Friday 16th December 2016

Your relocation letter at hand, it is important to assess many cost factors while negotiating with your employer. If the move is not related to your work, the same list of costs goes on and with even most importance as your cost of living will be straight out of pocket expenses.

Some countries can be picked for their quality of life other for their career growth opportunity, but over the past years, the most popular destinations with expats countries have seen steadily rising education costs.

The relocation site ExpatFinder have put up an extended report on the cost of international schools around the world and how to navigate cost challenges relating to global relocation. The survey bases its ranking on a comprehensive market survey of 707 international schools across 98 countries.

We explore some key findings here:

Expected inflation

International school tuition fees in 2016 have increased by 3.43% from 2015. For long-term global assignments, companies should take into account as a form of recurring price inflation.

This means that your negotiation for education allowance for an assignment longer than one year should take that into account. Make sure to ask your short-listed school what is the expected rate rise for the following years.

You can’t always get what you want

As a Global Mobility Manager points out “some destination are just too challenging.” This pushes some companies to favour short-term international assignments and commuting assignments where children remain in the home location.

It becomes increasingly more difficult or impractical in many countries to enrol foreign children into the local education system.

Some parents rethink the whole education approach for their children. There are options such as homeschooling that are becoming more popular as well as combining private tutors that provide additional native language lessons to a local curriculum.

Get help

While school allowance and school search support are not necessarily provided by the hiring companies anymore, it is important to note there are specialists out there to help you in your choice. Destination service providers are on the ground consultants that typically will have a packaged price for school search support. This surely will save you a lot of time and stress and might end up financially very interesting.

Nationality matters

Generally speaking, American schools’ 6th-grade tuition fees are the most expensive and costs an average of US$17,095 per year. This is closely followed by British, Canadian, French and German schools. Spanish schools have appeared as the most affordable, at only US$6,320 per year.

Top countries

Based on the median of the 6th-grade tuition fees per country, China (US$36,400 per year), Switzerland (US$28,300 per year) and Belgium (US$27,800 per year) came out on top spots as the most expensive countries for international education.

Amongst the 707 international schools surveyed, yearly tuition fees vary from as high as US$48,170 per year in Switzerland’s Institut Le Rosey to as low as US$860 per year in Colombia’s Colegio Anglo-Colombiano.

The schools at the top of the list of some key countries are as follows:

  • United Kingdom: The American School in London
  • United Arab Emirates: American School of Dubai
  • United States: The Dwight School
  • China: Yew Chung International School
  • Singapore: The Australian International School

You can learn more about the International School Fee Survey here.

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