language. The most common languages of international schools are English, French, German, and Japanese.
Even if you cannot find an international school with a curriculum from your home country, these institutions are still ideal for expat children. International institutions allow them to socialize with other kids who are going through a similar experience.
International schools are also good for students whose families relocate frequently. For example, a family who moves every few years may want to consider a British or American international school as these are available the world. In this way, your child would be able to transfer schools easily from country to country.
The Downside of Choosing an International School
The downside of an international education is that your child may not be exposed to their new country’s culture or language. This could prevent your child from having a fully immersive, cultural experience. They may feel like a local in their school hallways, but still a foreigner among their community.
International schools are also generally the most expensive option in any country, sometimes even more expensive than university tuition. Parents with multiple children will need to ensure they have the budget to meet these costs.
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Additional Services You Might Be Interested In
InterNations GO! has a range of services that can be tailored to suit your individual needs. Whether you are moving abroad alone or as a family, we assess your situation and provide expert guidance to help you make your international relocation as smooth as possible.
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We Ease You In
Once you have moved abroad, our settling-in services help you register with local authorities. We then make you feel like a local with tailored language and cultural training.
We Bring You Together
From school searches to pet relocation, we help you and your loved ones stay strong together.