Parents Weigh in on How to Choose an International School

Education shapes your children’s future. If you’re looking to transfer your kids to an international school, which options should be on your list? What do you look for? Whether you’re the kind of parent who worries endlessly about enrollment and programs or if you’re the type to simply chill, one thing is for sure: you want the best for your children. Here’s what other parents want out of a school. Check out their reasons to see if their concerns are the same as yours.

Look for Character Development

What does the school do to encourage lessons around character development? Not all of the international schools in Dubai will care about your children’s character development. They won’t care whether or not your kids grow up to be good persons, with their hearts in the right place. However, the best schools know that everything is secondary to one lesson: teaching kids how to be human. It’s not enough to raise kids who are a whiz in mathematics or science or engineering. What’s more important is a school that puts sufficient emphasis on emotional intelligence and how to raise students who have this quality in spades.

Check the Curriculum

You want to provide your kids with a solid academic foundation. That is what a lot of international schools offer. By checking the school’s curriculum, you can easily figure out if the school favours certain core subjects and which ones. Is that curriculum internationally recognized, though? That’s a sound option for your kids. If they have any plans to study abroad in the future, going to a school that implements an educational board that is recognized by schools and universities all over the world, that’s a definite advantage. It will help make any transitions in the future much, much easier.

Factor in the Extracurriculars

What extracurricular activities does the school offer? Some provide a wealth of options to choose from. If your kids love sports or the arts, then they’ll find these programmes enormously appealing. Before you sign them up for any of those classes, make sure you talk to them. Ask them which activities get them excited. Which one do they like the most? If they could do just one of those extracurriculars, which course or programme would it be? By getting their opinion on the subject, you make them a part of the process. That also helps motivate them to keep going to the meetings or club get-togethers.

Consider the Teachers

When you pick a school, choose one that invests in the students. You want teachers who care enough to lovingly investigate what’s wrong in their students and find a way to offer help. They’ll reach out to the kids, and to the parents to talk to you about your children’s performance at school or mention some issues or problems. If your kids are having trouble getting along with their classmates, good teachers let you know what’s happening. Their involvement doesn’t stop there, though. They also work together with you to help your kids improve. These are the kinds of teachers who make school worth it.

Check for More Training

What other training programmes or events does the school offer? Some provide a huge network overseas. Some kids participate in projects that allow them to see what a day in a factory or business is like. They are taken around the production floor so they can see what it takes to run a well-oiled operation. Some learning opportunities might also include workshops where they could pitch business ideas to tycoons or people in the industry. If they have a marketable idea, then this is their chance to make a pitch.

Teaches About Service

What does the school teach the kids about serving the community, of giving back or giving to others? Not all schools emphasize the importance of helping the community. But international schools with an excellent reputation know one thing: that schools are a part of their communities. That’s the kind of mindset and perspective they want their students to grow up with, that they cannot be separated from society. That a worthwhile life is one that knows compassion and service.

Know the Logistics

How far is the school from your home? How long is the travel time? If the school isn’t on the way to or from work, you might need to consider alternative transportation options? Letting your kids go on a school bus is one of them. However, if you’re still worried about the virus, then you might need to find someone to drive your kids to and from school. Consider those arrangements before you pick a school that’s a bit of distance away from your home.

Know what other parents look for when they browse around for international schools. This list should help you figure out which considerations matter to you.