How to Choose the Right International School for Your Child?
In Malaysia, there are 180 international schools in Malaysia, and more than 100 are located in Kuala Lumpur! Since there are so many options available, choosing the right international school for your child can be a difficult thing to do. Every parent would want their children to receive the best education result and experience.
In this article, we will provide tips to parents out there on how to choose the right international school for your children.
Identify Children’s Need and Your Expectation
There is nothing more important than identifying your children’s needs. There could be an academically ranked number 1 school in the world, but still would not be suitable for your children.
What do your children want? What do they love to do? Sports? Singing, perhaps?
Not only that, you would also need to identify your own expectations. Do you want your children to be more athletic, or focus 100% on academics? Find out!
Research The Curriculum Offered
It is important for you to research the curriculum offered by those international schools out there, as curriculums for each school may vary. For example, Cambridge, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Unified Examination Certificate (UEC).
Ask yourself this: what academic measures are important to my children?
You may want to find out what is the teaching methods that are used by the school. Some international schools may offer a traditional method where the focus is memorization while others may have a more student-centered approach with project-based learning.
In addition to that, most of the international schools may use English as their daily medium of language. Therefore, make sure that your children are ready.
School and Tuition Fees
Once you have identified your children and curriculum needs, and found the best fit international school, what’s next? The fees. According to SchoolAdvisor.my, the annual fees are included but are not limited to:
- Application Fees
- Admittance Fees
- Student Registration fees
- Tuition fees (per term and yearly)
- Deposit fees
- Technology fees
- Boarding fees (applicable for boarding schools in Malaysia)
Some international schools may also include extra charges such as:
- Building fees
- Facility fees
- Membership fees
- Extracurricular/Co-curricular activities fees
Here’s an example.
Application fee is RM1200 and student registration fee is RM8000. This is a one-time fee and not an annual fee.
For the annual fees, it depends on what year your children are.
For Year 5 children, parents will have to pay RM10,000 deposit fee and the tuition fees are around RM15,000 per term. In a year, there are 3 terms which means the tuition fee annually are around RM45,000.
You must be thinking, why is it so expensive? Well, here’s the answer why: the teachers are highly competent as international schools recruit only the best teachers. Furthermore, most of the academic staff are not local. Most of them are expats. Hiring expats teachers can be expensive and it is estimated that almost 80% of the school budget is used for teacher salaries and benefits.
Thus, to choose the right international school for your children, your budgeting is important. Most of the time, the annual fees do not reflect the actual fee. As mentioned above, there are additional fees such as application fee, and many more.
The fees are high not only because their teachers are highly competent, it is also because of the facilities that they provide that can help shape educational needs of children, and that can ensure in shaping the children’s success.
Classrooms in international schools are well ventilated, spacious and equipped with ergonomic furniture. The classrooms are also usually equipped with the latest technology to make learning fun and interactive.
Facilities such as laboratories, libraries and sport facilities are also advanced. Laboratories are more modern and advanced compared to public schools. Libraries with a wide range of books, and sport facilities are spacious, equipped with the latest equipment.
However, different international schools, different facilities are provided. There are also international schools where they have different types of facilities. Do research on international schools so that you can choose the right international schools for your children.
In conclusion, choosing the right international school for your children is a critical decision to be made that requires careful consideration of many factors. Remember to involve your children in the process, visit the schools and do a thorough research based on the tips given by us above. Choosing the right international school can help your children thrive academically and personally while gaining a unique perspective on the world, which will serve them well in the future.