Relocating with your child? One of your top priorities will be supporting your child’s education.
As parents, you will want to support your child’s transition to a new school and to give them every opportunity to settle, make friendships and feel comfortable academically.
It’s best to do your research before your overseas move. Starting a new school can be overwhelming. However, in a country where everything this new and different, it can be more difficult for kids to settle in. Expat kids are often very adaptable and used to moving countries. See our tips below on how to get them off to a positive start in their new school and home.
Select the right school
Relocating with your expat child can be smoother if you have planned in advance. Choosing a school near your home will ensure that your child builds friendships with local children. International schools will usually ensure that children are taught in their first language. They can also give your child the opportunity to follow a familiar education system. This can be great for continuity. If you are moving from an IB school, for example, it can often be helpful to continue with the IB curriculum in your new home.
If you’re staying in your new country permanently and are keen to encourage interaction with the local children, you may want to consider a more integrated approach and chose a local school.
Talk about their feelings
An overseas move can be overwhelming for parents too. Setting aside time to chat with your child about his or her feelings can really help. If they mention any worries or concerns, you can come up with solutions to help the to feel more secure.
Look for after school clubs
Research after-school clubs in your area. Getting your child involved in sport, music or drama can help them to develop confidence and to nurture friendships outside school. You could also consider expat meet-ups to give you and your family a chance to relax with families in a similar situation.
Don’t be anxious about grades
For an expat family, the main focus will be ensuring that your child settles into his/new new school and forges bonds with local children. New curricula and the general upheaval of a move may mean that grades drop, but your expat child will have plenty of time to catch up. Once your family is settled, you may consider private tuition to help boost your child’s confidence. For younger children (4-10 years) worries about grades should not be an issue.
Throw a party
Once you and your child have made a few connections, throw a housewarming party. This is a great chance for you and your family to strengthen your burgeoning friendships. A party with his or her new friends will also help your child to feel more self-assured and more settled in their new country.