For those of us who are international educators with children, picking a school can be less about our career needs & much more about the package that best meets our children’s educational, emotional & social needs while in lands far from home & family support.

As parents, we want to know which schools are academically solid? What art/music/drama/extra-curricular/counseling programs are considered outstanding? What team sports can my children play? Which schools offer a top-notch education? Is the school population diverse–will my child make friends & be accepted? These are pertinent questions for international parents of students. The big question is, where do you find the answers?

Our newest ISR Blog, Just4Parents, was created specifically with YOUR need-to-know in mind. If you’re looking for a place with open discussions on specific schools, or a focus on more broad-reaching concerns to international parents of students, ISR encourages you to take advantage of the Just4Parents Blog. As expat parents we want to pave the way for our children with wise decisions. After all, our children are our most precious resource!

36 Responses to Just4Parents

  1. Eric Rambada says:

    I found a wonderful Tuition center for my son who takes IGCSE. Its in BKK 1, Phnom Penh. they have native teachers with long years experience. http://www.richmondz.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Special needs child.

    Our eight year old is high functioning on the autistic scale. He receives many services at school here in the states, both in the classroom and in pull-out sessions. Without these, I think his school experience would be difficult and negative.

    We are interested in teaching internationally. Are there ways that we can approach this so that our sweet boy will be likely to have a positive experience?

    Thanks for your thoughts.


  3. AussieMum says:

    My husband and I are both teachers with a great deal of teaching and leadership experience here in Australia. We have three little ones, ages 6, 5 and 3, and a couple of dogs. We would love to hear from others who may have moved overseas with more than 2 littlies, and possibly dogs too. We are open to suggestions of any safe locations that may be good places to raise children and am happy to discuss particulars via e-mail.
    Any assistance would be grately appreciated,


    • Anonymous says:

      Hong Kong is a good place to raise children. We only have one child and a cat. At first our apartment in the city was too small but now that the school is in the new territories life is much better. Two teachers means more money for rent so a bigger house. Getting a live-in helper is standard and it is very safe!


  4. This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!
    ! Finally I have found something which helped me. Thank you!


  5. Anonymous says:

    We have travelled throughout SE Asia and have very rarely to never been worried about safety. As for schools, I think you get a good sense of them when you are in an interview and from their home page. I haven’t heard of any issues in regards for ‘safety’ at the schools around here…. however they are still schools, and you have the issues of liking some teachers and not liking others…. Most employees like having staff children around, as they are away from nieces/nephews; grandchildren etc. We have had an excellent experience and the children love it.


  6. As I have begun searching and hopefully securing my first position abroad, I was curious about school safety for my almost school-age children. Being a US public school teacher, we have CORI checks to ensure that none of us are criminals and are safe to work around children. Is there any such check performed by international schools?

    Also, has anyone with children who has been abroad had any concerns related to the safety of their children be it ‘fishiness’ of a school employee in regards to their children, etc..?


  7. Michelle says:

    Does anyone have any suggestions on car seats? I would imagine wherever you go, there will be sometime you will HAVE to drive.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Cambodia may be a good option for you. NISC in Phnom Penh is amazing for children, with a very green campus and good facilities. Housing is provided on campus for teaching couples, but it’s also a good option to live in town – plenty of lovely apartments/villas at fairly reasonable prices. You can only have 2 children per family though – even if you are both teachers….. Cambodia is very safe and a wonderful place for children. I have heard similar things about Laos. I believe the other international schools in Phnom Penh – ISPP, Hope, Logos, iCAN are also very accepting of families.


  9. India says:

    Anyone else have any more sugggestions for families? Especially with a non-teaching spouse?


  10. Family of 6 says:

    Teaching couple w/ 4 youngins here. Outside of QSI, any suggestions? Our children are all elementary aged. QSI seems great but I’ve heard from other QSI families that the academics are poor in most locations. Anyone familiar with the oil schools or compound living? I’m very interested in Saudi but the process to get there is ridiculous.


  11. Eve says:

    How can you find out the true diversity of a school? I am Black American, planning to move overseas in 2013. My son will be starting high school. He has been the only person of color, he has been the only Black student (with other students of color) and he has attended schools where there is much diversity. Starting h.s. and moving to another country is already stressful, I don’t want him in a place where he will be ostracized. We have done a lot of traveling abroad and he says he is fine being one or a few. I would prefer diversity.


  12. India says:

    Any other good family schools anyone can think of? I’m jotting these down lol


  13. Ms. G says:

    I anticipate going abroad in 2013 with two children (7 and 10). The schools on my current dream list are AIS in Budapest, schools in Vienna and Zurich, IS Stavanger Norway, American School of Warsaw, schools in Hanoi, Yokohama IS, CA in Kobe, Nido de Aguilas in Chile, American Cooperative School in Tunis…I guess it’s still a pretty big list. I’d love any specific family-related info on any of the above, especially related to the quality of life for children in the respective cities and within the school culture. We’re coming from homogeneous rural and want to show our kids something totally different.


  14. Anonymous says:

    We have just moved to Maputo and have enrolled our children at AISM. Any one has or has had kids there?


  15. lee says:

    We were overseas for 12 years and ultimately the stress of finding a school that worked for two distinct teachers and two distinct kids led to us returning to the states. I think this blog is a great idea!

    From strictly a parents perspective:

    QSI schools were good for our elementary aged kids. And were supportive to family and will take families with more than 2 kids.

    Avoid Davy College in Peru- too local, too ESL, academic level too low due to ESL, expat kids not fluent in Spanish are outcasts (only a handful total anyway), inappropriate local health care-even locals flew to Lima which can be difficult during 4 months of rain.

    Schools in Lima (FDR) are all local kids and older kids will not be able to “keep up” with wealthy locals especially in high school (prom dress shopping in Miami, concerts in Buenos Aires) Lots of partying with rich locals too.

    Schools in the Middle East can also be very local.
    I would ask not just how many passport holders, but how many real expats. Also don’t take your kids to a school that is too cheap to bring in expat staff for all key positions and teaching staff other than some specialists. It is a bad sign.

    I think kids are happiest in a school that is truly international not where they stand out as the only foreigner ie “teacher’s kid” socially and academically.


    • Paola says:

      Lee, I totally agree. The more international the better. The more turnover the better too because it tends to be less clique-y that way. Generally the more academic the better also. Being the one kid among all the country’s most rich is very difficult, especially in the upper grades. That’s part of what made American Embassy School in India so good for us – very international, very well-traveled kids, lots of sons and daughters of diplomats and aid workers. Embassy schools, I imagine, are often like that. I have to say, however, that we have also considered some little schools out in the middle of total nowhere. With small kids that too could be an eye-opening experience! In the end I think the most important thing we do as parents is to stay POSITIVE about where we are going, before, during, and after!!! Our kids mirror our actions.


  16. India says:

    On websites such as Search Associates, people really make it seem like your family status is what can make or break you as an international candidate. I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate this blog. Because I was having second doubts that I would even be able to teach internationally with my spouse and two children.


  17. Craig Eldred says:

    I’ve recently bought & am still reading ‘Third Culture Kids – The Children of Educators in International School’ by Dr Ettie Zilber. It might be worth a read for people using this blog.


  18. msbo says:

    What would be the best place for a single parent teacher with 2 young kids? Does anyone have any experience of schools that were accommodating in this circumstance? Thanks.


  19. B says:

    Working at a boarding school in India has been great for our son because of the safety on campus and the facilities provided. It also has a good mix of students and my son fit in from the very start.


  20. Eva says:

    Hi, i have there children-14,12 and 7 years old. We want to move to Casablanca but have heard that the American school is having big problems. Do you have any information? Are there any expats in the upper classes?


  21. jcs says:

    I have had my son at two overseas schools. Future Biligual School in Kuwait was a very poor schoool for him, but Dubai American Academy was a great school for expat kids. Good advice to look for a school with lots of nationalities. Also, does the school WANT you with children? do they provide tuition, insurance, and flights for your children? Ask to speak to another teacher who has children at the school and it is much easier in elementary school. 🙂


  22. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE BY ENROLLING YOUR CHILD IN TENBY INT SCHOOL. It is NOT an international school. It is overcrowded and teachers are mostly locals.Avoid this school like the plague! And the attitude of the COO is something else.


  23. Anonymous says:

    Our child is just starting middle school this year and we are planning to stay put at least for the next two years. My husband and I are still vacillating about the 8th grade year. We’d like for our daughter to have an excellent high school experience and also to stay put for those four years. Do you have any suggestions for how to research good international schools? I think your suggestion to look at how many countries are represented is great advice. Are there other tricks that can be detected via a school’s website or during the interview process?


  24. Up front with it says:

    My wife and I have taught in 6 international schools. We began overseas teaching when our kids were in elementary school. They both graduated overseas. Some countries like Guatemala are not safe for kids or adults. On the other hand Pakistan turned out to be perfectly safe for the kids. Plus, our school in Pakistan offered the plenty of after school activities and a group of excellent teachers. This was Lahore American School. The American School of Bucharest was also great for the kids. Over 52 nationalities were represented by the student body. The kids just accepted each other as part of the extended family. Things were tough for our kids in the beginning at the school in Pakistan. It was predominantly a host national school but as time went on our kids were accepted and made friends. My basic hunch is that the more international a school is – meaning there are many nationalities represented – the easier it is for kids to fit in and make friends.


    • mayte toca says:

      Totally agree!! we were in the american school of Madagascar and as it was really international, it worked very well for my child, plus it was very safe. Then we moved to Jordan, where i worked in an international school where 90 per cent of the kids where from rich local families. That did not work out well.


  25. Dr. J says:

    India, I believe you will have better luck with the bigger schools in Asia (because of your non-teaching spouse). Schools that are on compounds or camps would be good too because your kids are so little. Our friends loved the American Embassy School in Delhi (www.aes.ac.in). When our kids were little we were in Bahia, in Brazil. It was great, but I don’t think they hire families with non-teaching members.


    • India says:

      Thank you, Dr.J! I appreciate your response. I will look into that school!


    • Paola says:

      Dr J and India, our kids were both born in Delhi and lived on the AES campus for the first few years of life (when were you there, Dr J? we were there 2000-2007). It was indeed a fantastic place for them. The compound living thing has its pros and cons. After India they lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, not on a compound. I found that that too has its pros and cons! Less of a sense of community among expats but much more interaction withe the locals and in the end I felt like we had more quality family time. Good luck!


  26. India says:

    Hello, everyone!
    My name is India! I am in school at the moment working towards my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Teaching! I have two small children under the age of 3 and a non teaching spouse. I am really, really interested in learning more information about schools that are family friendly and good for my kids. I am so happy this blog was started! Can you guys give me some school suggestions? Or if anyone would want to correspond through email that will be fine as well. Thanks in advance.


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