Going International with Children

May 11, 2011

True international schools are culturally diverse with a rainbow of nationalities represented. Eating sushi at a Japanese friend’s house, hearing Norwegian spoken between classmates, participating in cultural fairs or having Indian mothers paint henna designs on your kids’ hands is just a sampling of a “normal” childhood overseas.

If you’ve already lived internationally, you know daily living can be much easier than back home. Hiring a nanny, housekeeper or cook is an enormous benefit to any parent. When you get home from work, there is no cooking, cleaning, or laundry responsibilities — hooray! More time can be devoted to family. There are many delightful benefits to going international with children, not the least of which is watching your children become world citizens.

Of course, not every location is Shangri-La. There are important factors to consider when choosing a school & host country with your children in tow. Here are some points to take into consideration:

• Does the job allow a lifestyle that emphasizes family time?
• Are there medical & dental facilities that meet my family’s needs?
• Is there an acceptable level of stability & safety?
• Is trustworthy childcare available? Are English-speaking nannies affordable?
• Does the school’s benefit package include dependents’ tuition, insurance, & flights?
• Do the school’s programs meet my child’s needs?
• Is the school ‘family-friendly’, supporting teachers when family needs arise?
• Is the school population diverse? Will my child make friends & be accepted?

Whether you’re a single mom/dad or a couple, moving overseas with children of any age can pose extensive benefits. ISR invites you to visit the Going International with Children Blog & share personal experiences, ask questions & most of all, keep each other informed.