Finding the right (international) school for your relocated employees’ children

Published on 8 November 2022
Schools for expat children

Relocating your employees abroad can be tricky, because there are a lot of different factors that you must consider. Your employees are leaving the safe environment of their home country, which can be scary. Especially when a staff member takes their family with them, such a move can be very tensive. Young children might experience huge language and cultural barriers, and teenagers can feel extremely homesick for their friends back home for a long time to come. Therefore, it is very important that you help your employees find a fitting school where their children feel good and where their partners can get into contact with other parents. Voerman understands that finding a suitable school with a fitting academic program is very important when relocating your employees internationally, and we offer supportive relocation management services to make this happen.

The importance of school selection

Enrolling children into a new school can already be very scary for children, let alone in a new (and unknown) country. You can turn on our School Search programs to help brand-new expats find the best suitable school options for their children. Before relocating, tailored research should be conducted to find applicable schools to the family’s preferences. Think of the choice of an international or a national school, the distance between home and school, the educational program, all within the budget of your company. Within this process of finding an appropriate school, the educational level of the children must also be considered.

Especially international schools can have very strict admission processes that test the children on for example their language level, their analysis abilities, and their general knowledge. Should parents want to send their children to one of such international schools (and most families do), then they should be informed of these restrictions early in the process. Therefore, it is important that when your company’s international relocation is confirmed, that these kinds of matters are discussed with the moving families in time for them to anticipate on these admission procedures. To make this feasible for your organization, Voerman takes this off your hands.

The Voerman services help support this process from A to Z with initial consulting services, instructing families about school procedures, arranging appointments, and accompanying admission interviews. We make this process as comfortable as possible for your employees, to make the relocation process a pleasant experience for their whole family.

Advantages of International Schools

Most expats choose to send their children to international schools. Reasons for this are the globalization of our society and the interesting educational programs that are offered. The schools host an inclusive international curriculum for an international community, with a focus on educating cultures around the world, and where most students and teachers are expats. In these international schools, all classes are educated in a foreign language, usually English, which for a lot of kids means that they learn a second language. Due to the large number of international teachers with different backgrounds, the schools also offer a very wide range of classes in other foreign languages. This allows children to really expand their language knowledge and have a head start on the job market. Besides, learning about many different cultures in class and from their peers, makes the students world citizens and communicatively qualified for international companies. It has been proven that learning by doing is a learning technique that creates an accelerated learning environment. Therefore, putting children from all different kinds of cultures together in a group speeds up language and culture knowledge because they teach each other new things.

The International Baccalaureate (IB)

A much chosen and very promising international education program among expats is the International Baccalaureate. International Baccalaureate gives students more advantages in the global job market, due to its globally highly regarded curriculum. Universities and employers prefer an IB diploma above ordinary diploma holders because it stands for high levels of competence and knowledge. Besides the excellent schooling program, the schools offer extracurricular programs such as a wide variety of sports and language and artistic courses.

Acquiring hard skills combined with soft skills, shaping character, emotion and social skills, inquisitiveness about the world, analytical skills, as well as systematized skills and goal achievement is what students take with them when they leave school. This allows expat children with an IB diploma to really stand out and profit from great opportunities in the global job market.

Bilingualism in school

When speaking their mother tong language at home while speaking and getting instructions in a different language at school, expat children learn sequential bilingualism. Children have proven to profit from cognitive advantages when they are bilingual. For example, children are better at focusing and distinguishing relevant information from noise. Moreover, bilinguals are more productive planners and better problem solvers opposed to monolinguals. These benefits ensure that bilinguals have better access to other individuals, communities, resources, and jobs, which results in higher employment rates.

Disadvantages of International Schools

While international schools are packed with benefits, it’s important to know the downsides before advising your employees to choose for this option. The fact is that international schools are very expensive because they offer private education. Tuition costs of international schools are around 24.000 euros per year for primary school, and around 30.000 euros per year for secondary school. Therefore, we advise you to carefully take into consideration the options that you present to your employees or use Voerman’s service to take care of this for you.