British Schools For Expat Children Around The World, by Luke Rees

If you are leading an international life with children, you will need to find a school that fits you and your family’s needs in many places around the world. You’ll need to make sure that the curriculum is similar and that your children settle in smoothly. – Many families opt for international schools. But how can you be sure to find the same school in the next country? Luke Rees wrote this insightful post for my blog about the British Schools Around the World.

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Parents who are planning to move abroad face a number of initial challenges. To start with there are the stresses that go along with finding a house, setting up a bank account, buying a car and sorting out healthcare. However there is perhaps nothing quite as tricky as setting your children up in a new foreign school.

Emigrating with children often stirs up a variety of feelings within the family. On the one hand there is the excitement of a new climate, a new culture and a whole new land of opportunities, but on the other there is the fear of change – the stresses of which can wreak havoc on a family. It therefore always pays to be prepared, and to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.

Taking your kids away from their friends and teachers whilst they are still at primary and secondary school is a delicate process. It is well know that young children need stability, and to wrench everything away from under their feet is no doubt going to be traumatic. If the new country speaks a foreign language or uses their own national curriculum then this can make the transition even harder on your child, who has to learn to negotiate an entirely new educational system.

For British parents there is the option to keep their child at a British school no matter where they are in the world. The British curriculum, from the key stages up to the GCSE exams, are taught in over 1,000 schools around the world. Cambridge IGCSEs are also taught in many schools, which are the international equivalent of GCSEs and accepted by all higher institutions in the UK.

In order to help parents locate British schools an interactive map was created by Expat & Offshore – an online information resource for expats. The map has over 1,000 primary, secondary and through schools to choose from all over the world. In order to find a school in your host country, click on a star and you will find information on the school’s address, website, phone number, and student population. You can view the map here:

British Schools Abroad

British Schools Abroad

Setting your children up in a school where they feel at ease and have the same educational opportunities as back home is everything a parent could hope for, however there are a number of extra strategies to ensure your child’s move is as tear-free as possible.

If your child is particularly sensitive then you must give them lots of time to get used to the idea of moving. Reading books and researching the new country with your children can help them to build an impression before they arrive so that it doesn’t seem so foreign on arrival. Also getting friends and family to put together something to remember them by before you leave – something like a signed T-shirt or a photo album – gives your child time to let go of their home whilst also allowing them to still feel connected to friends after the move.

Some tips to help your child settle into school even quicker include speaking to their new teachers and informing them of your child’s likes and dislikes, as well as giving them the names of important people in their life. Teachers can then reference these people and make your child feel like they’re still at home.

Children with United Kingdom, Guinean, United States and Chinese flags painted on faces

Moving country is one of the biggest steps a family with young children can take and so it always pays to extensively research your country of destination before the move. There are British schools in almost every country in the world (barring a few in Africa), so parents are likely to find an appropriate school no matter where they are.

 

Luke Rees

Luke Rees

Luke Rees is a travel writer from London who currently writes on behalf of Expat & Offshore.

 

3 Comments

  1. Hi there! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Keep up the excellent work!|

  2. Thank you for this useful resource. do you have Cambridge Home School on your map? I ask because we are expats living in Spain and our children go to this school and are doing extremely well there. both children have grown in confidence and their grades are really improving. I just wanted your readers to be aware that a top British independent school in Cambridge is offering Prep, IGCSEs and A Levels to families anywhere in the world!

    • Thank you for the tip! I think more and more families are considering online options to help their children get the education and grades they need. I hope that the Netherlands will soon allow families to use this kind of services as they all fall under the category “homeschooling” which is not allowed in this country.

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