Overseas Education

For expatriates with children, ensuring that an overseas assignment does not impact upon their children's education is often the number one priority. It's a priority that is relatively easy to manage when they are young but becomes increasingly difficult as they age and enter the teenage years. This is particularly the case when the assignment is to a country or location which does not offer good-quality secondary education.

In years gone by the (only) solution would have been sending the children to boarding school, and this still occurs, with UK boarding schools accepting children as young as eight years of age. For many nationalities however, boarding schools are an unattractive option, or considered only as a last resort, if at all.

For all the focus on ensuring that a child is not disadvantaged by virtue of an expatriate lifestyle, there is the other side of the coin. That side of the coin argues that children can be immensely advantaged by their exposure to different cultures and languages. Much, as usual, depends upon the personality of the child and their family.

There has been a recent article in Newsweek, entitled "How to Raise a Global Kid" which makes interesting reading, despite its American focus. With only 37% of Americans holding a passport, and a society in many ways much more insular than Australia's, at least some parents are seeing merit in educating and raising their children overseas to provide both linguistic and social skills.