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If you are making an international move with your child it is important to understand their academic transition. You need to decide between sending your child to private, public or boarding school. Many locations also have American or international schools, where students from all around the world can be in an academic atmosphere that is suited to their needs. Attempt to keep some consistency in your child's life by deciding on a school that will allow him or her to continue pursuing hobbies or special interests. Consider these helpful pointers when searching for a suitable school:
  • Moving alone is tough on kids. If possible, try to move after their current school year ends and before their new school year begins. Entering a school halfway through the year will make the transition more difficult in terms of making friends and adjusting to new courses.
  • If you plan on enrolling your child in an international or American school, make sure you plan in advance. Many international schools are very selective and may have limited enrollment or long waitlists.
  • Schools abroad may have different academic requirements or operate on a different system. For example, in some countries high school is called secondary school and elementary school is termed middle school. Inquire about the various schools in your new area to find out what grade your child would be entering or what courses they would be taking.
  • Before you move, ask your child's current teacher for a brief letter outlining their current programs and progress to submit to the administration at their new school. This will be helpful in determining what level your child is at.
  • Do they offer a film class? Is there a water polo team? Inquire about sports and after school activities. This information is good to share with your child to help trigger their excitement.
  • Investigate the schools academic ratings, such as what percentage goes on to attend a good university or how many students score over the average percentile on exams.
  • What is the student teacher ratio? Find out how many students are in each class. Receiving personal attention in a smaller class might help your child with his or her transition.
  • Request references from parents at your child's new school and call them up to hear about their firsthand experiences.

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