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By Allianz Care | August 20, 2018
Understandably, one of the biggest concerns as an expat parent is the education of your children while you are living and working abroad. It is natural that you want the best for them in every area of their lives. There are a few options when it comes to schooling children away from your home country including:
The latter option is usually the most popular as it may afford your children the opportunity to continue their education following the curriculum of your home country. Or at the very least an international curriculum, that transfers easily to another jurisdiction in case you move again.
What to consider when choosing an international school
If you are a new expat parent, this is a question you are likely to have. There are a lot of factors that will feed into finding the best international school for your child including:
Larger cities with high expat populations, like Singapore, can have a variety of schools following syllabi from the UK to Australia and every large country in-between. If your children are already following one of these, it may be easiest for them attend a school where they can continue on this curriculum. If your child’s current curriculum is not available there is usually the option to follow the International Baccalaureate a framework for international schools developed 50 years ago.
There is no denying that international schools can be expensive depending on your location. If this is a concern for you, and you have some leeway in terms of your destination for working abroad, some of the least expensive international schools can be found in South Africa, Denmark and Saudi Arabia.
Does your child love music or do they enjoy a particular sport? Doing the extracurricular activities they love may help them settle into their school more quickly. It is also important to assess academic facilities and understand how technology is used in the classroom. If you can visit the country before you move, schedule a tour of the international schools you are considering. Most schools will be happy to accommodate.
Regardless of the school you are choosing, teacher/student ratio is an important consideration and particularly important when your child is moving country. Most international schools have a lower student/teacher ratio than public or some private schools, so it is worth checking. Your child may need extra support as they undertake a different curriculum in a new country.
Singapore: Australian International School
A co-educational school that offers both International Baccalaureate and Australian syllabi. It is considered one of the best international schools in Singapore with a 100% pass rate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) compared to a global average of 70%. Extracurricular activities and facilities are excellent and every effort is made to take a holistic approach to a student’s education.
Kuala Lumpur: Mont Kiara International School
Affiliated with the North American curriculum, this co-educational international school is consistently ranked as one of the best in Malaysia. The school prides itself on being globally minded with a diverse student population made up of over 50 nationalities.
China: Dulwich College
Dulwich College in Beijing is one of seven Dulwich Colleges located around China and South East Asia. All seven schools are co-educational and are affiliated with Dulwich College founded in the 1600’s near London. In total, the seven international schools cater for 7,000 mainly expat children. With an innovative approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) as well as excellent extracurricular activities.
Switzerland: International School Geneva
Founded in 1924 this is the world’s oldest international school. Now based in a high-tech campus, this school has an inclusive admissions policy and aims to educate children to have humanitarian values while remaining academically rigorous. Offering all the extracurricular sporting activities you would expect of a Swiss school including skiing, football and athletics, it also offers alternative options like circus skills, pottery and theatre.
If you are moving with your family to the UK, the International School in London offers a school with a focus on the future. Each school division incorporates technology into their curriculum to allow students deepen their understanding of subjects and problem solve for themselves. After school clubs include film making, coding and sculpture as well as a range of sporting activities.
Choosing the best international school for your child is only one of the tasks when you are moving assignment or going to work abroad for the first time. It is also important to look after their physical health and wellbeing with comprehensive international health insurance. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are looking for information on how best to protect your family’s health while you are abroad.
*Allianz Partners have no affiliation with any of the schools listed. List is for information purposes only.