This is a legitimate question that many people ask, as travelling with their parents means they must change schools often and that must have an impact on their education. Most expat employment packages include free tuition at major international schools, which is essential if the children are to have an uninterrupted schooling from the ages of 7- 18 years.
While you would find a large percentage of the children to be locals, international schools are actually set up to provide foreign kids a good education while their parents are working abroad. If, for example, you want your child to study at an international school in Bangkok, there are such institutions that use either the British or the US curriculum, which allows a foreign child to continue to learn the same curriculum throughout their school years.
Part of the Expat Package
While international schools are at the top end of school fee bracket, most employers are prepared to meet the cost of international schooling for the children of their employees, otherwise it would be very difficult to attract middle managers to bring their family to a country like Thailand or Malaysia. Typically, an international school would have the largest portion of students as locals, while the remainder are made up of foreign children of expats or embassy staff, who are continuing the same curriculum, regardless of their age.
British or American Curriculum
Both education systems are regarded as the best in the world, yet the British curriculum is adopted by the majority of international schools, perhaps due to its popularity among parents. When you are looking for an international school in a foreign country, make sure you stipulate in your search either UK, or US curriculum, and you will be directed to the right schools.
An international school in Bangkok that uses the British curriculum would bring teachers from the UK, who are both qualified and experienced, and you can imagine the high salaries they have to offer to attract qualified teachers. If you are looking for such a learning institution for your child, take your time before choosing, as there would be quite a few in a major capital city like Bangkok, and not all use the UK curriculum.
A child that is the product of an international school would be far more exposed to other cultures, and this stands them in good stead for their adult life. Working with children from different ethnic backgrounds helps them to understand and respect each other’s culture, and they would therefore adapt better in any cross-cultural environment.
Slipping into the Right Year
If, for example, a UK child has just finished Year 5, then the parents would find a school with the British curriculum and when the family are settled into the foreign country, the child would enter the international school at the start of Year 6, meaning their schooling is structured and continuous.
If you are thinking of accepting a very attractive job in Thailand or Singapore, don’t worry about your child’s education, as there are international schools that accept the children of foreigners working in their country.