It is a question that you have to consider deeply; how do you pick the best school for your child abroad? Whether you are choosing a private or a public school, whether you are paying tuition or not, careful planning is required.
We have prepared sections that have what you need to ask and consider as you go through the process of choosing a school for your kids. Remember, you want to choose a school that will give the best educational experience for your kids and is as rewarding as possible.
You may want to write down at least five things that are vital to the education of your kid as you consider the schools. As you go through the selection process, be sure to revise your list.
Here are four steps to help you in selecting a school that’s right for your kids. Keep reading!
Consider Your Kids and Your Family
Start by first examining what you want the school to do for your kids. Perhaps your kids have certain special educational needs. Remember this. After all, you know them better more than anyone can.
Your Kids’ Needs
- Do they need a more or less structured environment?
- Do they need more challenging work?
- Do they need special attention?
- Do your kids have any special learning needs?
- Do your kids need an environment that nurtures creativity?
The Kids’ Learning Style
- Do your kids learn better through physical activities?
- Do they learn best by observation?
- Are they mathematical or logical?
- Do they like to work alone or learn better in groups?
Gather Enough Information about the Schools
When we are looking to buy a car, a refrigerator, or an oven, we talk to our friends and try to find as much information in consumer magazines, other published sources, or the internet. Similarly, when looking for a school, especially abroad, you may want to collect as much information as you can from all the written materials you can get. You can find reliable information about the school on their website, which will give data you need to know if the school will bring out the best in your kids. Additionally, along with the philosophy and curricula of the school, you may want to examine their services and policies. Also, you may want to consider co-curricular programs offered such as their clubs, sports, or academic enrichment. These educational activities outside of the regular hours complement what is taught in class and ensure no kid is left behind.
- How strong are the school’s core academic subjects (art, science, mathematics, English, and foreign language)?
- What other courses are offered in addition to the core subjects?
- Does the school offer some challenging programs such as International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement?
- Does the school help your kids develop character?
- How does the school handle indiscipline?
- What measures are in place to ensure safety?
Facilities and Services
- Is the school’s library well-stocked to encourage research? And, are the materials available in more than one language?
- How is access to computers and the internet, and is internet use monitored?
- Are there any counseling services for the students?
Visit and Observe the School
After identifying the schools you are interested in, contact them, and make an appointment for a visit. If possible, visit during regular schooling and get to visit a few classes. Remember, to get a realistic sense of how the school operates, avoid visiting during the first or last week of the term. Also, a great way to get more information is to schedule an appointment with the principal.
A great tour will involve attending an open house or any other school function that would give insights into the attitude of the students, teachers, and parents. Listen closely to what they have to say about the school.
Apply to the Schools You Choose
Once you have identified the school(s) you think will be great for your kids, start applying immediately. It is wise to apply more than one in case the kid is not admitted to the first choice. You may want to begin the application as soon as possible not to miss the deadlines.
Admission processes do vary. Some schools will need to have the kids tested, or you may need to provide school recommendations and transcripts. Be sure to check their admission criteria. Double-check to make sure you have accurate information on the whole process.
Congratulations on your commendable planning and reaching this point. Your active concerns and involvement in your kids’ education will pay off handsomely. Remember, it is your responsibility to seek the very best education for your kids.