Over 50% of international assignees relocate with children, and one of their biggest concerns is how an overseas move might affect their children's education and longer-term career prospects.
Educational Consultant Rebecca Grappo and a number of global HR professionals talk about the benefits of international schools for families on overseas assignments.
In the UK, expat families have the option of sending their children to a UK state school, a private independent school, a foreign system school (usually teaching in the student's native language), or an international school. Each have their merits, and it is important that a child's individual welfare and needs are considered carefully when deciding which school provides the right 'fit'.
As a leading international school, ACS offers the following benefits:
- Diverse enrolment of many nationalities, and celebration of different cultures creates a welcoming environment in which students can settle in and make friends
- Admission is on a rolling basis (recognising the unpredictable nature of international assignments), so students can join throughout the year
- English is the language of instruction, however English language support is provided for students for whom it is not their first language
- Support is provided to students and their families through the school community and programmes, to help them settle in to their new country
- Our International Baccalaureate and American curricula provide students with a high quality 'portable' education that will stand them in good stead whether they return home, move on to a new country, or stay in the UK.
What effect does attending an international school have on students?
The key findings of a recent survey of ACS alumni show that students who receive an international education leave school very well-prepared for further study and work. In particular, the survey reveals that international school students develop a better range of `soft' skills such as time management, critical analysis and independent thinking than their peers who have followed national qualification programmes.
Almost all respondents felt that their international education had prepared them well for their career, and the top quality highlighted was an appreciation of different cultures - named by 76 per cent of respondents. 57 per cent said their education helped them develop an inquiring mind, 58 per cent named communication skills and 60 per cent named self-management skills.
"Studying in an international setting, with students from around the world, provided me with the environment to develop communication skills with people from a wide variety of backgrounds. The company I work for has offices all around the world and I'm frequently asked to work across borders. Given my experiences in the past, I'm comfortable when dealing with multiple cultures."
Sam Hariton, ACS Cobham, Class of 2001
"I would not trade my international education for anything. In fact, I believe it has shaped who I am today. My future hope is that my husband and I will have the opportunity to live internationally, so that our children will also be able to make lifelong friends with people of all nationalities."
Alexa Glaser, ACS Hillingdon, Class of 1991