Choosing the right school

Relocating to another country can be an exciting prospect especially if your company is paying all the expenses and that a relocation agent is helping you to find a suitable place to live.

However, if you have to find school places for young children, this can be difficult in some parts of the world and be quite stressful.

Some families even choose to live seperatly for a while until they can find the right school for their children.

How do you choose the right school?

Firstly, there are many schools that offer different education programmes in most cities with choices ranging from American, British, French and German International styles of education or a mix of these.

Your child may already be in school and therefore you will want to choose a similar type of education in your new country to give them a seamless transition.

Also, you may be moving back after two or three years and you do not want to jeopardize going back to the same school they came from especially, if it is a good one.

All schools now have a comprehensive website listing the programmes and style of education they offer, so you can have access to all of this in advance.

A visit to the schools is vitally important and it may be wise to see how the children in that school behave during a break or lunchtime.

You should also find out the examination results over the past five years and if your children are older the lists of universities that students have been accepted into.

If your children are younger, then the names of schools that children transfer to in your country is a good indicator of the standard of education in that school.

You will most certainly want to find out the range of extra curricular activities on offer as your children should be fully involved in this area, so that they will end up with a good all round education.

You need to know if all the teachers have the appropriate degrees etc., and also the number of children in each class.

It is useful to ask for advise from your work colleagues in the country you are going to because good schools can often have long waiting lists.

If you are lucky enough to be able to plan ahead then you should start the process immediately by putting the children on the waiting list.

There are usually entrance tests for the good schools that need to be passed prior to entry as well as up to date reports from the present school.

You may have decided to opt for a school with a British style curriculum up to IGCSE followed by the IB Diploma, which is accepted by universities worldwide, or an American oriented system with the AP programme.

The children should always be involved fully in this process as it can be a traumatic time for them leaving their friends behind and moving to a new place.