The process of shifting to another country is a very tiring task itself and when the burden of enrolling your child in an international school is adding to it, everything is made all the more difficult. This life-altering decision will impact your child’s life immensely so it needs to be made very wisely and only after careful planning. Any parent only wants the very best for their child and deciding the institute is one very important decision. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when choosing an international school. The following are some of these.
The first and foremost thing to consider is the enrollment process of the institute. Several institutes have long waiting lists and you may not have that much time to spare, and some schools do not allow enrollment halfway through the year. It is therefore essential to consider the application procedure before you proceed with any further procedures. Also remember to consider application deadlines, documents that are required. Some institutes require candidates to give an entry exam and official grade reports. It is best to start finding the institute and beginning the application procedures a year in advance of moving to the new country.
2. Fees and any additional costs
The majority of families have the education cost as their top priority and the budget needs to be strictly met. Sending your child to any international institution is not simply about the yearly fees; there are a number of additional costs to remember. There is typically an enrollment fee and in most cases, the yearly fee increases with each academic year. Most institutes provide a clear breakdown of all fees included in the academic year on their official website so you can always consult that before you proceed. Across the globe, the costs vary widely and if the decision of moving to a foreign country depends on enrollment in an institute, do consider the costs beforehand.
3. Ethos and curriculum of the institute
After you have decided on a list of options open to you based on your budget, you can move on to the next most important factor; ethos and curriculum. Do not forget to ensure that the institute you have decided on has English as the medium of instruction. Some foreign institutes have German or French as the language of instruction. If you plan on enrolling your child in an English-medium institute but your child is not an English speaker, you should start preparing your child for proficiency in the language by enrolling him in any program designed for the purpose.
Secondly, decide on which curricula you want your child to study. There is typically an option between national English, American, and International Baccalaureate. Some institutes offer the parents to decide between. The curriculum you have decided on will play an important role in your decision. Try to be as consistent as possible in terms of curriculum choice.
Other important factors in terms of the ethics of the school include the class size, the approach of the institute, and the student demographics. In a small size classroom, your child can get more individual attention. In a multicultural classroom, there is a greater degree of exposure for your child. The ethos that you prefer in any institute will also have an impact. Do you want religion to be taught or incorporated in your child’s education? Is learning good behavior a priority? Remember these factors when looking for an institute that meets your requirements.
The location of the institute, the distance from your place of residence, your preferred mode of commutation, all have a determining influence. In deciding on the logistics, you also need to remember that you need to note the school’s opening and closing hours to see if it fits well with your schedule. Before and after school activities also factor in this as these can change pickup and dropping times. Another thing to note is whether the school of your choice provides prepared meals to its students or are the students expected to bring their lunch.
5. The infrastructure
The school’s infrastructure and size have an impact on your child’s social life and the child’s decision factors in this too. You may prefer a large school parameter with gardens and extra-curricular requirement satisfaction. International schools in Hong Kong and Asia vary greatly in terms of infrastructure, for example. The Harrow International School Hong Kong is a stunning crescent-shaped building located near the Gold Cost. The buildings are all magnificent works of art. It has about 1500 pupils enrolled in it, between the ages of 3 and 18. For those of you who want to find out more about the school, you can always visit this website.
6. What your child prefers
Despite all the important factors mentioned above, it all comes down to your child’s preference and needs. Ask your child what they prefer in an international university. He or she might have a primary concern of making good friends and having extracurricular opportunities. Whatever institutes you shortlist, remember to discuss with your child the dynamics of the institutions and give them a choice. Also, remember to consider your child’s strengths and weak areas. Does your child want to engage actively in extracurricular and sports? Do they excel in arts, social sciences, or pure sciences? Try looking for an environment that encourages your child’s strengths and helps them overcome their weaknesses.
7. How to go about the search
It can be an exhausting and daunting task to look for international institutions. You can look up the subject on the internet to find most of the details and visit the official websites for the schools to get to know more. Several websites also provide a very effective comparison between international institutions worldwide to make the decision easier. You can look up reviews and student satisfaction in the respective institutes. Make sure to visit the schools you have shortlisted before you finalize your decision.