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Expat parent’s guide to choosing the right international school

Often, living as an expat tend to feel like you’re on a permanent vacation, whether you’re at work, at home, or enjoying your afternoon at the park – I should know. As a worker, it’s not very hard to have meetings in a nice building, meet colleagues from around the world in a picturesque location, or do the things you normally do back in your home country.

However, it’s not the same story for expat kids. The rigors of exams, homework, assignments, and other school activities won’t feel like any vacation. As for you, choosing the right international school can become a difficult task. While the focus is finding the balance between high academic standards and extracurriculars, you also want your child to thrive in their new school environment as an expat.

You inherently know what’s best for your child. Ask yourself what your child loves about their current school if you’re having a hard time where to start. What about their school encourages them to study happier and thrive? Are there any factors that are causing them stress or holding them back? Making this your starting point will help you in finding the right criteria for an international school. It will take time to find new friends at school, but one with a focus on creativity and diversity will be a great combination for a child who wants to socialize and meet new friends.

A child who struggles with reading but found their footing with a calm, caring teacher will enjoy a school with a strong teacher-to-child ratio, smaller classroom sizes, and a big library. Indeed, no one knows your child like you do. Knowing what makes your child’s best self will help you select a school with confidence.

Finding learning resources as an expat. Apart from this article, there are a LOT of resources that can help you along the way. You know what’s best for your child, plus other people know the schools available in your area, inside and out. You’ll find many blogs and forums that are free for parents and there is an extensive amount of support groups as well. The internet is a brilliant resource for all your questions and concerns and even when looking for hard data on schools.

Transitioning into an international school. As you know, starting in a new school is a big challenge for a child. You can help with the transition by doing several things, one of which is setting up a meeting with the school administrators to know who oversees records and transcripts and inquire about the ways to stay in touch.

You can also connect with an expat who is in your neighborhood or has been in the country for a while and asks them about the challenges they faced finding the international right school. Being systematic and setting up communication channels is as vital as a school’s pedigree.

Finally, choosing and enrolling your child in one of the top international schools in Singapore is also an experience for you as a parent. Get yourself involved. All international schools have a good approach to parental involvement. Many offer multiple volunteer committees, though others are more restrained. But understand that school is important for the entire family and not just your child.

Connect with parents, go to all special events especially if your child is involved. Be proactive and find a role where you can contribute. As this will ensure that time abroad is more meaningful. We hope you find the right school for your child.

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