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Overseas schooling experiences?

(11 Posts)
YoniMaroney Mon 15-Apr-13 18:35:21


My son is currently planning to go to Hampton School at 13 in 2015. We also have a daughter, who is 5 years younger.

However we were thinking it might be time for a change of scene for us as a family (i.e. leave the UK), and were wondering if anyone has any thoughts about countries where we could find schools of a similar standard, and experiences with the same.

Our reasons for leaving include the weather, and the absurd cost of housing, so we wouldn't want to go anywhere where our £ would not go further.

ArabellaBeaumaris Mon 15-Apr-13 21:05:34

I would post in Living Overseas, I think.

beachyhead Mon 15-Apr-13 21:09:38

If he's already got into Hampton for 2015, are you planning on going before then or will he not take up his place?

It's not a great time to go with regards to GCSE's.

YoniMaroney Mon 15-Apr-13 21:32:03

we were thinking of going before then, and staying, IYSWIM.

YoniMaroney Mon 15-Apr-13 21:34:41

I mentioned Hampton as it seems to be a good school, and I guess what I was getting at was that we'd want to send him to a similarly good school if we moved, not something outdated and provincial.

slipshodsibyl Tue 16-Apr-13 08:58:42

Overseas (as in international/ British schools in typical expat locations) schools are very different to schools in the South East of England so if you are looking to replicate Hampton, you are unlikely to I think. The best are usually very very over-subscribed.

Good local schools (ie well regarded schools in countries like Australia or America) are unlikely to be cheap or located in cheap places.

If you would like to move overseas, you will need to be fairly flexible about schooling and you will have to have a mindset that believes that some of the new experiences your family might have will compensate for schools which might differ from your ideal

YoniMaroney Tue 16-Apr-13 12:02:11

Hi, thanks slipshod. What sort of differences do you see in overseas British international schools?

slipshodsibyl Tue 16-Apr-13 15:31:11

It is impossible to generalise between countries but they are generally non-selective (except by socio economic background since they are fee paying), teachers and pupils tend to be more transient and probably more international (not always) so university destinations might well be world wide. You might find fewer sporting opportunities against strong teams, again, depending on location.

It's can be hard to know which schools actually are very good until too late - a number of overseas schools are not especially good in my opinion and the usual labour laws may not apply, depending where they are.

A advantage of international schools in my view, if you find a good one, is that the variety of backgrounds and experiences of the parental body makes for a more relaxed and flexible experience for parents and children than is often found in well regarded schools in the South EAst.

My children have attended 6 schools in five countries and I have taught in two more so I have reasonable experience but there is no uniformity. The schools I can think of that are strong are often hard to get into as they can have waiting lists running into years.

It is probably best to choose a location where you might find work and then start a bit of research on schools and salaries. It's quite an undertaking if you have very specific requirements for either job or education. We move with the support of a large, influential organisation which makes life easier.

slipshodsibyl Tue 16-Apr-13 15:55:22

I think the above sounds rather negative - it isn't meant to but in my experience, Mums who bring their children from well known prep or private senior schools or grammars often spend a while grumbling about what they have left behind and sometimes send children back to board or leave. (Not always)

If you can be flexible and relaxed it is such a great adventure - depends on your outlook really. My older children are at highly selective universities. Never had the chance to do Latin, but learned some Mandarin, Arabic and Malay!

YoniMaroney Tue 16-Apr-13 16:36:58

What did you think of the school in Malaysia?

Vietnammark Tue 16-Apr-13 16:38:07

Agree with Slips that good schools often have waiting lists.

Marlborough College in Malaysia, just over the border from Singapore, seems to have been creating a bit of interest recently.

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