For young children, moving schools and settling in a completely new environment can be extremely challenging and overwhelming. Being uprooted from all the comforts back home, children may have a hard time coping with the new environment and educational system. Expat children’s education may also have to adapt to a new culture, a new curriculum, and maybe even a new language.
As a parent, it is up to you to decide whether you should choose an international school or a local public school for your child. Of course, you have the option to home-school your kids. If you plan to send them to school, you need to do thorough research to find the ones that would suit their needs. This is especially important these days, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Top tips to ensure that your children get great overseas education
Here are the top five tips to ensure that your children get off to a great start on the overseas education front:
1. Choose the Right School
When it comes to choosing the right school, it all depends on what kind of education you want to provide to your children in a new expat destination. International schools you’re your best bet if you want your children to follow a curriculum similar to back home. The quality of expat children’s education would be better than in local schools. However, the fee structure will be on the higher side. Even if you intend to stay in an overseas location permanently, getting your children enrolled in a local school that teaches in English can be a good idea.
Most of the top expat destinations across the world have English medium schools. Ideally, it would help if you chose a school that is close to your residence. This will help your kids mix with their peers and make friends as days go by.
2. Ignore Your Child’s Grades (For Now)
This is another great way to manage expat children’s education abroad. Give your child enough time to get used to the new educational setting. Ignore their grades during the initial term or two. Getting good grades is important, but the main focus should be on encouraging your children to adapt to the new educational system. Let them settle into the new lifestyle and make local friends. That unsettling feeling, new curriculum, and language barriers would mean that children won’t be able to fare well in the exams. However, don’t pressurize them to work hard. With time they will catch up for sure.
3. Encourage Children to Take Up Extracurricular Activities
Extracurricular activities let kids get accustomed to new faces and build stronger bonds. Their self-confidence would get boosted in the process too. Encourage your children to join various school clubs that are available. They will develop interpersonal skills as they get involved in activities like music, sports, and drama. As they create new friendships, their confidence will also improve. Check out the Girl Guides and Scouts clubs in your host city and encourage your child to get involved in them.
4. Communicate with Children Regularly
When it’s about managing expat children’s education abroad, communication is the key. The more time you spend with your children, the better, especially if you have moved with your family to a foreign country. Talk to your kids as often as you can despite your busy schedule. Try to know how things are going at school and about their new classmates. Encourage them to share their problems and try to come up with solutions so that they can overcome those issues.
Give them sufficient time to regroup after school and have these discussions, maybe during dinner. Also, make sure that your children are in good company at school. If they are old enough, check out their Facebook friends and WhatsApp groups so that they are not getting addicted to social channels. You can also find out how other expat and global nomad parents are dealing with academic issues faced by their kids.
5. Plan a Housewarming Party
Within a few weeks of schooling, your child should be able to make a few friends. This is where your child’s social life starts. Plan a housewarming party and invite your child’s local friends and classmates. This will be the perfect opportunity for your child to strengthen friendships and build new ones. It is never easy to settle in a new school abroad; so you can do your part to make it a little comfortable for them by organizing these little parties at home (once we have vaccination rates up and it is safe to do so).
You must make the right decision when it comes to choosing the school for your ex-pat children’s education. Your decision should be based on what is best for your young child. Do extensive research to find the top educational facilities in your chosen destination abroad. Remember, young minds also need the right environment for intellectual growth. As a responsible parent, you would know what is ideal for your kid. We recommend that global citizens who want to talk to an expat insurance expert seek out an international health insurance expert on how to determine which plan is best.