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Why is Choosing the Right International School so Important?

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The importance of education in your child’s life can’t be overstated so for this reason, choosing the right international school in Hong Kong is one of the most stressful, yet exciting decisions that you can make. The upheaval of moving country can be challenging for a child, especially if they have a circle of friends to whom they are close. The emotional aspects connected to such a move make the stakes even higher when choosing the right international school.

Before you arrive in your new country, you will want to know which is the best international school in Hong Kong. You will no doubt have compiled a list of several different options which you will have selected based upon their merits. It is vital that you choose a school that balances the needs of both students and parents. Of course, this means that many factors need to be considered and evaluated.

Your child’s happiness should be your number one priority, but the quality of the education must be up to the standards that you demand. Choosing the right international school is a critical decision when it comes to determining your child’s future so you must do all you can to make the right choice. Here is our quick guide.

1. The Curriculum

The curriculum that you choose for your child’s schooling is one of the most significant decisions that you will make. In reality, it should be a relatively straightforward choice with just two simple questions to answer:

Is your child midway through their education?

How long do you intend to remain an expat?

If your child is at a critical point in their education, for instance, they are studying for their GCSEs; it is crucial that you continue with the same curriculum and where possible, the same syllabus, in this case, the British curriculum. This will cause minimal disruption to their learning, something that is essential at this point in their life. If you don’t intend to remain an expat forever, you should adopt the curriculum that your child would follow in your home country.

2. Extracurricular Activities

When choosing the best international school, most children will look towards what extracurricular activities are available. It is something that is important to them and will allow your child to do something that they enjoy. Many children don’t enjoy the academic side of schooling, so outside activities will enhance their overall experience.

As a parent, you want to be confident that the school can offer the activities that your child enjoys, such as sports, arts or even scientific projects. However, it should be stressed that most extracurricular activities are not included in schooling fees and can become expensive, so you need to be realistic with your budget. Realism is a critical part when choosing the right international school for your child.

3. Opportunities to Make Friends

In order for your child to settle in a new country, they will want to be able to make new friends. For most children, it is at school where they will get the most opportunities to do this. Are there activities that the school offers in break and lunchtimes that allow students to mix or where children with similar interests can get together? Also, what does the school do to help new pupils settle in?

All students will be different with some more outgoing than others so you may need to offer a helping hand from time to time both in and out of school.

4. Teaching Standards and School Performance

Of course, the primary reason for attending school is education. When choosing the right international school in Hong Kong, you will want to select one that has a good record when it comes to academic performance. Fortunately, all teachers at top international schools in the country are formally qualified, but like in any profession, some are inevitably better than others.

Ideally, you will want to visit the school for yourself before choosing to be able to get “a feel” of how good it really is. However, as you are new to the country and haven’t had chance to see things firsthand, this may not be possible. Getting feedback from other parents will help you to build up a better impression of the standards of teaching and if pupils are happy. Unfortunately, all of this is somewhat subjective with some schools just being a “better fit” for some pupils than others.

One thing that isn’t subjective is the school’s performance in terms of exam results and the number of students that attend university. It is highly advisable that you request this information from a range of schools to be able to do a like-for-like comparison. Top performing schools do attract the top-performing students, so the trends are likely to continue. When choosing the right international school, is academic performance one of the main criteria by which you will base your final decision?

5. The Future

Finally, choosing the right international school will impact on your child’s future and probably their career. All parents want the best for their children, but this should be weighed against your child’s happiness. Children that are pushed into something that they don’t want to do or feel like they are following their parent’s dream are rarely happy, nor do they reach their true potential. Some children are more academically capable than others, and those that are less suited often go on to have hugely successful careers.

Choosing the right international school for your child is incredibly important as it will play a critical role in their future. While you may favour one school over another, you should always let your children play an active role in the final decision. Depending upon their age, the things that they want, the dreams that they want to follow, and their concerns should all be addressed. Parents should expect that it won’t be effortless for their child to settle at first but should offer all the support, love and guidance that the child needs.

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