There are two reasons you have to send your kids to school abroad. The first one is you have to be there as an expatriate and the second one is that it’s the better choice in terms of the quality of education and affordability. That last reason, of course, depends on where you live, as well as your financial status. Taking into account that you are set on letting your kids attend school abroad, what are the considerations you have to make? What will being abroad teach them about life and learning in general? Is this going to be beneficial for the family?
A lot of parents right now are deciding to send their kids abroad. Some Asian parents do it temporarily so that their kids can learn English from native speakers—though there are great international schools in Asia, too. Others have no choice because they found a better job opportunity abroad. Whatever your reasons are for sending them to school overseas, you should know that this is not an easy choice to make.
Choose the Curriculum That Fits Your Kids Best
Every country follows a set of different academic curriculums. Singapore, a top destination for foreign students, has a number of excellent IB schools that offer the international baccalaureate program. They also have American universities and colleges, as well as Singapore Math. In the Philippines, various academic programs are also available such as the Montessori method, the British method, progressive, traditional, and Reggio Emilia approach.
You need to let your kids undergo several assessments to determine the right approach for them. Talk to a child developmental expert about this as they have the right tools to assess your children’s abilities. This is going to make it easier for you to find the right school and program.
Pick Between an International School or a Local School
The choice between these two will go down to if your move is permanent or not. International schools have enrollees from different countries. Some are locals, too. But the programs that these schools follow are usually based on an international setup. On the other hand, if you want your kids to experience the local culture of the country you are moving into, then they should enroll in a local school. There, they will meet friends from different places. They will learn about their language, culture, and traditions.
Consider the Quality and Costs
Of course, you might be worried about the quality of education in your destination country. Know that every country has good and bad when it comes to its educational system. In first-world countries, public schools and state universities tend to compete well with private institutions. This is not the same in developing and underdeveloped nations. You might have to choose an international school if you are moving to a country that isn’t as developed as your home country.
But of course, the cost of attending private schools may also take its toll on you. Make sure that your finances are ready for the cost of sending your kids abroad. Remember that you will not only pay the tuition, but you’re also going to spend on accommodation, food, leisure, and many more. If you are a little strapped on cash, you can also check the grants and scholarship programs being offered in your country of choice.
Get a Language Tutor
Are you going to a country that is not a speaker of your language? Then, you have to hire a tutor for your kids as soon as you arrive, or maybe even before you leave. At the very least, they should learn a few phrases, so they won’t have a hard time adjusting. You might also need a tutorial like this to make daily conversations easier. You will be good support for your kids, too, as they navigate this new chapter in their lives.
Include the Kids in the Decision Process
Culture, language, traditions, and cuisines are very different in each country you visit. How well-adjusted are your kids? You have to think of their mental and emotional health when it comes to sending them to school abroad. You also have to talk to them like adults. Consider their feelings about studying overseas. Are they excited? Are they open to the idea? Talk to them about their options and always put their needs above yours.
Choosing the right school is a personal decision for you and the kids. This is not something you make overnight. Put forth a plan. Consider the pros and cons. Decide on it as a family. The best decisions come from people who know what to prioritize.