Your child’s education abroad

Heading towards an expat life in a foreign country? Dealing with your child’s education abroad can turn out to be quite nerve-racking. To choose a school in the host country, you’ll need to take into account the quality of the existing structures in the host country as well as your child’s age and grade level. There are several possibilities to ensure your child’s education abroad: list the pros and cons of each option and make a choice according to his personality and… your budget.

International or foreign national schools

Many big cities have international or various foreign national schools.  Do you move from one country to another on a regular basis? An international school might be suitable for this type of lifestyle as transitions between different schools will be facilitated. English usually is the language of instruction and your child will be mixing with kids with diverse cultural and social backgrounds, which can be quite a mind opening experience. Also, international schools offer International Baccalaureate (IB) diplomas which many colleges and universities around the world accept.

Sending your child to a foreign national school (French school in Singapore, British school in Japan…) can be the right option for short term expatriation. These schools follow the home-country curriculums. Not having to adapt to a different educational system can make the whole country change process easier and less stressful. Your children will attend classes in their native language and will be able to reintegrate a school without being too bewildered once repatriation occurs.

Can you get quality education abroad without breaking the bank? Take a close look at tuition fees before setting your mind on one specific school. Some schools or grade levels are more expensive than others. For instance, HKD 168,980 is the annual fee for a teenager following the IB diploma programme in Yew Chung International School of Hong Kong. Getting ready for expatriation can sometimes mean doing a lot of math.

Enrolling in a local school

Enrolling your children in a local school is the most efficient way to give them the opportunity to pick up the local language quickly. This immersion also allows them to experience a foreign culture and progressively fit in with the local population. Nevertheless, as the quality of education is uneven from one country to another, a local school might not be an option in some expatriation cases. Bear in mind degrees obtained in a local school don’t always have equivalences in other countries.

Other options

Looking for other convenient solutions for your child’s education abroad? Your country of expatriation might not be the safest place on earth. Enrollment in a boarding school (offering full board) in your home country could be a good idea. Here again, tuitions may be incredibly high. You’ve been hunting for the perfect school but there just doesn’t seem to be much of a choice? Distance learning is an alternative in countries with an inadequate educational system as well as for short-term stays abroad.

To find out more about education abroad:

Search for an international school on the International Schools Services website.

It’s not just all about books & tuitions: learn how you can help your kid adapt to his new life on Expat Info Desk website.

Date of publication Aug 10 2015

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