When expat families move to the United Arab Emirates many choose to enroll their children in an international school, often one which follows the curriculum of their home country. Previously, international schooling was the only option as expat kids were not allowed to attend government schools, however, as of 2006/2007 they can now enroll for a fee.
International schools following various curricula are found across the country. According to the Minister of Education, the UAE aims to develop its education system and to create some of the best schools in the world.
The UAE is a prefered country among expats with many on work assignments with multinational companies. International schools and westernized schools, that cater especially for expat children, offer an international environment and a curriculum which often closely mimics a British or American one. These schools also offer international exams such as the International Baccalaureate, iGCSEs (British), and SATs (U.S.).
Rather than be concerned about the invasion of tablets, smart phones and other electronic gadgets, remember, if used effectively they can help your expat child feel at home in their new country. With a huge variety of apps and software for everything from staying in touch to staying safe, you can find a great selection of apps and software to help them adapt, explore and learn about their own culture as well as their new one they are about to assimilate into.
We have rounded up some of the best apps on the market to help your child become excited about the new transition.
With more parents undertaking international work assignments than ever before, a growing number of children have begun to experience their childhood in a foreign atmosphere, learning to adapt to an expat life.
The implications of moving abroad are significant for children in both advantageous and disadvantageous ways. From their accent to the colour of their skin, your child may stand out in ways that they never did before. Once an active member of the classroom, they may find it harder to make a contribution. A child’s reaction to the move is highly relative to their personality traits and developmental age but this could be cumbersome to predict.
September 2012 marked the private school, Avenues, opening its doors to the future generation of multilingual and digital savvy students.
As an expat, the first thing you probably realised is that having multilingual children is a huge advantage for them, both in terms of career prospects and for the sake of appearing cultured.
You may be interested to learn about Avenues, a new school which is an advocate for multilingualism and technology. At this school in Manhattan, New York your child will be integrated into classrooms where they will be learning and speaking in Mandarin and Spanish as well as English.
Once in these classrooms, they will be using an iPad from the age of seven, proving that the school lives up to The Wall Street Journal’s review as ‘the most technologically sophisticated school in the country.’
A good educational environment is one of the prime concerns for expats moving abroad, and the choice of school can have a profound impact on children’s development and happiness in later life. Life for expat children, with the regular uprooting and relocation, can be hard on them and their parents as they try to maintain a modicum of stability.
Talking with Marcia De Wolf, Head of Community Relations at St John’s International School, Expat Kids examined some of the points raised by St John’s’ recent poll about growing up as an expat. The questionnaire asked respondents whether they were, or were considering becoming, expats themselves; as well as questions about some of the challenges facing kids growing up in an expatriate environment.
Plaid skirts, khaki pants, white polo shirts. Whether children despise or approve, it is not uncommon to see kids all around the world commuting to and from school in their uniform. Wearing a uniform for primary and secondary school-aged children is common practice in many countries, but uniform policy continues to be a highly debated topic amongst educators and parents.
School uniforms were originally worn by orphan children who represented the lower class. Around the 16th century, during the reign of King Henry VIII of England, the uniform eventually gained a reputation of a higher status quo–one that denotes integrity and obedience, excellence and superiority.
With the recent signing of an agreement between the U.S. and Russia that tightens the regulations on Americans adopting Russian children, the issue of intercountry adoptions has once more been put into the spotlight. All adoptions require a degree of adapting, but if the child is not only moving home but moving country does this make the process any more difficult?
There have been a number of high-profile adoptions by celebrities, and intercountry adoptions in countries such as the U.S. and UK reached highs around seven years ago. However, stories such as that of the American woman who sent her adopted Russian child back to Russia on an aeroplane alone have demonstrated the difficulties that can arise. International adoptions have declined from an estimated 45,000 in 2005 to 25,000 in 2011.
Nearly 40 per cent of Emirati and expatriate schoolchildren in the UAE have been classed as overweight. News which has prompted recent worry amongst health professionals and parents alike. The UAE is not alone in this, however; excess weight is a problem affecting children in many countries and is linked to health problems later in life. As of 2010, more than 40 million children were classified by the World Health Organization as being overweight.
Ensuring your child is eating right is important no matter where you may be living, though it may prove more of a challenge in some countries than others, or in a time of upheaval, such as a relocation.
Schools in London have some of the most ethnically diverse students in the UK. In a recent study, information was collected on the language children speak at home. It found 60% of students reported English as their first language. Nearly 40% of those surveyed speak a minority language at home. Bengali, Urdu and Somali are the top languages spoken after English.
“London’s increasing language diversity attracts much interest and debate among public service providers, educationalists and the public. Yet little was known about the numbers of people who speak different languages, and the implications of this dimension of population structure and change,” explains Professor Dick Wiggins of the Institute of Education, University of London.