Friday, 20 June 2014

International or local school? The Pros and Cons

Choosing a school for your children when you move abroad involves making lots of difficult choices. Do you want your kids to learn in the local language or keep consistency with back home? Do you want them to integrate in the new culture or find common ground with fellow expats? It can be hard to get to grips with a new education system and work out what’s best for your children. But here are some things to consider when choosing a new school!

Creative Commons / Photocapy

The international school has many advantages: the main language is English, all the children there will be in the same situation as your own and your kids will become friends with people from all over the world. International schools also have the same system wherever you are, so it’s easy to enrol and overall they could provide the best solution, especially if you’re planning on moving again soon.

However, local schools can also be a great choice. When children attend a local school, it is much easier to integrate with the locals and start to appreciate a new language and culture. If you’re planning on staying for a long time in your new country, it is much more fun for your children to make friends who won’t be moving on, as is often the case in international schools. Local schools might be a bigger challenge at first but they can give your children more stability and a range of life experiences.

Did you choose to send your children to a local or international school? Let us know what you chose and why in the comments below or by tweeting @expatexplorer. And you can always find out which countries scored best for raising children abroad on the Expat Explorer Tool.

1 comment:

  1. We moved 2 children to South Africa. Both enrolled in local schools, the eldest Matriculated in Dec 2013, the youngest now aged 15 moved back to the UK in August 2013 to boarding school, the one he would have transferred to had we stayed in the UK.
    The discipline in the private school here was fantastic and really suited the eldest, it motivated him more than in the UK. However mainstream learning support is not available here, hence the youngest moving.
    We also discovered that a Matric does not qualify the children to study for a degree in the UK and as we cannot guarantee the length of our stay it was another reason for youngest to gain UK qualifications

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