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Expat Tips on How to Find the Best International School for your Child

Moving home, they say, is one of the most stressful things you will ever go through. When you are moving country, that discomfort is amplified by a myriad of new questions.


There are new ways of living to be incorporated into your lives, there are new challenges to be faced, and there are different possibilities to what might have been, had you stayed at home.


One of the biggest crises we face as emigrated expats, is where to find good schooling for our children. Where do you send them? Do you need to be a proven resident to school them abroad? Can expats even attend international school?


Today, we will be discussing top tips on how to find the best international school for your expat children. We will get some of the obvious questions out of the way first, then move on to the tips on  how to find the right one for your family. Read on to be prepared.




What is an International School?


An international school can usually be found using a combination of remote learning and on-site examinations. You will find them in capital cities, where they commonly teach a number of international and native students.


When attending an international school, the student's education is transferable across all countries. This gives you the added peace of mind of knowing that your child's education won't be interrupted, should you have to return home gain.




Why Choose an International School?


As expats, it can be exceedingly difficult to do the things that those born native to a country can do as standard. When it comes to schooling, there are many worries that come with the territory. Will your child still get the same quality of education as they might have gotten back home? This always tends to be one of the toughest questions that we ask ourselves as parents.


An international school takes some of the weight of these choices off our shoulders. It does this by allowing a smooth continuation of learning, whether or not they understand the new language they have to learn.


Other benefits of an international school include:


  • Your children are surrounded by other children with similar life experiences to them. This gives them the opportunity to develop closer friendships than they might find in a normal school.
  • An international school has its own sense of community. That extended hand of friendship gives you a new foundation for meeting people, too.
  • There are few-to-no gaps in your child's education if you have to move back home unexpectedly.
  • The curriculum is international, meaning it doesn't change from place to place. Neither do study routines, the resources your child has access to, or the grading system.
  • The entire student population is often multilingual, with English used as the default language.


When compared to locally run schools, an international school curriculum for an international student, just makes sense.




Top Tips for finding an International School for your Expat Children


There are a number of factors that will make your situation unique. However, if we generalise on a few areas, it will help you narrow down the different choices available to you.


Tip 1 - Check the Application Process for Potential International Schools


The time that you move will narrow down some of your options. Some will only let you apply at certain times of the year, some won't let your child start in the middle of a semester, and some will expect you to start immediately. Unless you have planned your emigration around your child's school year, then you want to find a International school that takes applications all year round.


Tip 2 – Find Expat's International Schools through Certification


Some of the best schools on the international circuit have got to where they are now by gaining accreditation from governing education bodies. There are plenty of governing bodies to choose form, but some of our favourites include the Apple Distinguished Educators programme, which has been running since 1995, and the CIS membership certification also represent educators of exemplary standards.


Tip3 – Do your Research


Nobody makes any large purchases nowadays without going online and checking the reviews – so why would it be any different for choosing a school? Good tips on how to research the school, include finding them on social media, checking out alumni programmes, and even checking with the local examination authority to see if the school has been inspected yet.


Tip 4 – Talk to the Staff


One of the best ways to find out if a school is right for you, is by asking the staff themselves. By going along to a tour or meeting and asking the teachers what they think of how the school runs, you can find out more than reading an online review can ever tell you. If you have a chance go to an open day and meet the people your children might be spending all day with.


Tip 5 – Look at Extra Curricular Activities


As an expat, one of our top tips to you is that you look at international schools with lots of extra activities. Putting it politely, packing the kids off to after school sports, arts, or creative classes, gives you time to get the boxes unpacked. Think about the range of fun clubs they have on offer and whether or not your little one(s) can enjoy them.




Expat's Kids Need Excellence from International Schools


To round all of this up, then, your children need extra support when they become ex patriots. They are in a new place, with less friends than before, and they may not even know the language. Give them a helping hand by sending them to an international school, then use the tips in this article to guide you towards the right choice for you.


Everyone deserves the best education that their circumstances allow. International schools give you the opportunity to do this for your own child, without their education ever missing a beat.















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