One of the biggest concerns for expat parents is the subject of schooling for their children. It is hard to know which school would suit your child best. It is even harder if the country you are relocating to is far from your current base, making it difficult for you to visit and evaluate the school.
Local or global?
Depending on the circumstances of your relocation, you can consider several schooling options for your children.
If you are moving away permanently and want your children to acquire the local language and be fully immersed in the culture, then you can consider enrolling them into a local school.
On the other hand, if you are on a temporary assignment, it is better to put them in an international school with a global curriculum that can be aligned to the Australian curriculum when they return home.
The most common international curriculum is International Baccalaureate (IB). IB curriculum is suitable for children aged 3-19 and is a recognised diploma for university entrance. IB is offered in 3 languages: English, French, and Spanish.
Home-schooling can also be good, if you have the time. Children under the home-school system have more flexibility to study at their own pace.
However, if you’re an overseas expat who is moving to Australia and you’re considering home-schooling, you’ll also need to know that the Australian government has strict regulations with regards to registration. Some states are stricter than others and, in most cases, you would be required to show a plan of what and how you intend to teach.
Finding the right school
Finding the right school for your children is a personal decision. It involves many questions including the curriculum, school environment, the child’s ability to adapt, and future plans.
You can start by doing some initial research on what is available by browsing the internet. Word of mouth recommendations from expats who have school-going children is an excellent way to screen schools. You can also contact the Australian embassy in the foreign city for advice.
An international school can be costly. Unfortunately, there is no tax deduction for expenses incurred for your children’s education.
In limited circumstances there may be tax deductions for self-education expenses, however, and you may want to consult your tax consultant to find out more if you are completing some form of education while overseas. For more advice on your Australian expat tax returns, contact us today.