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Choosing schools when moving abroad

If you’re moving overseas with children, finding a new school will be an important consideration. We provide information to help you with the process of selecting a school for your children when moving to a new location abroad.

Choosing schools when moving abroad

If you are moving abroad with children, you will need to select a school for your children to attend when you have moved into your new home overseas.

Choosing the right school for your children in a new country can feel like a daunting task. With a bit of research, you can find a good school to help your kids settle into a new life overseas without disrupting their education.

Plan for the future

If you don't intend to stay forever, consider selecting a school that will provide a curriculum that ties in with the UK system so they can return home without missing anything important.
 
If you are moving permanently, a local school may be the best option for your kids to settle into the new country. Children are often resilient and adjust well to new schools, but a drastic change of curriculum or language can prove challenging and may impact on their education, so speak to your kids and work out what's best for you all.

 


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Research

The internet is an invaluable tool for carrying out important research, but word of mouth is always preferable. Speak to colleagues, neighbours, other parents and anyone who might have a connection to that country and knows about the best potential schools.
 
If you're struggling to find someone in the area, you could try Mumsnet or Twitter to speak to other families who've been in a similar situations.

You may decide not to ship your car overseas with you, so will need to find a school that has a bus service, or is close enough to walk to.

School age

Younger children tend to be more adaptable than older children and can fit in almost anywhere. The older your child, the more they might have settled into a particular school system. It can be hard to judge and it might be easier to continue with a school offering a curriculum your child is familiar with, even if the school itself isn't necessarily at the top of your list.
 
If you have more than one child, it will be easier for you if they attend the same school, but this also won't always possible, so it's something else to take into account when making your decision.

Lifestyle

In some countries, the school day starts and finishes early and this may cause difficulties if it doesn't fit around your working day. Consider the distance to your school, the school run, school buses and also your children's happiness. 
 
If they are more likely to make friends with local children closer to home, this might be the best option. If you don't get it right the first time and your kids aren't happy in their school don't worry, you can always move them to a new school.

page last updated June 2015

 

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