Of course, you value your family and your career but balancing both can be a challenge sometimes. Whether you’re a jet-setting executive, a beach-hopping creative, a medical professional on a mission or a hard-working military household, you want to make the best choice for your kids while meeting your professional obligations.
One of the first choices you’ll need to make is whether to move the entire family with each change in location, or to create a “home base” to come back to. You may be more comfortable with everyone within sight, or your job may make it safer and more stable for the kids to stay in a separate location, and for you to visit them.
Education is another key consideration. Changing schools regularly can adversely affect the learning process, since schools in different locations may have different academic levels, different subjects being taught at different rates, and even different languages of instruction – and that’s before you factor in the challenges of fitting into a new social world. In the long-term, the right educational choices will help your child be successful in whatever she or he chooses to do in the future, and the quality of instruction and beneficial relationships acquired at school are a significant part of that.
International schools are a good way to resolve some of these challenges in the life of a traveling family. A common language of instruction – usually English – a high standard, transferable and uniform curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) or Advanced Placement (AP) standards, and exposure to a diverse student body with global connections provides children with a positive experience and prepares them for higher education.
For those moving the whole family frequently, placement in international schools helps keep your children’s education portable, so they can continue progress as you change locations, and aren’t held back by new languages or divergent areas of study. For those looking to establish a home base, picking a school in a central location for your travels can provide stability and quality instruction.
If you will be traveling mainly around the Asia-Pacific region, international schools in Hong Kong offer world-recognized quality instruction in a highly developed city with easy connections to East Asia, India and the Middle East, and the pacific island region. If your focus is in the Middle East and Africa, Dubai is widely recognized as an international city, while for those focused mainly in Europe or the Americas, major cities such as New York and London, or regional capitals such as Los Angeles or Warsaw, can offer excellent flight connections for more accessible visits, travel access to the surrounding region, and world-quality schools.
The location, duration and frequency of your travels, as well as the type of work you do are one part of the puzzle that is life planning for traveling families. Your children’s future and your connection as a family is another. Bringing the two together will be choices around location, education and intentional investments to make sure you all have the best experience while abroad.