What To Look For When Picking An International School For Your Kids
Some useful tips for picking the best international school for your child
Moving the whole family to a new country can be exciting; however, it does come with challenges. First up is finding the right international school for your little ones. As a parent, you want the best for your child, so naturally, you will want a school with the best education standards, conveniently located, and somewhere your child will settle in well and thrive. Now you are wondering, how do I choose the right international school? As is, picking a school is hard enough, throw in a new locale and schooling system, and it’s no wonder you might be overwhelmed. To help you out, here are some of the things you need to know.
Tips for picking the best international school
Boundless opportunities, great chances for exponential personal growth, exposure to different cultures and experiences, are just some of the benefits of learning at an international school. These schools’ rising popularity is a testament to parents starting to see the clear benefits of having their children study in an international school. When picking an international school for your child, careful planning is a must. Remember, you are searching for the school that will provide the best educational experience for your kid and make it as rewarding as possible. Here are some of the things to keep in mind.
Look at the Fees and Costs
For many parents, a deciding factor for their pick of an international school is the overall costs of taking their kids there. International schools tend to have a higher price tag than other schools. If you think that the yearly school fees reflect the full cost of sending your child to a global Indian international school, you are mistaken. Many of these international schools charge an extra enrolment fee, and yearly fees often increase per academic year. There are additional costs for supplementary services such as transport, uniforms, books, extracurriculars, learning support, lunches, etc. Most schools have their own fees structure and even provide a breakdown of these fees. Some allow for monthly fee installments while others require an upfront payment. The overall yearly cost per child is something to consider if you are budget conscious.
Investigate their Curriculum and Ethos
You must take an in-depth look at the curriculum offered at your potential international school as it should fit your child’s needs and character. Get the essentials such as the subjects taught, the class structure, and style. Because of their diverse nature, different schools offer different curriculums, often based on the various education systems around the world. Some schools can have more than one curriculum, so base your decision on which curriculum is the best for your child. Check out the class sizes, student demographics, teachers, and the general ethos and approach to learning.
How far away is it from your home or place of work? What’s the commute like? Does the school offer transport, or do you need your own? If you haven’t found a place yet, start by checking our areas neighboring the school. If you need to rely on school bus services, find out the routes are taken and factor that into your house hunting equation. Also, consider checking the school’s opening hours. Many international schools offer before and after school activities, so if classes end at 3, your child may come home later at around 5. This means you can pick them up on your way from work. The same goes for early mornings too. Lunch is something else to think about. Find out if the school offers meals, or will your child have to bring their own? Also, if they do, are the options nutritious and healthy, and do they cater to special dietary requirements?
Visit the school
Lastly, reach out to the schools you are interested in and make an appointment for a visit. If you can tour the school during regular school hours to get a feel of how things work. Avoid visiting the school during the first few weeks or the last to get a realist sense of how the school runs.
Observe the environment, the school’s culture, the faculty, and engage with current students and other parents to get a more rooted sense of what life has to offer. While you are there, ask about the application process, what documentation you need, and if there’s a waiting list. Understand that these schools are highly sought after, so the waiting lists can be very long. It’s a great idea to start searching early and apply to multiple schools if your child is not accepted to your first choice.
Starting at a new school is among the biggest changes a child can face. Picking the right school can help make the transition easier and smoother. That’s why picking the right international school is such a tall order. You have to get the perfect balance of all the crucial factors, but you can easily tackle this daunting task with the practical tips laid out.