There are a few important factors to keep in mind when choosing a school for your children. First, find out how many other international students are at the school. Bona-fide international schools, such as the American Embassy School and the British School cater almost exclusively to expatriate families, so this is not usually an issue. Indian private schools, conversely, cater mostly to well-heeled Indians, and may have very few foreigners in their student body. Being the only foreigner in an Indian school can be alienating for some children, so it’s good to find out up front if they will have other overseas students in their peer group.
It’s also important to find out what system of education the school follows, especially at the high school level. The Indian school system can be quite rigorous for many overseas students, and it may not be easy to transfer credits back to your home country later. It also might make applying for university admissions more tricky, especially if the college to which you are applying does not have a good grasp of India’s education system. Try to find a school using the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, as this is accepted worldwide.
Some schools only serve Indian cuisine in their canteens, which may be too spicy for younger foreign children. Make sure that if your child’s school does not have “continental” options, that he or she is at least allowed to carry a sack lunch.
Some schools in India lack sufficient extracurricular activities, as the focus is primarily on academics. Make sure that the school you send your child to has other enriching activities besides academics as this will help him or her to make new friends.
Finally, find out what the school’s disciplinary procedures are. In India, this can range from no discipline without parental consent/discussion to physical punishment.