An expat’s guide to education abroad

If you are planning on relocating overseas with your family, then choosing the education your children will get there is an important consideration. Depending on which country you will be living in, the education options and system may be very different from what you are used to. Of course, the choice you make will have a major impact on your child’s life, so you need to make sure it is the correct one.

In general terms, the key really is to find out as much information as you can about the local options in advance. This way, you’ll avoid making any rushed decisions, and it will also give you time to apply to the school you choose. When it comes to education abroad as an expat, there are a few standard choices to consider.

What options are open to expat families?

Although each country will differ, the below are the most common options open to expat families in terms of education:

  • Local schools – You may choose to enroll your child in a local nursery or school. These can often be free or less expensive than other options, which could be an advantage if money is tight. However, you must factor in that they may offer inferior qualifications upon completion and could see your children isolated as the only foreign pupils there.
  • Home schooling – Some expat parents will opt to home school their children. This involves teaching them yourself at home, rather than sending them out to study at an external school. Although this can seem safer and more secure, you risk isolating them from integrating into the local community. In addition, if you are not a qualified teacher, then they may not get the best education they could be receiving.
  • International schools – One very popular option for many expat families is international schools. Although you will need to pay fees in order to attend, these schools can help your children feel more at home and give them a superb all-round education.

What other advantages do international schools have

One of the really great things about international schools is how they can help your child make new friends with the local and international children who attend. This is especially helpful if you are moving to somewhere far removed from your current home, like Hong Kong. A top-class international Hong Kong school will also give your children an internationally recognized qualification upon graduation.

Take your time to make the right choice

When you are starting to check out the available options for your child’s education abroad, it really is best to take your time. Don’t leave it until the last minute, and make sure to have a thorough look into the various options available so that you make the right decision for your individual child. There is no one size fits all solution, as each family is different. It must be said, though, that international schools are very popular with a lot of families for the all-round educational package they offer.

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