Tag Archives: international schools

A Guide To Education In The US

First Student #540 by ThoseGuys119

What to expect when putting your children

in the American school system

It can be something of a minefield when moving your children to a new country, especially when you need to think about sending them to school. Making sure they get the very best education is usually at the top of a parent’s wish list. Here’s a guide to the education options when setting up home in America.

The options:

As in most countries around the world, there is fundamentally a two-tier system of education in America offering both public and private schooling. What you choose to do will be entirely down to personal preference, location and of course, funding. Some companies will offer to pay private school fees as part of an employment package. International schools are also offered to many of those moving overseas as they can sometimes offer a similar syllabus to that of the UK and also relevant and transferable qualifications.

Most American public schools are governed by the local school district. Each school district is governed by a school board, which sets out general policies and keeps the establishment in line with national guidelines.

Children begin elementary school at five years old, starting in kindergarten and staying until grade 5. Middle school is grades 6-8 with high school starting in grade 9 and ending in 12. The age at which your child leaves school depends on the state that you’re residing in, but the general rule is compulsory education until 16 years old. After graduation students will go on to study at university for four years in order to obtain a degree.

Public Schools:

The good news is that public schools will be open to you should you choose this route. As with all public schools, some will be better than others. Property taxes in a large part pay to fund schools, so if you live in a wealthy suburb you will probably discover one with better facilities. It’s worth doing your research as standards can vary greatly and as there’s no national curriculum it’s worth checking what your child will and won’t be studying.

All children are entitled to public schooling and you’ll need to apply for admission. There may be a waiting list for some of the better schools so again do your research before embarking on this route. The great thing about public schools is that they are close to home so your children are likely to find new friends on their doorstep, which will help them settle in.

There are two additional public school options: Charter and Magnet Schools. Charter Schools receive more private financial backing. They are very popular and often have long waiting lists. Magnet Schools specialise in certain areas of the curriculum such as science, the arts or languages. A student’s admission is based on talent rather than grades.

Private Schools:

It’s no surprise that private schools in the USA tend to be better equipped, producing higher grades than the public sector. They have more flexibility around curriculums and often offer better extracurricular activities because they can afford to do this. Private school fees can vary from an average of $8,918 (£6,762) for elementary school and $13,524 (£10,255) a year for high school. The most expensive city for fees is New York, which wades in at $28,798 (£21,835).

The competition for many of these schools is fierce and places will not be guaranteed just because you live close by. If you want to go down this route be sure to check out criteria for admission carefully. Your child may need to sit a number of tests to gain a place and you’ll need to keep in mind the differences in subjects and content taught.

You can also include International Schools under the private schools banner as these too need to be paid for. Enrollment and admission can again be competitive but they offer a great solution for the expat child. Often multi-lingual schools provide similar curriculums to those in your home country as well as allowing students to gain internationally recognised qualifications, such as the international baccalaureate. Unsurprisingly teaching in these schools is excellent as are facilities. If you are considering boarding school they also offer this as an option.

If you are considering moving abroad, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress-free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote.

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Why Choose an International School?

For other useful articles and tips on moving to new countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Philippe, marie stien

Philippe, marie stien

 

 

Choosing the right school for your child is a difficult decision. If a new career has taken your family to a new country, then the decision could be a fraught one. Working your way around a completely unfamiliar education system can fill you with a series of questions, especially if there’s a language barrier or doubts about how long you will reside in your new country.

Whilst many countries allow expats access to school places within their own state system, sending your child to an International School, is one option available to families.

So, what is an International School? As the name suggests international schools provide international education and a different curriculum to the country in which they are situated. A 2014 an International Schools Consultancy (ISC) global report estimated that within five years there will be over five million students in international schools.

Students who attend won’t be required to speak the native language, which of course has definite pros and cons. International schools in general offer similar qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate or Cambridge International examinations. If your child is globe-trotting from an early age, continuity of curriculum within international schools, means their education is not disrupted too much.

International schools by their very nature have a huge cultural mix, allowing students to mingle with peers from all around the world. This is considered a huge benefit by many parents as their children are exposed to a global community, giving them a certain head start when it comes to integrating into a global workforce.

As with many schools in the public sector, International Schools can vary in standards, so it’s worth doing your research and asking about. The Council of International Schools, which is a membership community committed to high quality international education, has a list of their accredited schools, which should help point you in the right direction. See here for more information.

Alternatively, if you are a UK resident and thinking that your children may one day re-enter the British schooling system, it’s worth looking at The Council For British International Schools website.

Their advice for picking a  International School is as follows:

– Do your research – Find out which schools are available in the area to which you are moving and ask for advice from a variety of organisations and contacts. They suggest: COBIS, other international school associations, your employer and colleagues, the British Embassy and local expatriate organisations.

– Contact schools as soon as you know that you may be moving abroad – Good schools are often over-subscribed, so the earlier you apply the better.

– Decide which school is best for your child – Give careful consideration to the curriculum and qualifications offered. Also, review exam results and see which universities former students have attended.

For many parents international schools offer everything they want while settling into a new location. However, if this is something you are thinking of doing, it is best to plan in advance and talk to your new employer about fees. International school fees can be very steep, and it is worth assessing these costs before negotiating your new salary. Some employers may pay this as part of their relocation package but it’s worth thrashing out the finer details before making any commitment.

If you are thinking about moving abroad, PSS International Removals can help. For more information about PSS International Removals and our services contact us now at https://www.pssremovals.com

 

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

What You Need To Know About Living in Cyprus

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Evgeniy Isaev, Night Dreaming, Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus, 2014

Evgeniy Isaev, Night Dreaming, Petra tou Romiou, Cyprus, 2014

 

 

It takes just over four hours to fly to Cyprus but its Mediterranean lifestyle and culture would make you believe you were on the other side of the world. With long hot summers, plenty of British expats and a laid back, friendly lifestyle Cyprus attracts those looking for a more leisurely pace of life.

Cyprus has a population of about 1.1 million, many of them living in the capital city of Nicosia or other major cities such as Limassol and Larnaca. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island, which was backed by the Athens government. The northern part of the island is inhabited by Turkish Cypriots whilst the southern by Greek Cypriots.

The currency is the Euro and official languages spoken are Greek and Turkish, although English, French and German are heard in larger cities.  Cypriots drive on the left-hand side of the road and traffic-jams are common as there is no train system in the country. Cars, buses and taxis are the most popular forms of transport.

If you are a British citizen, you do not require a visa to enter Cyprus, but if you intend to stay for longer than three months, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit. A permanent registration certificate can be applied for after 5 consecutive years of residence. The general cost of living has risen in recent years, due to the economic downturn and living in Cyprus has become as costly as other European countries. It’s worth doing your research before moving, to see what you can realistically afford. Calculate the difference here.

As you’d expect from a country tucked away in the eastern Mediterranean the climate is sunny and warm for much of the year. Summer in Cyprus extends from May to September and you can expect temperatures up to 33ºC if you’re lucky. It is however still warm between September and October and winter hits from November through to March. At times it will be very wet and chilly, but nothing like people experience in more northern countries.

Working, and doing business, in Cyprus takes on a slightly different pace and those used to pushing deals through quickly, will find themselves taken aback by the approach. Business is done on the basis of trust in Cyprus and while it might take some time to close a deal, loyalty is such that you’ll find yourself in a secure position. The country is still quite conservative so wearing formal clothes and being punctual for meetings is expected. In recent years, with the economic downturn, competition for jobs has become fierce. IT and finance are just two booming industries and ones expats may have the best luck in finding work.

As many as 60,000 British nationals own homes in Cyprus but the British government encourage extreme caution, especially if the title deeds to the property are not available. Without these your home could be at risk. There are other regular pitfalls, which include disputes in northern Cyprus regarding claims to ownership resulting from 1974’s Turkish invasion, and they have produced a list of potential issues. See here for more information.

Schooling in Cyprus is run in a familiar expat system of public, private and international schools. As much of the teaching in southern Cyprus is done in Greek many expats choose to send their children to private international schools. These vary in cost and also in standard, so it’s worth looking around for a suitable choice. Children begin school at five-years-old and education is compulsory until the age of 15. For more detailed information about the school system see here.

If you are looking to emigrate and want some expert advice, PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves. Contact us now for a free home survey, or moving and baggage quote.

 

A parents guide to schools in the USA

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile 

 

Translingo CO Young group of students in campus - Back to School.

Translingo CO Young group of students in campus – Back to School.

Finding the right school for each of your children can be a difficult job, but it becomes more so when you are moving to a country the size of the USA.  Not only is everything on a bigger scale, the education system is somewhat different to the UK, so there is a lot to acquaint yourself with when you start looking.  Here is an introductory guide to help you make the right choice for your family.

Children have to go to school from the age of 5, but as in the UK, most children attend some form of pre-school education on either a full-time or part-time basis for a year or two before that.

Rules and systems vary between the states, but generally speaking your child will attend Elementary School (Kindergarten to Grade 5), Middle School (Grade 6 to Grade 8) and High School (Grade 9 to Grade 12)

It is compulsory to receive education until the age of 16, but most continue on to the age of 18.

Standards can vary wildly between states and areas, so make careful checks about the area that you intend to live in.

State education is known as public education (not to be confused with English Public Schools, that are private). Public education is funded in part by local taxes so generally speaking the schools in the wealthier areas tend to have better facilities.  There is an argument, that when higher local taxes are taken into account, the same amount of money can be used to finance private education.

The bigger cities, such as New York, Boston, Washington D.C, and Los Angeles will have International Schools which are a good choice if you are just relocating for a short period of time.  However, fees can be high (up to $30,000 per year) and many will have waiting lists.  So if you think you would like to go this route, make enquiries as soon as you can.

Charter Schools are available in some areas – they are often founded by parents and teachers and provide high standards of education.  They are non-profit organisations and are popular so again waiting lists can be an issue.

Another type of school that you may not be familiar with are Magnet Schools.  Available in certain areas from Elementary level, they teach a full curriculum to a diverse range of pupils, although they specialise in certain areas like Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM), languages or the Arts.  They are an interesting option if you are going to be living in an area that has one; it’s worth a look.

As in the UK, entrance to private schools can be very competitive and based on academic achievement and/or religious affiliation.  Most private schools offer boarding facilities and you should budget for fees from around $25,000 as well as other additional expenses.

Homeschooling is a popular choice in the USA and could suit you if are only going to be there for a short period of time.  More than two million students are taught at home, so it is more of a mainstream option than in the UK.  You need to check out what your obligations are with your local State Education department as the regulations vary enormously.  You can find some good initial information from the Government here

The school year is only 180 days per year, including a summer break of up to 12 weeks.  As the school vacations are so much longer than in the UK, you need to aware of this when you make your family plans – many children go away on ‘summer camp’.

American Universities, or Colleges, as they are widely known, always feature well in the world’s top Universities.   You can familiarise yourself with some of the best known ones, but beware that an American University education can be very expensive.  Although UK families are used to paying fees, you need to be aware of the costs before you think that the USA is an option for study.

If you are considering a move overseas PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Sending your children to school in Canada – A Guide

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

tuchodi, Ripples

tuchodi, Ripples

 

Choosing the right school for your child in your hometown can be complicated enough but picking one many miles away in a unfamiliar city or town could be overwhelming. Where do you even start? Here’s our guide to schooling in Canada which should make finding a school easier than your children learning their ABC.

The Basics – What You Need to Know:

Most schools are publicly provided with only about 5.7% of children attending fee-paying schools.

Canada is a federation of 10 provinces and three territories. Provincial governments have responsibility for all levels of education. There is no ministry or department of education at federal level. http://www.cicic.ca/1301/Ministries-Departments-responsible-for-education-in-Canada/index.canada

The school system is split into primary, secondary and post-secondary.

Canada has two official languages; English and French and this is reflected across the curriculum.

The school year usually begins in September and finishes in June.

Generally speaking there are 190 days to the Canadian school year, although this number is 180 days in Quebec.

It is compulsory for children to stay in school until they are 16 across most of Canada, although in Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick it is 18-years-old.

 From Tot To Teen – The School System:

The school system and the different levels varies across Canada. Nine of the 13 provinces and territories roughly follow the structure below. For more information on specific differences, visit: http://www.cicic.ca/1129/Provinces-and-Territories-of-Canada/index.canada

Alberta’s schooling system is as follows:

* Kindergarten and Primary School:

When your child is required to start school or kindergarten can vary across the different provinces. Many request children start kindergarten in the year they turn 5, but most require enrollment from age 6.

Years 1-6 are for primary or elementary school. Age 6-12 year-old. Courses studied at this age include: Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art and Music, Health and Physical Education. Other courses will be offered but vary across Canada.

* Junior High School:

Years 7-9 are for Junior High School. Age 12-15 years-old. Course include: Language, Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Health and Personal Life Skills.

 * Senior High School:

Years 10-12 are for Senior High School. Age 15-18 years-old. The school year is split into semesters. The first semester runs for September – January and the second semester is February-June. High schools offer many different choices from academic courses for university admission to knowledge and employability courses to develop occupational competencies. At the end of the course you receive a High School Diploma if you’ve completed the requisite number of compulsory and optional courses.

* Post-Secondary Institutions:

There are a wide range of options for further learning in educational institutions. These include bachelor, master and doctoral degrees at one of Alberta’s four universities or Comprehensive Academic and Research Institutions (CARIs). There are also Baccalaureate and Applied Studies Institutions (BASIs), Polytechnical Institutions (PIs), Comprehensive Community Institutions (CCIs), Independent Academic Institutions (IAIs) and Apprenticeship and Industry Training. These all offer a range of courses and qualifications, over a varying length of time.

For more information about post-secondary education system in Alberta visit: http://www.cicic.ca/1152/Postsecondary-education-in-Alberta/index.canada

To help you find an academic institution visit: http://www.cicic.ca/868/Search-the-Directory-of-Educational-Institutions-in-Canada/index.canada

For more information about the general schooling system visit: http://www.cmec.ca/299/Education-in-Canada-An-Overview/

If you are considering a move to Canada PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

 

How to resolve family issues abroad

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Loren Kerns, Day 73: Kerns family self portrait {about me}

Loren Kerns, Day 73: Kerns family self portrait {about me}

 

Packing up and moving away can, in many instances, be a fresh start. The opportunity to create a better life somewhere new and exciting. Unfortunately it can also throw up problems: What do you do about schooling? What happens if an elderly relative falls ill and you’re thousands of miles away?

Many family issues won’t go away simply because you’re in Australia or New Zealand. Coping with them can be incredibly difficult as you may not know where to turn when a problem arises.

With this in mind, here’s our advice for resolving your problems while overseas.

Where do you send your children to school?

If you have school age children coming with you a prime consideration is where they’ll be educated. You will have to decide whether you want to put them into an International School, or a local one. An International School will provide a familiar curriculum and language and if they are in their teens and at a crucial stage of their education, this could be the best choice. However, if your kids are younger, going to a local school could be a great learning experience. See this website for detailed information about schooling in numerous countries: https://www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/living-abroad/help-for-british-nationals-living-overseas

What if your children don’t like their new home?

Moving away from family and friends is a big deal and even harder for children who may have had very solid friendship groups back home. There will of course be a period of transition for everyone but children in particular will need help to adjust. A new school may provide friends but they may also need a nudge towards a favourite sport or hobby. Check out local websites such as http://goodsports.com.au/find-a-club/ to find something of interest for your child.

An elderly parent falls ill back home, what do you do?

If you have parents back at home there’s a chance that they may fall ill while you are away. Other family members may be able to help if there is an emergency, but you can’t rule out jumping on a plane at some point to deal with a crisis. Don’t forget to have some money set aside if you suddenly need to buy a flight. Time differences can make communication difficult so schedule in appointments for any discussions and organise your Skype (https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA79/how-do-i-install-skype?) and FaceTime https://www.apple.com/uk/ios/facetime/ accounts to keep cost to a minimum.

How will you pay for your healthcare?

If you are going to be living in another country it’s important to have all your healthcare plans in order from the beginning. Every country has a different way of doing this (and paying for it), so do your research carefully. http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/movingabroad/Pages/Introduction.aspx has lots of helpful information.

What happens if your relationship looks to be heading for trouble?

Moving to another country can put a strain on relationships as the stress of living with new challenges can prove too much for some couples. Statistically expat marriages are more likely to run into trouble. If the worst does happen remember that laws overseas regarding separation, divorce and child custody vary enormously so take expert advice. Check out http://www.family-lawfirm.co.uk/how-we-help/international-expat-divorce/international-divorce-questions

Thinking of moving abroad? PSS International removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 32 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimators survey, online moving and baggage quote.

 

 

 

What You Need To Know About Moving To UAE

 

"Dubai Skyline on 10 January 2008" by Imre Solt - Dubai Construction Update Part 10 Page 9 at Post 168.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dubai_Skyline_on_10_January_2008.jpg#/media/File:Dubai_Skyline_on_10_January_2008.jpg

“Dubai Skyline on 10 January 2008” by Imre Solt – Dubai Construction Update Part 10 Page 9 at Post 168.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dubai_Skyline_on_10_January_2008.jpg#/media/File:Dubai_Skyline_on_10_January_2008.jpg

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

The UAE is currently the third-most popular country among UK expatriates, ahead of Australia and Canada.

Britons should feel right at home in this nation of expats, who benefit from breath-taking scenery and tax-free incomes. The country climbed seven places between 2008 and 2013, jumping from 10th to 3rd most popular location for UK migrants as many sought a tax-free buffer against the unfavourable job market back home.

However, relocating to the UAE from the UK is a big change but offers a priceless experience for many. Differences in language, customs, religion and climate are all a challenge but those willing to tackle these initial issues will no-doubt find Dubai very welcoming, considerably more diverse and much more affordable than the UK. In addition, the thriving expat community offers vast opportunities for a great social life with an array of sporting options.

Media reports about Dubai are often misrepresented, for example, you can buy alcohol in bars and specialist venues that have a liquor licence granted to non-Muslims.

Expats don’t have to adhere to an Islamic dress code and you can buy some meat in the western section of some supermarkets. As rumour has it, kissing in public is generally frowned upon, as are offensive hand gestures that could even land you in jail.

While visas for permanent residency can be easy to obtain for those working full-time, it’s virtually impossible for those without. With this in mind, you really shouldn’t consider a move to Dubai unless you have a job which will lead to a work permit and in turn lead to residency, the right to rent an apartment and access healthcare and good schools for your children.

Dubai was previously seen as a mere business hub for the oil industry but today those revenues make up less than 7% of its income with the city radically diversifying the economy to include real estate, construction, trade, financial services and tourism.

This gradual transformation has slowly seen the landscape and population change with Dubai skyscrapers continuing to shoot up, piercing the stunning blue skyline while man-made islands create many new real estate and tourism opportunities. Citizens have also become a minority, as foreign workers are attracted to sustain the boom. Opportunities for people moving to Dubai are therefore plentiful and many have taken advantage of the low crime rates, enhanced spending power and reasonable property prices.

In fact, moving from the UK to Dubai will make you wonder how you ever managed to survive in a country as expensive as the UK. Everything from food to basic utilities is cheaper. Although you will find yourself paying a premium for alcohol and most fashion items.

Dubai is generally safer than most of the large UK cities and property is on the whole more affordable, although traffic can get very busy at times. Culturally, Dubai doesn’t have the most thriving music or arts scene although the Sheik Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is a good place to start and there are occasionally huge outdoor music concerts featuring popular acts from around the globe.

There are also nature reserves, scenic parks, a well-curated museum, a racecourse, some of the world’s most ambitious modern architecture to admire and golf courses aplenty.

Dubai is largely desert with temperatures exceeding 40 °C in the summer months and no rainfall except occasionally from December through to March. The city’s property prices crashed dramatically after the global financial crisis though the other Emirates offered assistance in 2012, mitigating the effects of the property crash and leading to prices rising again.

Until 2006 there wasn’t the option of freehold for foreign property owners but that has since changed. If you are looking to buy a property, taking out a mortgage can be a complicated affair so obtaining professional advice is recommended. It’s also worth bearing in mind that there are currently no property taxes in Dubai.

When it comes to educating your children, there’s a great deal of choice. School fees are a lot more affordable than the UK and those families looking for a British curriculum have around 60 schools to choose from. The American curriculum is also well represented with over 20 secondary schools teaching it including the very exclusive GEMS World Academy, the Dubai American Scientific School and the International School of Arts and Sciences. There are also two German, six French, six Iranian, eight Pakistani, 40+ Indian, Bangladeshi, Swedish, Japanese and Russian schools with special needs schooling being rarer and costing considerably more. Furthermore, many large foreign universities have also set up institutions at the Dubai International Academic City located 40 km southeast of the centre of the city.

Research has found that nearly half of expats who move to the UAE encounter problems because they do not have sufficient practical information about their new home. PSS International Removals are UK’s first choice for moving overseas and we have successfully helped thousands of people move to UAE. We are able to offer you a professional service including additional visa, employment, banking, currency, pension transfer, pet shipping, tax rebate, education, and flight and property advice through our network of trusted partners.

Visit http://www.pssremovals.com to find out more or contact us for a free quote now!