Friday, 29 July 2011

Family Finance week part two - Children's Education

Welcome to part two of our Family Finance week to mark the launch of HSBC Bank International’s latest Expat Guide in association with the Guardian.

Today we are looking at the minefield that is planning for your children’s education and the associated costs.

Where to start?!

Firstly it’s worth pointing out that whilst companies will often pay for private schooling as part of an overseas relocation package, it is important to set aside sufficient money to cover school and university costs, after all you never know where you might next move to!

To make things more complicated the costs of education vary across the world and so planning in advance and doing some serious research is a must. For example the cost of a day school place at a private secondary school in the UK is about £15,000 and the cost for an international school is about £20,000, but of course they do vary from country to country. Eg. The cost of a typical day-school place a private school in Abu Dhabi can range from £8,000 - £15,000

For people working in the oil industry, the choice of international schools may be limited and it may be best to check that they are properly accredited by an appropriate education body that provides quality assurance. Boarding schools are of course another option and they tend to be expensive.

One other important consideration to take into account is that often coming back home can also be equally disruptive, especially for older children due to exam schedules and variations between different curriculums. There aren’t many UK schools that offer the international Baccalaureate so it’s best to give as much notice as possible.

The best advice is to ensure you do as much planning and research as possible before taking the plunge. The 2010 Expat Explorer survey sheds some interesting light on moving abroad with children.

As always we’re keen to hear your thoughts and experiences so please do share any top tips.

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