choosing schools

How to choose an overseas school for your children

When moving overseas to live and work as an expat, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the right school for your children.

Some children adapt very well to new environments and ways of learning, but others do not. As such, we’ve listed three tips for you to consider when starting your search.

1. Do your research – but where do you start?

The obvious place to start is the internet, but it’s important to remember that the online presence of schools is generally always positive, so this might not be a true reflection of what’s on offer. Use the internet to gather a list of overseas schools you like the look of before visiting in person, if this is possible.

While we understand that not all expats will have the opportunity to do this, you could also speak to your new colleagues and ask for recommendations and advice. Don’t forget to contact the schools you’re interested in directly as well and see if they’re prepared to put you in touch with parents of other pupils who go there.

2. Decide between international and local schools

Choosing between an international school and a local one often comes down to whether your move is permanent or not. Children who go to international schools often find they do not experience the culture of the country they are in, whereas children who attend local schools will often become fluent in the local language and learn more about the common customs.

As a parent, being a part of the local school community can offer many benefits too, as it allows you to become more involved with other parents and local events. However, if you know your stay is only for a short period, an international school may be the better option.

3. Consider quality and costs

In a number of countries, the state education is of a very high standard, with many local schools offering the same level of learning as private schools.

What’s more, state education won’t cost you anything (or very little), whereas private or international schools will.

If you’re relocating to a country such as France or the UK, state schools will be a great option, but make sure you research the public system and whether or not this is right for your child.

If your child is at a crucial time in their education – a year 12 student, for example – the curriculum and the environment on offer will need to be considered carefully.

If you’re seeking any advice on relocating overseas, including dealing with your taxes and your expatriate tax returns, shares, investments and/or overseas income, contact our team at Expat Tax Services today.

Shane Macfarlane CA
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