Whether you’re moving abroad for work reasons or you’re simply looking for a change of pace or lifestyle in a foreign country, it’s likely that international education is at the top of your list of priorities. From working out which school has the best university links to thinking about the type of curriculum they offer, there’s a lot to take into account. This post will look at how to narrow down the list of international schools and find one that suits your child.
Type of curriculum
It’s certainly the case that each different country around the world offers a different type of curriculum. In Finland, for example, younger students learn in part through play, but this isn’t the sort of approach that countries with a more conservative educational philosophy – such as South Korea, perhaps – would be inclined to use. For that reason, it’s worth thinking about whether or not you’re comfortable with the proposed school’s teaching methods.
If you’re concerned about the format or quality of the local education in the country you’re planning to move to, it’s worth considering sending your child to an international school instead. The Stamford American International School is just one of many such establishments offering the sort of curriculum you’d find back home in the USA, so it’s an opportunity for a good balance between the quality of western education and the diversity of international experiences.
If your children are of university age, it’s wise to think about how well the school you plan to send them to can help with SAT preparation, applications and so on. Many international schools have strong links with universities around the world, including in major educational centers such as Britain, Europe and in the USA. It’s worth noting that this is an advantage the international schools often have over the local school systems, too, so this may help you make a decision.
If your children are somewhat younger, you might have different needs. Looking at the facilities on offer in the local kindergarten is essential, and if you’re taking a family trip before the official move, your child should go along to make sure they feel comfortable there. If your child has special needs, meanwhile, it’s important to be certain that these will be met.
Provisions for students with additional learning requirements can vary across the world, and for some countries, the information you need might not be available online. It may be worth contacting an expat group in the country you plan to move to and see if any of their members are able to advise on the quality of special needs provision.
If your child is going to be studying abroad, choosing an international school is a big task. From working out whether the schools in question cover their specific needs to ensuring that there are appropriate international college entrance training opportunities available, there are plenty of ways to narrow down your list in a strategic way.