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Fostering and Supporting Ethical Business in Immigration

Visit the Launch event of the IIA in Australia & New Zealand CLICK HERE

As businesses and people involved in the Immigration sector, we have an enormous responsibility to ensure that with all of our best efforts, clients and their families have a seamless experience when it comes to relocating and obtaining their visas.

A successful process requires between 100 and 127 contacts, depending on what and where the applicant is moving to, however, for the most part, it involves organisations such as: immigration agents, banks, tax advisors, relocation agents, removalists, education providers, real estate, vehicle sales and lease and so much more. A big responsibility for all businesses participating in the process.

The Immigration Industry Association started in London in 2017. The aim of the IIA is to foster business, provide network opportunities, organise education events and in the end collaboratively foster the quality of migration processes.

Apart from ethical responsibility, businesses in migration have to think in terms of business benefits. The migration industry holds many different disciplines. Research shows that enhancing networks of businesses increases the market share, efficiency and profits of the businesses involved. By providing opportunities to network and foster relationships among members of the different disciplines in the migration industry the IIA brings business benefits to the individual businesses and promotes professional services, provided by professional people within the industry. This can only have a positive effect on the end client.

The IIA opens its doors for Australia and New-Zealand businesses at an event in Melbourne on the 14th of August.

CLICK HERE to register

If you are engaged in the Immigration Industry – become a member today –  join us on our launching event and be part of this thriving network!

CLICK HERE – to Book your place – It’s Free!

No Deal: What could this mean for my FX transfers?

Back in January of this year, when the Brexit date was set at 29 March 2019, we looked at the potential impact of the Brexit agreement on the Pound in the result of a ‘Soft’ or ‘Hard’ Brexit, using the XE Brexit Barometer.

Now with the process being delayed to 31 October, there is still uncertainty regarding how the UK will leave the EU, with Michael Gove confirming that the UK is ‘working on the assumption’ of a no-deal.

This year, the pound has been negatively affected by ongoing concerns of a disorderly Brexit and political uncertainty. What we do know is that you should prepare for all outcomes. So how can you prepare for a deal or no-deal Brexit?

What could happen to GBP on the 31st October?

Read More

 

Provided by our Major Sponsors:

Immigration Industry Association (IIA) begins Downunder

Australia Launch Event – 14 Aug 2019 – 4pm – 6pm – Melbourne 

FREE TICKETS – CLICK HERE

For anyone, migrating or becoming an Expat, it is a huge step with big implications and decisions for the applicant. In all the excitement, fears and emotions of leaving the old and landing in the new, the applicant has many questions and issues to solve and overcome.

There are approximately 127 touchpoints that a migration applicant will face through their migration journey. These include, but not limited to visas, banking, taxation, schooling for children, valid educational qualifications, insurance, housing, investments and relocation and much much more. The quality of the service providers in this process is the sum of all the answers and solutions to these questions and of course the satisfaction of the client as well.

All disciplines in the immigration industry attempt to serve their migrating clients as well as they can, however, may never be capable of providing a one-stop full-solution service. An applicant, bringing a family with young children requires a different solution as to a student, or a skilled migrant visa. Each client requires a different solution and not one set of services fits all. That is where the IIA

The Immigration Industry Association (IIA) was founded in 2017, bringing these disciplines together in a network that shares knowledge, information and collaboration, in order to encourage high-quality services from industry representatives.

It is now time to deliver on its mandate to provide membership services across the Asia Pacific Rim.  Having already made inroads in New Zealand with some notable members, the IIA is now holding its inaugural meeting in Melbourne Australia on the 14th August. All existing and new prospective members are welcome to join us for this important event

The IIA opens its doors for Australia and New-Zealand in Melbourne on the 14th of August. To register – CLICK HERE

The event will be hosted by Mr Arno Wezenaar – Australian Leader and our important sponsors XE.com, Expatland and Christie Spaces.

10 questions answered on the Brexit vote

After MPs voted against Theresa May’s proposed withdrawal agreement with a historic defeat, and the opposition lost the vote of no confidence in the government, it has been a busy few days to get your heads around. With Plan B to be presented on January 21st, we looked at 10 key questions surrounding the vote and the potential ramifications in the coming months.

  1. How important was this vote?

After postponing the vote from its original date before Christmas to garner more support, the ‘meaningful’ vote was always going to be in the spotlight. After an historic loss, Jeremy Corbyn immediately tabled a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister, which highlights just how much was riding on it. In the end, the PM won the confidence vote thanks to the support of hard-line Brexiters and the DUP, but it’s clear that the situation is tense and her control of the situation remains tenuous as she reaches out to other parties.

  1. What happened before the vote?

May closed the five days of debates with a short speech this evening, with the vote kicking off with backbench amendments first. Three of the amendments were withdrawn and the last one soundly defeated, which put all the focus on the proposed Brexit deal. The advantage of this approach would have been clearer if the Bill had passed, as too many amendments may have caused difficulties with the EU. However, given the government’s defeat, these Bills do highlight the divisions across parliament about the best way to proceed.

  1. Who supported May’s deal?

A number of influential Tory MPs and key members of the Cabinet voted in favour of May’s proposed withdrawal agreement. The DUP, who in the past has adamantly opposed the controversial Northern Irish backstop, came out in favour of May. A small number of Labour MPs and one independent also voted for the Bill, but this was not enough to quash the rebellion within May’s own party and the Bill lost due to those MPs joining Labour and the Liberal Democrats in voting against the deal.

  1. How did Theresa May lose the Brexit vote and win the vote of confidence?

There are a number of factors at play. Rebel backbenchers from the Conservative party who opposed the Brexit deal in its current state demonstrated some loyalty to the PM – despite the fact that the party had its own confidence vote not too long ago. However, some of this may be down to clever politicking – had the PM lost, a general election would have been almost inevitable and that this would be very likely to put paid to the UK staying on track to leave the EU on 29th March. The DUP also voted in support of Theresa May – this honours the agreement between the two parties which allows the PM to maintain her majority, but it does also highlight the government’s reliance on the DUP. Aside from the practical concerns about the Irish border, this is one of the many reasons that the question of the Irish backstop has become such a hot-button issue.

  1. What is the Irish backstop?

The backstop is an insurance policy in UK-EU Brexit negotiations, according to Full Fact. Right now the Irish border remains open and the backstop effectively means it stays that way, regardless of future negotiations. As the only land border with the EU, Northern Ireland could remain aligned to EU single market rules, which might mean checks on goods entering NI. Different regulations for NI compared to the rest of the UK have been met with some criticism. Introducing potential check points could go against the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, a key component of the Northern Irish peace process. This cross-border cooperation is therefore significantly important.

  1. Could Brexit be delayed?

A number of Cabinet ministers revealed that a growing backlog of key bills could force Brexit to be delayed beyond March 29th, according to the Evening Standard. Six essential bills must be passed before the deadline and some ministers are apparently convinced the timetable is too tight currently. However, the prime minister’s spokesperson has ruled out extending Article 50 and has instead stated that the legislation will be passed in time for the Brexit deadline. After a dramatic day in parliament, Theresa May said in her speech that she would be reaching out to all parties to try to come to an agreement which keeps the current plan on track. Nonetheless, sterling spiked against major currencies in response of the potential delay, strengthening against the euro and the dollar by 1.1% versus the low of the day on 11th January.

  1. What happens now?

Our infographic includes a few scenarios that are being banded around. Theresa May has just three days to produce an alternative plan. If agreement cannot be reached, then a no-deal is on the cards. A complete renegotiation may require an extension of Article 50, effectively delaying Brexit.

Given that the PM won the vote of confidence, the prospect of a general election is off the table for now – but the spectre of that possibility is likely to remain present for some time and it could still happen if the next three days don’t yield any tangible positive results.

Finally a second referendum could take place. Such options can’t be rushed through and may still require an extension on potentially leaving in any case.

In summary, a lot could happen with a number of other consequences not even included in this list.

  1. What do European leaders think about the situation?

The EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier highlighted that the onus is on the British government to move their “red lines” and come up with a reasonable alternative if they wish the EU to consider it. The key concern of the EU, he stated, was that although the plan was rejected, there didn’t seem to be any consensus about an alternative option. When speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg, he said:

“Objectively speaking, this vote is not a clear manifestation of a positive majority which would define an alternative project, and an alternative to the proposal on the table today… So, in this context, it is up to the British authorities today or tomorrow to assess the outcome of this vote and up to the British government to find how we are to take things forward on 29 March towards an orderly withdrawal.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel echoed this view that it was not up to the EU to make the first move, stating, “We believe it is up to the British side, as the prime minister has announced, to tell us what happens next.”

European Council President Donald Tusk was more straightforward in his approach, tweeting that perhaps the project should be abandoned: “If a deal is impossible, and no one wants no deal, then who will finally have the courage to say what the only positive solution is?”

Jean-Claude Junker demonstrated his impatience with the process, saying simply, “Time is almost up.” and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, was just as succinct in his warning that an abrupt British exit from the EU would be “catastrophic”

President Macron of France was more scathing in his approach, highlighting how damaging a no-deal scenario would be and how he would continue to protect French interests. He gave a damning summation of the task ahead for the British government with the words, “Good luck to the representatives of the nation who has to implement a thing which doesn’t exist and has to explain to the people: you have voted on a thing, we lied to you.”

Across the board, EU leaders appear both frustrated and increasingly concerned, with leaders from Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg, reacting to the result of the vote on social media by stating that they were actively preparing for a no-deal scenario

  1. Are we still leaving the EU on 29th March?

At this point, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen next. It’s clear that Theresa May has a difficult task ahead, and is currently reaching out to all parties to try to reach a consensus before her time runs out on 21st January. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to join talks unless the threat of a no-deal exit was ruled out; while May dismissed this as self-interest, it’s clear that there is a lot of concern regarding no-deal scenarios across all parties and the PM may have to concede this to ensure she doesn’t lose any other supporters in the process. It’s clear that Theresa May still intends for the UK to leave the EU on 29th March, stating; “It will not be an easy task, but MPs know they have a duty to act in the national interest, reach a consensus and get this done.” Whether or not she achieves this remains to be seen.

  1. How does all this affect currency?

This has been the most important vote since the 2016 membership referendum, which saw the pound slump to a 31-year low. We traded a month’s worth of volume in a day on the original Brexit referendum result and as such Moneycorp is bracing for a similar reaction in the pound. After May pulled the initial vote date in December, sterling fell to a 20-month low against USD. Currencies tend to favour certainty, but right now there are a number of outcomes of which nobody is sure what they could lead to. A no-deal could cause volatility, as suggested by the PM herself, but if her deal passes, then the UK is in unchartered waters once more.

In times like these, it’s important to work with an FX provider that understands the ever-moving markets. If you have any international payments to make, speak to an expert at Moneycorp who can offer you guidance on +44 (0) 207 589 3000.

Alternatively, businesses can speak to our team on +44 (0) 7823 7800.

How the finance sector impacts Expats

Taking the enormous step of moving to a new country can bring with it a mixture of feelings. The excitement of making the giant leap coupled with the anxiety of doing so can be common as the big move looms. But, no matter how many times they do it, the process of moving countries is never straight forward. In the climate that we live in there are so many external factors that shape an expats opportunities.

How does the Finance Industry impact expats?

Before considering a move there is a considerable amount of financial planning that needs to take place. Money needs to be moved, invested, saved, I could go on. The global finance and banking industry impacts how we do all of these things. You need to set up bank accounts, apply for mortgages, get insurance and make sure you’ve budgeted. Let’s also not forget about exchange rates. This process, however, is getting easier. Technology is developing to make dealing with money as an expat a lot easier. There are now online only banks, paying bills is a lot easier, as is access to credit. All of these new developments are providing more jobs for expats around the globe too.

We are seeing these ‘fin-tech’ corporations grow by the year and the result of that is hiring in talent from around the world. In the graph below you can see that 42% of the UK’s Fintech workforce as expats.

Top financial cities for Expats

It goes without saying that New York comes out top as the finance capital of the world. Nearly every global financial company has a home within Wall Street. There are however a number of other cities whose popularity are on the rise. London continues to grow in the popularity stakes, despite Brexit looming. Next up is Singapore, a recent study showed that 53% of FinTech companies were looking to hire talent from overseas. Switzerland, Hong Kong, Germany & Tokyo are also increasingly popular destinations for expats working within the finance world.

Before you move it’s important to look at the structure of the economy in the country you wish to move to as well as the differences in salary, cost of living language and local cultures. You’ve probably read it a million times but organization and preparation is key. If you don’t do the groundwork you could end up with some real tax concerns. Protecting your finances and preparing your taxes correctly will mean you can reap the rewards of a new, successful lifestyle overseas.

If you are looking to move to a city where the fintech scene is on the rise, be careful with competition. Last year it was reported that expats in Hong Kong only got 15% of finance job placements, down from 40%. It is essential that you do your research and be prepared to put in the time and dedication to prove yourself.

How can the Expatland Global Network help?

Expatland can help you plan, research and understand your upcoming move to make it as easy as possible for you. Our E-Teams are made up of global professionals who can provide you with tax advice, currency exchange, business tax support, mortgages, insurance and pensions. We can look after all of your financial needs to make the process as streamlined as possible.

By John Marcarian, Founder, Expatland Global Network

How do Expats impact society?

I was recently reading the findings from the 2018 Human Development Index (HDI) report. There are now 59 countries in the very high human development group, an improvement of 13 in the last 8 years. Whilst reading through, I wondered what impact expats are having on their host countries. You could say that they are helping to boost the economies of said countries or you could go so far as to say they are having a negative impact on their home country by leaving. So I started to look into how expats are impacting society as a whole.

Vietnam recently ranked in the top 3 countries for career prospects in the 2018 Expat Insider Survey, however in the HDI they only ranked 116 out of 189.  When looking at the opportunities available in Vietnam, it became clear that a third of expat opportunities are within the teaching or research sectors. It leads you to question if these expat teachers and academic staff are helping to improve the quality of schools in Vietnam and therefore having a positive benefit on society.

There are so many benefits to hiring expats. Not only do they come with fresh approaches and new knowledge but they also bring in opportunity, diversity and new skills. I personally feel that more companies need to branch out into hiring expats. The talent pool out there is vast and you’d be missing a trick not to consider it. A recent study showed that Canada is one of the many countries facing a Tech skills shortage. The study reported that there will be a shortage of 216,000 workers by 2021. What’s my advice? Hire expats.

Let’s consider how hiring expats impacts the economy. It is proven that the average expat can expect to earn an extra $21,000 a year. This is more money going into a countries taxes and ultimately more money being invested into the economy. Earlier this year studies showed that the UK remained the number one destination for inward investment.

Inward investments are so important for developed cities as well as under developed cities. The investment in the infrastructure of emerging market countries will not only improve quality of life but will also provide jobs and higher wages. The investment in start-ups will also help the tech and financial industries to thrive too. More and more governments are now starting to see the value in offering start-up growth accelerators and it’s not hard to see why.

This is part of the reason why I wanted to grow the Expatland Global Network. So we had a group of trusted, industry experts at hand to make the lives of expats that little bit smoother. I will always sing the praises of joining the vast, global expat community, which has enormous influence and brings a valuable new perspective to communities and organizations. Whether you leave your homeland in search of a better job, improved quality of life, or just to broaden your horizons with new experiences, the expat life can prove hugely rewarding.

By John Marcarian, Founder, Expatland

Antipodean Currencies Falling to Year to Date Lows – why?

Year to date the Aussie and Kiwi dollars have retreated ~ 14% & ~ 12% respectively vs the US dollar. And from late AUG – OCT the Aussie and Kiwi retreated ~ 7.5% & ~ 6.5% vs. the pound. Great outcomes for those looking to covert USD or GBP back into AUD or NZD but terrible news for those who have to convert AUD or NZD into USD or GBP.

So another month has passed with the antipodean currencies falling to year to date lows – the driver again the deteriorating trade relationship between the US + China and the negative impact this had on the Chinese Yuan.

With the Chinese Yuan falling to levels not seen since early 2008 and the outlook for Chinese economic growth looking grim – the Aussie and Kiwi dollars suffered as a result as doubts grow that China can sustain its levels of trade. Specifically for the Australian economy – the export of iron ore and other resources and in the case of New Zealand – dairy exports.

Trump proceeding with implementing tariffs on all Chinese imports to the US would have a knock on effect of less exported goods from the ANZ to China.

Falling to ~0.7020 US Cents and  ~0.6420 US cents respectively, AUDUSD and AUDNZD fell to levels not seen since early 2016 – also a period when there were serious concerns over the growth outlook for China.

But just as quickly as the currencies logged fresh lows, a stunning recovery occurred to start the new month as positive headlines announced that Trump would like to push forward with a trade deal and the UK and EU may be nearing a BREXIT agreement.

With no concrete details to substantiate these headlines, it remains to be seen in the Aussie and Kiwi dollars have finally found a floor for 2018.

Managing your currency risk

XE provides you with some pointers to share with your clients that will help with larger volume transactions.

KEY DATES FOR NOVEMBER:

08 NOV – US Midterm Elections

09 NOV – US Interest Rate Decision

15 NOV – AUS Employment Data

Mid NOV – Italian Budget announcement

21 NOV – Global Dairy Auction

20 NOV – RBA Meeting minutes

28 – RBNZ Financial Stability Report

29 NOV – US Gross Domestic Product

Contact and Author:

Marcus Phillips

Director of Affiliates &
Partnerships Australasia

XE.com

Phone: +64 27 250 9416

Marcus.Phillips@xe.com

Tips to succeed as an Expat

Moving to a new country is a logistical challenge. But that’s nothing compared to the mixed emotions expats feel as they make the first steps towards life in a new country.

Expatland is a resource that supports people all over the globe who are embarking on an expat journey, joining a vast, dynamic community. Here we explain how to avoid the main stumbling blocks to successful relocation and how to thrive in a new country.

Do your research: If you don’t prepare for your new location thoroughly, it can come back and bite you when you arrive. Setting time aside to research as many aspects as you can will pay dividends in the long run. Your first step should be to seek the advice of experts on the ground in your new city who will guide you along the way.

  1. Learn the language: If you are moving to a country that doesn’t speak your native language, it’s essential you make the effort to learn it before arriving. Some countries, such as Denmark, make it a requirement of all those relocating there to take language lessons, but not all countries are so rigid.

 

  1. Keep expectations real: No-one moves abroad and fits in immediately. Making friends, setting up new routines and embarking on a different career will challenge you. Experts say settling into a new country can take up to six months, or longer, so be realistic about what to expect in your first days and weeks.

 

  1. Make fellow expats your friends: You might arrive in your new location all set on throwing yourself into the new culture. This is a good thing. However your new work colleagues may not have faced the challenges you are and fellow expats can really help unlock the mysteries of a new school, medical and banking system. The been-there-done-that friend can be essential back up over what may be a bewildering time.

 

  1. Don’t underestimate financial differences: Taking out a mortgage, writing a will and paying your taxes are complicated enough in your country of origin, but taking these issues abroad is a whole different ball game. Seek financial and professional advice.

 

  1. Be sociable even when you don’t feel like it: Making new friends can be really hard work at the best of times, but in order to fit in it’s essential to put yourself out there. Accept that invite to the work social or school parent’s night out. A feeling of isolation can be common for expats so building up a network of new friends and acquaintances can really help.

 

  1. Live like a resident, not a tourist: It may be tempting to live like you are on holiday during your first few months. Weekends away in new locations, expensive meals out or purchasing a whole new wardrobe may be great ways to acclimatise to your new home but they are also costly. Unfamiliarity with the local exchange rate and how far your new salary actually stretches could mean you’re pushing your financial limits too soon. Be sensible and make sure your bank balance remains buoyant.

 

John Marcarian, Founder, Expatland http://www.expatland.com/

All eyes on exchange rates in the 6 month countdown to Brexit!

With little under six months until Britain formally leaves the EU on the 29th March 2019, there is still a lot of uncertainty around what the deal will be, what it could mean for the UK economy and the kind of relationship Britain will have with the EU in the future.

The IIA’s main sponsor, international payments provider, HiFX, have highlighted above what they think are the key dates over the next 6 months as Britain looks to agree a Brexit deal in their Countdown to Brexit:

The outcome (or lack of outcome in some scenarios) of these key events could create volatility on the currency markets and impact the value of the Pound. This year, we have seen Sterling trade in a range of 5.3% against the Euro, and 12% against USD.

The ongoing uncertainty around the Brexit negotiations and perceived instability within the UK Government have been key influencers. The major concerns are surrounding the agreement of the final deal with the EU, and whether Parliament will formally pass it. In the US, the Dollar has been strengthening on the back of the increasing of US Interest Rates from circa. 1% to 2-2.25%. The trade war between the US and China is also having an impact on global growth and sentiment, and is driving investors into the perceived ‘Safe Haven’ of Japanese Yen.

Whatever happens, HiFX can support you to make your international transfers,  as your eyes and ears in the market, with a range of currency tools to help you monitor market movements.

With a HiFX account, you can also create personalised Rate Alerts to let you know when your desired exchange rate becomes available.

Nobody can know for sure what will happen over the next six months, or how the UK will be impacted once a deal has been agreed with the EU. But it seems reasonable to assume that there may be some volatility for the Pound whilst the deal is being negotiated. If you’d like to discuss your situation with us in more detail, please contact anjulie.patel@xe.com and the team will be happy to help.

The details expressed in this transmission and accompanying documents are for information purposes only and are not intended as a solicitation for funds or a recommendation to trade. HiFX Europe Limited accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damages suffered through any act or omission taken as a result of reading or interpreting any of the above information. HiFX Europe Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration 462444, for the provision of payment services. HiFX Europe Limited is also a registered MSB with HM Revenue & Customs. Registration number: 12131222. HiFX is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 3517451. Registered office: Maxis 1, Western Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1RT.

Choosing an International School when moving to a new city, should NOT be a headache!

Julia was both excited and stressed when her husband told her the big news: Eduardo’s company offered him a great promotion but they had to move from Madrid to London. The new job and the benefit package were excellent, and they agreed that it was also an amazing opportunity for their children (aged 12 and 8) to learn a new language and live abroad.

While they felt confident that overcoming the challenge of adjusting to a new country, language, and culture would only be a matter of time, they were concerned about finding the right school for their children. For them, the happiness of their children was the number one priority.

In our global society, expat families moving around the world face the same challenge. But finding the right international school should not be a headache providing you collect the information needed to make this important decision. Thanks to Internet, you can start your search the moment you find out you are relocating. However, if at all possible, you should also plan to visit at least two of the schools on your shortlist.

Before your visit

It is important to realise that you are looking for an international school not just for your children, but for the whole family—the community will become yours as much as theirs. If you are excited and positive, and make your children part of the process, they will be excited too.

Before you visit your new location:

  1. Ask colleagues who have lived there for school recommendations. Trust what they say, but understand that their choices fit their circumstances. You will need more than their opinion to make an informed decision.
  2. Find out about the work commute and transportation options to determine the areas where you may want to live, however it is important that you do not choose a house before the school. A long commute to school every day is in no one’s interest.
  3. Armed with this information, use the Internet to start to research and identify your shortlist of schools.
  4. Collect the basic information about each school to compare what each one offers and how they fit your family’s needs.
  5. Refer to websites and prospectuses, and contact Admissions departments for information about the curriculum offered, accreditation by international organizations, availability of places, etc.
  6. Most schools offer a good education but to find the elements that set them apart, look at their Social Media channels. There you can discover “the life of the school,” real and authentic content about activities, fieldtrips, concerts, sports fixtures, etc. What happens outside of the classroom can be as important as the learning within.
  7. School reviews can help you determine the reputation of a school, and it is normal to find a mix of opinions. Schooling is a very personal choice, and everyone’s perspective is different. While a series of bad reviews should certainly be a “red flag,” do not be discouraged by the odd negative review.
  8. Current parents are an excellent source of information about any school. Read what they have to say, and ask the Admissions department to provide contact details for some of them.

What to ask during your school visits

Even if you think you have determined which international school will be best for your family, confirm your intuition by visiting at least two of the schools you are considering. Choose a regular school day, when the campus is alive with students moving between classes, interacting with the faculty and each other. A parent recently told me that during her first visit, one of the things that convinced her to choose our school was the smiles of the students during break time.

Areas to consider and ask about include:

  1. The culture. Many international schools reflect a national identity such as American, British, etc. This may be clear from the school’s name and/or curriculum, or it may be less obvious.
  2. The opportunity to have an international experience is a gift that will stay with your children forever. Ask about the diversity of the student body to ensure that they will be joining an internationally-minded community.
  3. Your anticipated length of stay and factors such as your children’s age and character, previous school experience, language, and so on will influence which curriculum you prefer (e.g., American, British, International Baccalaureate).
  4. Language Support. Find out what assistance the school offers to help international students improve their skills in the language of instruction, so they can cope with the subject content as soon as possible. While parents are right to be concerned about how their children will cope with learning in a different language, it is surprising how quickly most students adjust with the right support.
  5. University destinations. The universities that graduates attend will indicate the academic level of the school.
  6. A campus tour is about much more than ensuring that the facilities are appropriate for the learning experience. Whether a school is brand new or boasts historic buildings, as you walk around you may get an immediate “gut feeling” about whether your family will be happy there.
  7. The Admissions team. This department should communicate the essence of the school and make your tour around the campus pleasant and informative. They may introduce you to teachers and the Head of the School, and every person you meet will influence your final decision. With notice, the school may also give your children the chance to experience a few lessons and/or meet students in their grades. Ask for contact information for current parents with children in the same year groups. A conversation with these parents can provide essential information about the school and reassure you about your decision.
  8. The sense of community. You are choosing a school for the whole family. How the parent community integrates with each other and the school is especially important for expat families as they adjust to a new country, culture, and language and make new friends. Some international schools, like TASIS England, offer an amazing parent support network to help make the transition period less stressful. New arrivals are given a buddy family who can assist with advice on many of the practical aspects of relocation. A parent association that proactively supports spouses who do not work and promotes involvement in the school community will have a positive impact on any new expat family’s experience.

If you ask some parents why they chose a school for their children, they might say it was love at first sight. A school might “tick the right boxes” but it was their intuition that told them it was the right place for their children. Asking the right questions will help you find a school that not only provides an excellent academic experience for your children, but also provides a community in which they will be happy and develop as caring global citizens.

 

Angel Lozano

Director of Institutional Advancement

TASIS The American School in England

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