The idea of living abroad is an option for families that have parents who have been promoted, are working remotely or who want a change of scenery. Living in a different country has its advantages, as you can appreciate different cultures and learn new languages during their stay.
Moving your family to another country also has its challenges. One decision you have to make when living abroad is where to send your children to school. Of course, you’ll want the best quality of education you can afford and also you’ll want your child to fit and make friends.
Why Send Your Child to an International School
There are several educational options available for children studying overseas. A public government school will help your child become more fluent in the local language and gain a profound understanding of the country’s culture. Homeschooling gives you full control of your child’s curriculum, and it helps strengthen family bonds. Another option you can consider is an international school, a common sight in Bali, Luanda, Paris and many other countries around the world.
Studying in an international school gives your child an edge over children who are homeschooled or study in public government schools. Students study with other students from diverse backgrounds, so they experience different cultures in the classroom. Moreover, international schools hold cultural appreciation classes, which help students become more culturally sensitive.
International schools often have English as their main language of instruction, no matter where they’re located. Children learn from teachers around the globe and are immersed in an English-speaking environment. This is beneficial for students who come from countries where English is the native language, as it will be easier for them to adjust to their new environment.
The curriculum offered by international schools allow for seamless integration with overseas schools. More often than not, these establishments follow the International Baccalaureate programme, the Advanced Placement programme or the Cambridge IGCSE. Reliable schools also offer internationally recognized examinations and qualifications, which allow easy entry into UK and USA universities.
Choosing an International School
Include your children in the selection process. Have them accompany you when you browse school websites and when you visit your options. Also, interview parents, teachers and alumni so you have a complete understanding of the school.
The first step to choosing an international school is checking whether it is accredited. An accredited school follows standards that ensure a safe and positive learning environment. Accreditation also allows students to easily transfer credits within schools.
Another factor to consider is the turnover of teachers and administrators. A school with a low turnover means that the administration provides excellent pay and benefits, quality classroom resources and sufficient professional development opportunities. On the other hand, it’s a red flag when the school replaces principals and faculty members every two years.
The available resources and equipment are also important to your children’s learning. A good international school will make use of competitive technology like laptops, tablets, projection systems and more. Some schools allow easy access to homework, lessons and grades using online tools, while others place limitations on the use of gadgets while on campus.
Finally, ask about the school’s tuition fees. There’s no doubt that international schools are more expensive than public schools and homeschooling programmes. Besides the enrolment fee, schools charge with uniforms, school supplies and field trips and other expenses. Ask if they have instalment programmes so you don’t have to pay a huge one-time payment. Alternatively, inquire if the school has scholarship programmes available to minimize your costs.
One decision you have to make when moving abroad is where your child will study. Although you can send your child to a local school or have them homeschooled, there’s also a choice to enrol them in an international school. These establishments help develop a deeper appreciation for cultures, and they offer easy integration with other schools abroad. Your child will also have no difficulties adjusting, as the schools use English as their main language of instruction.