International moving means finding a new school for your child. While most countries offer three choices when considering your child's education - state, private and international - most people choose to enroll their child in an international school as they are the closest in curriculum and grading to their home educational system. Also, some countries will not allow foreign students to attend the local state school or in some areas the state school system is full.
This choice will depend on where you are moving to and if you think you'll be moving back to your home country before your child is ready for college. If this is the case, an international school will either follow the American system, with high school grades and SATs, or the British system of International GCSEs and A levels. This will make it easier for your child to reenter the school system back home if their grade system matches that of your home country.
The choice will also depend on the age of your child. Younger children adapt more easily to a new culture and language; whereas older children may find it difficult.
Fees will also play a factor in your decision. International schools can charge from $10,000 per year to $50,000 plus, depending on your child's age and the school. It's very expensive and for some, completely out of reach. If you are being transferred by your company, it's a good idea to build this cost or partial cost into your employment contract.
Most international schools have a waiting list, so register your child as soon as you can to ensure their spot.
To find out more about international schools, do your research. Try to find a school that is associated with a larger organization that regulates standards and ensures the school meets strict requirements.
- The Office of Overseas Schools of the U.S. Department of State lists schools that meet their standards of education. Primarily a resource for government personnel stationed overseas, it's a good place to start your research.
- Established in 1955, International School Services provides a list of international schools that must meet ISS standards. The list is comprehensive and includes contact information and website addresses.
- Commission on American and International Schools Abroad has more than 142 American and International schools in 63 countries which meet the New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
- European Council of International Schools provides information on a range of international schools around the world.