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5 Tips For Finding the Right International School

The right international school can help expat children thrive in their new environment.

As an international teacher consultant, I often see the same questions from parents looking for a school for their child’s education abroad. You’ve already decided that an international school is the right fit for your family. But now, you’re wondering how to pick the right one. It’s a stressful time and there are many factors to consider.

I get it.  Don’t panic – there are a few things you can do to help work through your decision.

Look at accreditation

Choose an international school that is accredited by the Council of International Schools (CIS). This organization conducts rigorous assessments of international schools to ensure that they meet high standards of educational excellence and provide safe, supportive learning environments. Schools seeking CIS accreditation must undergo a lengthy assessment process including self-evaluation, peer visits, and site visits.

A school’s membership in the CIS ensures that it will be held accountable for its operations and educational practices.

Choose a school that is recognized by the local government

As with choosing any school, your decision should be based on the needs of your child and your family. If you are moving to a new country or have been transferred by your company to another country, it is obviously best to choose an international school that is recognized by the local government and that provides a curriculum that will be recognized in other countries.

Start with an internet search and ask around to find out what schools are recognized by the local government. This means that if you move again, your child can transfer to another school without facing difficulties – a great advantage if you work in an international company that moves employees around frequently.

Choose a school with a good academic reputation

Academic excellence should be the first thing you look for in an international school. Find out how the students perform on standardized testing and what kinds of awards or scholarships they have received.

Some schools have strong academic programs, others have more sporting or creative arts opportunities, while some are small and intimate. Some may have well-maintained facilities while others may be larger with more facilities. There may be different types of classrooms – traditional tables and chairs or flexible furniture that can move around; some schools might be big on innovation while others might focus on digital technology. Different types of schools cater to different needs, so decide what you want from a school before making a decision.

Look for academics that suit your child’s learning style and needs

Knowing what your child will be taught is important, but so is knowing how they will be taught. Look at the course offerings and find out what kind of teaching methods are used. Ask about options such as advanced placement courses, gifted programs, online learning, and other interesting choices that might encourage your child to pursue their education more fully.

So, look for a curriculum that suits your child’s learning style and needs. If you’re not sure what that style or need is, take time to figure it out. You can also look for schools that have programs designed for students with learning differences, such as dyslexia, ADHD, or Asperger syndrome.

Choose a school with extracurricular activities and programs that will allow your child to develop their interest and skills

Choose a school with extracurricular activities and programs that will allow your child to develop their interest and skills. For example, if your child has a passion for creative writing or filmmaking, find out if there is a club or program dedicated to this type of activity. Or maybe your child is interested in another language, does the international school offer Chinese lessons or Japanese classes?

Look for an international school that offers support for children with special educational needs (SEN). Many schools have SEN departments or teams of teachers who can help children who need extra assistance with learning.

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