International Schooling: Education for the Expat Child


If you have ever wondered how the expat family who work abroad manage their children’s schooling, you have come to the right place, as in this article, we take an in-depth look at international school education. International schools were primarily created to educate the children of foreign diplomats, who would be sent to a foreign country in a diplomatic role, and the international school would use either the UK or the US curriculum.

The Role of an International School

Every school that calls itself ‘international’ would use either the British or American curriculum, which would be delivered to the students by qualified teachers who are brought over by the school on a contract basis. This could be from 12-36 months and the teacher would teach specific grades that they are qualified for and this system of education means that the children of expats on a foreign posting still can continue their education, regardless of what grade they are in. Finding a British school in Bangkok is not as difficult as you might think, indeed a Google search will bring up a long list of accredited international schools, some teaching the British and some the American curriculum.

Multi-Cultural Learning Environment

It would not be unusual for a primary school class to consist of 8 or 9 different nationality students, which means that your child would develop within a multi-cultural environment. An international school in Bangkok, for instance, would comprise of students from the UK, US and many European countries, plus some from the Middle East and Australasia. Click here for more information about international schools.

Active Learning Strategies

The system of learning has drastically changed in the past 30-40 years, with the traditional ‘passive’ form of education, where the students sit in rows and the teacher instructs from the front of the classroom, to a more active approach, as in project-based learning. Educators all over the world are in agreement that active learning offers the best of learning outcomes and this has been the directive of international schools for many years already.

Academic Excellence

This is the aim of every international school and most have impressive statistics when it comes to student achievements, and regardless of the career choice, excellent grades in the core subjects is critical. A good school equips the students for success in every aspect of life and with high grades, your child can enter the university of their choosing, which is the stepping stone to a rewarding career. Here is some further reading on the UK National Curriculum, should you wish to see how the system works.

Consistent Education

If a child is living in a country for 2-3 years and then relocating to yet another country, their education would not be impacted, as they have been studying the same curriculum and moving up through the grades just as they would had they stayed at the same school.

As soon as the family accepts the employment posting, a place would be secured at a top international school for the children, which is paid for by the employer, and they move up to the next grade and continue where they left off.