Schooling your kids overseas

Every parent wants the best for their children but, typically, this means giving them the best education possible. But being an expat brings with it perhaps more challenges than for those parents who reside in their own native country. These include language issues, choice of country – at home or overseas, and choice of institution – international or local, religious or secular, co-ed or single-gendered, plus all the general upheaval. Naturally, the best schools and universities will be the most sought-after and the most expensive. This is especially true due to the ongoing scrapping of grants and scholarships. Some estimates say that fee-paying schools across Europe on average are growing in charges around eight times the rate of inflation each year. And it’s not just the fees themselves there is the clothes, books, iPads, laptops, mobile phones, accommodation and travel too. According to expat financial experts, many parents underestimate how much a good quality education costs nowadays. And yet, the value of a quality education is immeasurable in today’s competitive and global market. Therefore, it makes sense to get to grips with your education planning as soon as possible in order to be able to afford to give your kids the type of schooling and university life that you, and they, want and/or need.

Paying for expat education

There are a number of different savings plans specifically designed for parents planning to pay for their children’s education. These include single lump sum investment plans, plans with regular/irregular payments and schemes that combine a mix of savings and borrowing. And as expats there are likely to be some options available to you, using your ‘offshore’ status, that will be highly tax efficient and financially advantageous in other ways too.

Soaring demand

Expats also bear in mind that demand for a high-quality education at an international school is on the rise – not only for expat kids but for the local populace as well. With more and more locals opting to send their children to these institutions, expat parents who don’t act asap may not be able to secure a spot for their kids in the school of their choice. Indeed, the ISC Research database of international schools reports that while expat pupils once filled almost all of the available places, now 80% are filled with locally-born kids.

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