Moving abroad is a wonderful opportunity for your whole family to enrich another culture and bond as a unit. But it’s also something that you need to place, taking responsibility for things like the education of your children, which is paramount for young people who will also need to make new friends fast after their move. In this guide, we’ll look at overseas education: how it works, how to find the right school, and how to keep your kids on their learning path despite your move to a new country.
Many children who live overseas are homeschooled. This is especially true of children who were homeschooled in their home country – but it’s also a good stop-gap if you make your move between school terms. You’ll find that every country with a large expert community will have a number of private tutors who will be able to give your children a first-class education. This is a great option if you know you’re not staying long in your new host country.
The rise of online schooling since the pandemic has meant that many institutions are ready to offer online-only schooling to young people. This is a largely untested area of education, but early signs are promising. Nonetheless, as with homeschooling, this may prove to be the best bet for families who will not be living in an area for longer than a single school term. If you’re planning on becoming a long-term resident of your host country, it may be best to look for a long-term schooling solution, too.
International schools tend to be favored by expats because they’re both incredibly high quality and a great opportunity for your children to meet and make friends with an international crowd of kids. The social benefits of this option almost outweigh the educational ones, as your kids will learn as much from their international peers as they do from their teachers. And you can choose different styles of schooling: the British system in Rugby School in Thailand, or the international bachelorette in schools across Europe. The choice is yours.
Some local schools are better than others. The further you move away from your culture, the more difficult it’s likely to be for your children to fit into a local school. But that’s not to say that these institutions can’t be enlivening and exciting places for your children to learn. On the contrary, going to such a school will help them ingratiate themselves fully in your new host country. Just make sure lessons are taught in English.
These aren’t the same as international schools and are, instead, set up by a group of expats who want their children to receive high-quality, tutored schooling with other international children. They may not be hosted in a traditional school – perhaps more of a rented education center – but this is your chance to continue your kids’ education in the same style as they were taught in your home country if that’s important to you.
These five schooling options will help you settle your kids into the right educational environment for your circumstances.