The worry over job stability and continued funding for a child's education can be daunting for any parent. People who live and work abroad, however have additional concerns that can make an already stressful time for the family even more overwhelming.
Losing a job abroad often means losing the right to remain in that country. Some countries give foreigners as little as 14 days to exit the country after their work permit has been canceled. That means fourteen days to terminate your lease, sell your car, pack up your belongings, find a place to live "back home", and find a school for your child. Most people would struggle to get all that done in fourteen weeks, let alone fourteen days.
Well I can't help you with your lease, your car, your belongings, or your new home, but here are a few tips to ease the burden of finding a school for your child, when a redundancy may be imminent:
- Gather your child's school reports in one place, and be sure to have access over them when the desktop and filing cabinet are both in the shipping container
- Acquire references from teachers - better to do this in person than by email, especially if the teachers aren't aware of your expectations.
- Find out whether it is possible for the child to remain in the country on a student visa in order to finish the term or school year, especially during the teen years when moving mid year can be disruptive at a crucial time.
- Consider whether you can ask a close friend to 'host' your child while he/she completes the term/year. It's a big ask, but you never know unless you ask.
- Consider whether you can go back to the country you left, whether your home country or a previous expat posting? Sometimes schools prioritise former students in their wait lists, and some countries may have less onerous immigration restrictions.
- Call your dream schools for your child - you never know if a place has opened up but no one else wants to take it mid-term.
- Consider whether home-schooling is an option for you and your child. There are vast resources online to assist in home-schooling, and you can even brush up on your own algebra!
- Consider whether you can make lemonade from lemons: world-schooling can be an amazing opportunity for you and your child to travel for extended periods in new or old territory. You could immerse your child in a French school and ski every afternoon, volunteer to build houses and teach children in Cambodia, go tramping and explore new sports in New Zealand, spend an extended period on an agritourism farm learning how farmers live, spend a few months with extended family you don't often get to see,....
- Contact TIEC and find out how we can help you find places mid-year or mid-term. Often schools will have places open up when students leave unexpectedly.
Don't despair. Children are resilient, and often unexpected or unwelcome changes can lead to unforeseen opportunities.
Country Life Future Schools Fairs are the perfect opportunity to get all your questions about education answered. Taking place around the country - starting with the EXPAT FAIR in London on July 16th - these events will be packed with representatives from top schools from all over the UK, as well as seminars on entry requirements, curriculum, boarding school worries and more. TIEC will be on hand to answer your queries and better still - the whole event is free to attend. Tickets are limited so be sure to click the link above and register for your FREE tickets to the Expat Fair today.
Check out more information at www.futureschoolfairs.com or get in contact below:
If you are a parent with questions about the fair, email Claire at Claire@futureschoolsfair.com
If you are a school, email Exhibitors@futureschoolsfair.com
This post by Christina Benson.