SHOULD YOU THINK ABOUT SCHOOLS BEFORE YOU MOVE?

If you’re moving overseas for a new job, at first there is likely to be a sense of anticipation and excitement about your new role, your new country and your new cultural experience. And then comes the planning. One of your main priorities will be your children’s schooling and this should be part of your pre-planning. After all, it’s not something you want be trying to organise once you’ve arrived.

It’s a big move for the whole family. School-age children will be in unfamiliar surroundings, without their friends and removed from local sports and perhaps other hobbies. Taking the time and doing plenty of research to choose the right area and the right school will help make the relocation easier. And it can help your children settle in and adapt to their new environment much faster.

Choosing the right kind of school for your child

Every child is different and will respond to different sets of circumstances. Is the right environment for your child a public or a private institution? A religious or non-religious school? A school with a strong sports orientation or a school with an arts focus?

Do you require after-hours care from the school or other options such as the availability of meals? Is it important to you and your children if the school offers a local or international curriculum?

Creating a list of what you require and what is most important will enable you to zero in on the most appropriate schools for your needs.

If you are working in Brisbane or on the Gold Coast, there are over 100 public and private primary schools and a diverse range of high schools from which to choose. Many of these feature extracurricular learning programs that draw on the region’s coastline, waterways, and hinterland.

If you’re commuting to Brisbane, there is the freeway or bus and train services, and depending on the mode of transport and the exact location, the travel time can be approximately 60 to 90 minutes. For example, Surfers Paradise to Brisbane is approximately one hour by car along the M1.

Be aware of possible restrictions

Schools in some areas will have long waiting lists for new students. In addition, you will need to consider the tuition fees. These can differ from one school to another and this is something that has to be worked into your budget. Unfortunately, these factors may limit your options. This is all the more reason to have thoroughly investigated your new home prior to your move.

It’s a balancing act as the school needs to be close enough to the area in which you’re living, which in turn needs to be within reasonable travelling distance to your new job.

Aiding the transition

If your son or daughter is involved in a local sport, whether it is swimming, soccer, basketball or something else, then having them join clubs or classes at their new school will make the transition smoother – it’s also a great way to make new friends.

The good news is that, in general, children tend to benefit from exposure to diverse and interesting environments.

Choosing and locking in the best school will be the first step in making the move a positive and uplifting one for your children and for the whole family.

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