4 Ways to Support Your Child’s Transfer to Another School
Moving overseas suddenly and quickly is something that isn’t unusual today anymore. More and more families are now seeing themselves living in another country after being given only a month or two of notice due to a big promotion, or the chance to start a new business overseas.
A sudden international move will definitely be difficult for a family and it will undoubtedly be harder for the kids who have to be uprooted in the middle of a school year. School-aged children will have to undergo a possibly long adjustment process when they transfer to a new school in a different country.
If your family has recently relocated overseas and you want to help your child’s move to another school go as smoothly and stress-free as possible, here are some tips to help you support him or her throughout the whole process:
1. Take charge
During the first few weeks after moving, your child will still be feeling different emotions. Because of this, you will have to take the lead in looking for the right school for your child to go to.
For instance, if you moved to Dubai, you have to know that there are different British schools to choose from. Do the initial research on these schools with your child and work with him or her to narrow down the list.
You will also have to visit these schools with your child to check the facilities, speak with the administration staff, and learn about the whole admission process. These two processes will help you and your child make the best decision in choosing the right school to transfer to.
2. Get your child involved
Although you will be taking the lead in finding the best schools for your teen, you need to involve him or her in some of the steps and in making important decisions.
This means encouraging your child to do additional research on the shortlisted schools. When you visit the schools, encourage your child to talk with the staff and ask them questions as well.
Allow your teen to complete the admissions application procedure and help him or her only when he or she asks you to.
Lastly, after visiting various schools, discuss with your child the strengths and weaknesses of each. Although the final decision will still be yours (due to budgetary constraints or accessibility), it is important that your child feels included in the decision-making process.
3. Help your child prepare for his or her first day of class
Make sure your child is physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared for his or her first day or class.
This means buying all the required school supplies and materials. If your child asks for a new school bag or a new pair of shoes, indulge him or her if you have the budget.
Talk to your child frequently before his or her first day of school as well. Ask your child what his or her concerns are and what you can do to help him or her.
It is important to keep reminding your child that it is natural to feel apprehensive when he or she starts attending a new school. You can help assuage his or her fears by keeping the days leading up to the transition as positive as possible. Go over the advantages and perks the school offers so that your child will feel excited about the big day.
4. Continue being involved
Finally, once your child starts attending his or her new school, continue being involved in his or her life.
If there are PTA meetings or open houses, attend them. Consider joining the school’s parent-teacher organization or parent advisory board as well so that you will always be updated, and you can participate in important activities happening at the school.
Once your child tells you he or she has made some friends, let him or her know that he or she can invite them to your home. Get to know these kids and their parents as well.
Moreover, always be available for your child even if he or she seems to be transitioning well. Talk to him or her frequently. Schedule regular family bonding times as well so that your child can have fun and at the same time, feel your love and support.
When you are only given a small timeframe to prepare for a move overseas, packing properly may be your number one priority.
But if you have kids, even before you travel, start thinking about how you can help them find and adjust to a new school so that their education won’t be negatively affected by your international relocation.
Sybil Abou Rahal-Jones is the Marketing & Communications Manager at The English College in Dubai. She majored in Graphic Design and has experience of 20 years working in Graphic Design, Branding, Marketing and Communications. Her role is to set the MarCom strategy for both primary and secondary schools, and implement branding, graphic design, internal and external communications, marketing, and digital marketing