When you and your partner have decided to let your child attend an international school, you may wonder what the next steps are. Applying to an international school is very similar to applying to a boarding or private school.
Visit the School
Visiting an international school can be geographically difficult for some parents. If you are unable to visit the school, you should inquire about a virtual tour. Unlike 20 years ago, many parents can access a virtual tour of schools across the world.
If you can visit an international school before applying to it for your child, you should make the visit. It is comforting to see where your child will be spending their day as well as meet prospective teachers. A school’s website or reviews may not properly reflect the excellence of the school. You can see where your child will be attending classes, living, and meet adults that will be educating your child. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, seek financial assistance, and put your anxiety at ease.
Each international school has a different application process. Generally, you will be asked to:
- Fill out the application
- Attend an admissions event
- Provide the school with current teachers’ evaluation forms
- Submit official transcripts or transcript requests
- Register for an entrance exam
- Register for a family meeting
Although applying for an international school is not as rigorous as applying to a college or a university, international schools want to ensure your child is a good fit for them and a good fit for your child. Steps can often be done simultaneously or in various orders, but all of them must be completed.
If your child is applying for an international school at the elementary level, the school may ask you to bring your child for a playdate. This is an opportunity for your child to meet peers, teachers, and see if your child is a good fit for an international program at a young age.
Prepare for the Future
Schools such as BASIS International School offer more than a basic program. They have college level and excel programs for qualifying students. When students are graduating, and looking to apply to colleges, the top colleges will look at their academic excellence. College admission officers understand AP courses and honours courses are more rigorous than average classes.
An international education will also give your child an opportunity to excel on their college application. They can write their essay reflecting their time at the international school, and how living in a different culture has prepared them for the next step in life. An international school will better prepare your child for college and employment. They will have a cultural understanding and be well-versed on how to work with a wide range of diverse backgrounds.