Flowchart: What school should my expat child attend next year?

And now begins the time of year when expats talk of moving.
All parents apply for school places in cities where they might or might not relocate.
All schools ask parents whether they might or might not withdraw their child.
No one wants to reveal their position until the last possible moment.

It’s the musical chairs of the expat world and no one wants to end the game without a proper school chair for their child to sit in next autumn.

I am playing this game right now. I have applications submitted to schools on two separate continents. I have not told my expat child’s current school about our future plans because I myself don’t know what they are. Everyone is hedging.

In the meantime, a helpful graphic: a flowchart on how to decide which school your expat child should attend next autumn (click through for a larger, more legible version).

Int'l school decision flowchart _ expatlingo.com

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17 responses to “Flowchart: What school should my expat child attend next year?

    • The other solution is to simply stay put and not move around all the time. Applying for schools and US taxes are the two biggest perpetual expat nightmares!

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  2. This post definitely made me laugh. It reminds me of many a school decisions my parents made when I was kid. Kinda wish they had this flow chart though…. (sweet blog, btw!)

  3. Ah, goodness me. We are now officially starting with all this. Long way from Life Of Riley land, though – we’re down at the local school with handy language (Chinese) end of the spectrum and I promise I’ll blog about it at some stage. Then again, it’s Singapore, so maybe not that much cred.

    What happens to the people who get down to “no” on the might move but end up flowing back to “stay at same school” part of the chart if they move? Should there be a “panic” part of the chart? Obviously I’m a newbie with this and I need to know. Seems like the usual backup option is “homeschool” (which might be the same thing as “panic” in many people’s books).

    • Yes, indeed, I did consider a homeschool path, but it seems to nightmarish to contemplate! School issues add a whole new level of potential distress to the expat gig, especially in cities with high school fees and long wait lists (probably most big international cities, right?). I wish us both luck!

      • Thanks! I’m reliably informed that the government will find a place for P *somewhere* and luckily the minimum standard here is quite high… hence the lack of street cred. I wasn’t sure I could do homeschooling, but the international school fees buy an awful lot of private tutoring, so…

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