Choosing a school for your child abroad
Relocating as a parent can make things really burdening when looking for the right international school placement for your child. There are so many variables to consider in this sort of situation where concerns may include cultural and language barriers dependant on where you are relocating. If you are considering to move to a country that is very long distance from home, it becomes difficult to gain full satisfaction in regards with inspecting the institution or communicating in order to be able to evaluate the best educational options available for your child.
With variables like child individuality, different schooling systems, different requirements. It only makes it more complicated to define a step to step guide on the best way to go about finding the perfect school. Though the relocating experience might be totally different for two families of a similar background, one thing will always stay in common; and that will be the keenness to provide your child with the best possible education without having to disturb them too much from their old school system.
So starting with the basics, it is possibly a good idea to narrow down your choices and maybe start with compiling a list of schools preferably near your new location. It might become easier to cross out schools that you would not consider to send your child to once you start considering possible language/ financial constraints. It may not always be easy to judge or define a good school because teaching and learning abilities vary as well as in some cases the curriculum.
To enable yourself to think and plan ahead, consider the following questions:
- Are you moving permanently?
- Are you going to be moving on to another country in the future?
- Are you moving periodically and intend to return to original destination at some point?
If the relocation is permanent it may be worthwhile looking at a school close by to you to ensure minimal travelling issues on a daily basis. If you have thought about yet, or intend to at a later time in the future move back or move to a new location, it can be considered how you plan on making sure that the transition or continuity of your child’s education is smooth. While changing schools environment may not always be as hard as a change of curriculum or school system as this can deem as something of more concern. Try to be most informed about the schooling system and the curriculum on which all teachings are based.
To put your planning into action, you may want to start with the absolute easiest and accessible medium. The Internet. Sometimes, being far from the country/school in consideration, the Internet may seem as the most reliable thing available. Surely all schools would be portrayed immaculate on their websites. It is your job to have the eye for detail and try and back up your search with correspondence with the school over the phone or email, or maybe try and find information from third party websites and not always directly the school website.
A time like this is where you need to stick your head into being a total socialite. Speak to people; friends, colleagues, family you may know where you are moving to or even join an online forum to maximise your findings. Try and see whether you can dig for some recommendations if that option is available to you.
Some more schooling factors
The age factor – Will your child be starting school? If so, school curriculum might not be your first and top most priority. This may just come down to getting the experience of a school life and the first step towards learning and being around other children. In the instance that you have more than one child to worry about, of course you may have the option made available to you where you can admit them to the same school. Young children on the contrary still have a better scope when it comes to adjusting in a new environment as the schooling system is quite flexible in first years. However, the tricky part may be moving with older children who would have most likely settled in a particular schooling system or have made friends over a period of time. While we advise that children should not be moved during key points of their education, if it is an absolute situation where there is no other choice, it could be difficult handling and meeting their requirements. Our blog about moving with children will prove to be a worthy read, as we have equipped you with some useful tips of how to perhaps make your relocation easier for your child and yourself.
The lifestyle factor – how will your lifestyle affect the school you choose? School timings could be one to think about as some countries school and work timings could be totally different to your current ones. Will you have car out there to help you with the school run or will you be using public transport. Consider things like time and distance from home to school and whether there is a school bus service or not?
Making the right decision
Whichever your research/ source of information or recommendation, the last decision comes down to you! And the most important factor over anything should ensure the happiness of your child and where you think they will adjust better and quicker. While all ages come with their own happy and sad days, we say that primary school children will tend to adapt faster than secondary school children. Although the field of decisions may seem tough it is truly essential to understand that a wrong decision is not the end of the road. There is always time to change your mind to ensure the perfect place you seem fit for your child.