While sending your child to school (either for the first time, or they're returning to school) can be stressful enough, what happens if you're sending them to a foreign school – where they'll definitely be in unfamiliar surroundings.
Despite how daunting the first week at a foreign school can be for children, they can actually benefit from studying there; and such benefits can last your child long into the future. Therefore, it's imperative to try and help you get your child off to the best start possible when embarking on their foreign school adventure.
Here are 6 tips to help your children prep for going to school in a new country:
It's important to talk to your child about going to a foreign school. One of the best ways to do this is to take them to visit the new school premises, even when it is closed or it's the weekend.
Also, you can have your child get excited about the possibilities of learning new things and making new friends. You can even assure them that they might not be the only new kid in school, which may help boost their confidence.
Finally, encourage your child to socialize with kids in your neighborhood before school starts. Similarly, you can interact with other parents to know what to expect from the new school in terms of education, environment, games and extra-curricular activities.
While attending a foreign school can be daunting, so will the cultural shock.
Therefore, make sure that you let your child know about cultural difference. Study up on local establishments and happenings in your neighborhood. Learn about the local lingo and slang that your child might come across on the playground. You can even have them watch local TV shows or films, particularly if you move to a country where English isn't the primary language.
In addition, with cultural shock comes how schools operate in the foreign country. In fact, some countries' school practices can be different from your former country. Here are some differences that might occur, when it comes to schools:
Just as your child has to socialize at their new school, you – the parent – must socialize with other parents (i.e. locals, and other parents that are in the same foreign exchange program as you are). In fact, expat parents might be able to give you some advice on how you and your family can get through this time of transitioning. Locals, on the other hand, can help you and your family get involved in your community.
Amazingly enough, there's an online expat community where you can learn more about sending your child to a foreign school. You can even share interesting experiences with fellow expats online.
There's nothing wrong with learning a new language, especially as your child attend a foreign school. In this way, the first day of school will be less of a shock for your child, and they understand some of what's being said among their peers. Instead of succumbing to language barrier, why not help your child learn a new language by practicing along with them through games, picture books, or television?
Even outside of school, learning goes on, especially as you and your child explore and become familiarized with your new neighborhood. In fact, just being in a new country can be a massive learning experience.
Just remember these two things:
Although there's really no right or wrong way to prepare your child for attending a foreign school, it's still important to prep them for this big change in their life. Despite this transition being intimidating at first, you and your child will soon grow used to the new school and the new country.
We hope that this article brings assurance when sending your child to a foreign school. Happy learning!
About the author
Ashley Halsey writes at Luckyassignments.com. As a professional writer, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and reading.
Share your experience, participate in the discussion and leave comments in our forum HERE.