During an international posting, the welfare of the expat is intertwined with the experience of their family members. A partner may need support to feel at home in the new location. If the move involves children that will spend a few years in a foreign country, they may go to school in an environment that isn’t immediately recognizable or familiar.
A successful choice of school is extremely important to get the international posting off to a good start. The availability of support while making that choice is essential and plans for deployment have been stopped because the employee did not see any reason to understand the educational system in the host country. Many employers recognize the importance of school choices for employees being posted abroad and offer support. After all, a successful school choice can significantly contribute to the satisfaction with the posting, which is another important factor for a successful experience.
Not all employers have specialized in-house knowledge of international education. In order to properly guide the employee from the early stage and to ensure the appropriate activities are facilitated, it is possible to bring in independent and reputable international education advisors. Specialists in this area are equipped to support the employer, employee, and the employee’s family in making the right choices.
Many people looking for information for school-aged expat children often receive the advice to choose an international school. There, the kids from expats are together and the education is geared to the international environment. While this may seem obvious, there are more options. The international education advisor can take the factors from home and host country and offer advice tailored to that employee’s specific needs.
With such advice, three things are important:
- The education in the host country should closely resemble education in the home country. For example: children from Europe can easily find a local school as they are structured closely to most education systems in Europe.
- Supervision during the time abroad is a key to a successful return home to their country of origin. Just like their parents, children abroad also grow and develop. The international education advisor can make suggestions and a plan to facilitate the transition back to education in their home country.
- Maintain and further deepen the knowledge of the home country’s language so the child can reconnect more easily upon returning home. One option for this is an additional language and cultural program while abroad, which can happen on location or through the internet.
Educational support during an international posting adds value to the entire expat family as it facilitates the personal and future development of the children. During the posting and after, this support creates a win-win situation for everyone: the children, the expat and the employer.