You have decided to make the decision of a lifetime, you will be moving abroad for work with your family joining you. As well as working out the finances and making sure you can obtain the relevant visas. Have you given enough thought to your Children’s education abroad and their future?
When planning your move there are so many factors to take into consideration and if you have children they are a big importance.
If your children are younger, they will be able to adapt easily to life abroad, whereas, if your children are of exam age, taking them abroad may be more difficult.
Older children of exam age will need to stay focused and be settled in their native country in order to carry out and be successful in exams, so to up heave and move them at this time would not be recommended.
Although older children can also be upset by the prospect of moving abroad at any time, as you are taking them away from their friends and all the things that they are familiar with.
Before you Leave
Try to plan your move so it is possible for your children to start school at the beginning of a school year, so they do not feel different from all the other children.
Before leaving your old house make a scrapbook with various photos in for your children, so they can look back and remember their life and memories in their native country.
Packing up the children’s room may be best to leave until last as some children may feel scared and lonely without their ‘comfort zone’ and this will only add to upset and confusion.
If it is possible, show your children their new home and surroundings before you actually make the move there, this will help them to have a better understanding of what is happening and where they will be going.
Another alternative is to take photos of the new house and area and show them to your children, so they know what to expect. Also, show them a photo of their new school, where all expat children study education abroad.
Some countries will be easier for your children to adapt to than others will. These are countries, which will generally be English speaking and have a similar culture to the one your children are bought up with. Although saying that, children seem to pick languages up quickly and easily so they will probably speak more fluently than you will.
Make sure you research into the education system of the country you are moving to, so you can see what is on offer for your children’s education abroad.
Your employer should be willing to pay for your children’s education abroad because you are moving abroad for work. This should be a standard compensation, so if your employer is not giving you this option you need to talk it through with them, as your family will be joining you on your relocation and cultural change. This will be an added expense for you and should not come out of your pocket.
Then the next thing you must think about is whether your child would benefit from being in a Local School, International School, or lastly from Home Schooling.
Local Schools are especially ideal for younger children as they will pick up the language more easily and they can make friends locally although Local Schools can suit older children also. They are also ideal if you are living abroad for a long time as your children can make friends and feel like part of the local community.
Do not worry about the homework side of things as you can organize a home tutor to come and help with the tricky stuff.
International Schools have their own International Curriculum that is similar to the education your child would experience in their native country. Depending on how many expats are living in your new country, will depend on the education that is on offer, although normally American and British Curriculum is widely available.
Home Schooling is another possible option for your children especially if the choice of curriculum at the nearby schools is not suitable for them or if the education at schools is not of a high enough standard.
However, you will need to look into the education system of the country you are going to, in order to find out if Home Schooling will be accepted legally by them as ‘real education’.
You would need to apply for this role and meet minimum education standards, then you can chose the most ideal curriculum to teach your child. Although you may think this is a difficult option, there is plenty of help readily available.
To find out more information on the different types of schools available in your new country you can discuss this with your employer and he/she might have some useful suggestions. As well as carrying out web-based research using the following words ‘Children’s Education Abroad’ and ‘Moving Abroad for Work’ the embassy and of your new country may be able to help you further with this.
To find out if free state education is available for your children look on the government website of the relevant country, they will have relevant links to schools, sometimes moving abroad for work is not enough to qualify for free education, and you may need to be a native of that country.
Either way you can find out the costs involved, which should be billed to your employer.
If you decide to send your children to either a Local or an International school, make sure you have their passport, birth certificate, and history of any inoculations they have had, in order to start the process.
It will always take a while for children to adjust to new surroundings so do not be disheartened if takes a while for them to settle. It is always harder for older children as they are out of their comfort zone and normal routines and may miss their friends, but over time, they are sure to settle in.
Try to create a fun time for the children as well, let them have time out when they do something they really enjoy that perhaps they could not do in their native country like swimming in the sea, riding a horse or fishing. It will give them an incentive and show them that living abroad does not have to be a hard struggle – it can be enjoyable also.
All in all your children will benefit from this positive experience of you moving abroad for work and it will make them stronger and understand that children’s education abroad is actually quite fun.
About The Author
Kim Kashmere writes for an expat community blog that provides calling cards to Italy and Swiss calling cards. As well as writing she enjoys Travelling, Photography and Walking with her Husband and Dogs.