Thursday December 29th, 2011
There are many different reasons for Americans moving to London. Whether it is an unplanned corporate relocation or just a new start for a family the move is often anticipated and feared at the same time. Most often children feel the most stress during an international relocation because they feel they are powerless. They, also, are leaving their friends, homes, extended family and even schools. Little things they have spent their entire lives learning about their American culture are suddenly dismissed and they are asked to learn an entirely new set of cultural norms.
After moving to London parents often worry about their children’s adjustment both socially and emotionally. One option for easing the transition is to enroll them in an American school. The American School, located in the St. John’s Wood neighborhood in London, is a school devoted to teaching Americans using American curriculum.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer as to whether American children should go to The American School. Parents have to weigh several factors when making the decision, first of which is how long they plan on living in London. Some corporate relocations are short, just a year or less, while others may be upwards of five years or more. If the move is temporary and the child plans on returning to the states to finish their education attending The American School may be a good idea so that their educational path will not be disrupted.
Those Americans moving to London with no length of stay determined may opt to send their child to a local school instead so as to immerse them in the English culture. The English school system is very good and a child’s education will not suffer for having attended an English grade school. There are many benefits besides the quality of education at English schools. Children will be introduced to local traditions and culture. They will acclimate to their new environment quicker and they will get to experience England in its entirety.
There isn’t a right or wrong decision on where parents should send their students after moving to London. Every parent has to weigh their child’s personality, educational needs, and life facts (like ability to pay tuition and home location within London) before deciding on the best educational placement. Arming oneself with the most information possible is the best way to tackle the education dilemma after an international relocation.
Thursday June 9th, 2011
If you are an American moving to London and your family is going to be joining you on your adventure then part of your planning is going to be education. Your choice of education for your children will affect which neighborhood of London you choose to live in. The schooling system in England is divided into districts. You are not allowed to attend a school in another zone or area if you do not live in that area. Notable exceptions are the public schools. (Remember that private schools are known as public schools in England!)
It you have teens that are nearing college age, and are planning on going to college in the States or Canada, then you may find it more beneficial to place your child at a private school that follows a standardized American curriculum. If you have younger children though, then they will benefit from being in an English school where they can meet other children and form friendships within their peer groups.
While there are a number of differences between the system of education in England and America, you’ll find that the similarities are more marked. It said that the English system offers a wider view on the world, and certainly the curriculum is not as narrow as many found in America. There is also a greater degree of specialization when children move into the higher grades at high school.
For the last two years before university a scholar will focus on three main areas of study – A-Levels and will be expected to show a high level of competency in each subject in order to pass. That said, it is also true that the system of education may be more geared towards life skills in Americans schools. Drivers-Ed classes are not taught in English schools!
English schools also tend to use external examinations far more often to achieve the standard of education need to pass a particular grade. In Year 9, this is Grade 8 if you follow the American schooling system, there is a formal examination that is marked externally to ensure that standards are being met across the country.
If you’re moving with your family, you’re about to embark on a huge adventure and giving your children the chance to experience a different type of education is possibly the best global experience you can give them.
Wednesday April 13th, 2011
Every year, thousands of foreign students start living in London to begin their studies at university. There are a number of excellent universities in the city and if you have children of college age, then moving to London and attending a university there can be an enriching experience. There are several requirements for attending university in England, and you will be able to apply at several universities even before you leave home.
You usually have to have A-levels to get into a university in England, but with a great grade point average you will be able to apply at some of the finest universities in the world. One of the advantages to attending university has got to be the cost. Even with the exchange rate, and the extra charges that are levied on foreign students, the cost of attending a world class university is much less than in America and Canada.
Some of the most famous colleges in the world are right in the centre of London. The London School of Economics, Kings College and the University College, London are among the finest tertiary institutions in the world. The medical teaching hospital of Barts is one of the most recognized teaching hospitals in the world.
If you are intending on practicing law in your country of origin then you should study in that country, however your pre-law studies can be done at any university in the world and may even enhance your opportunity of being accepted at a prestigious law school back at home.
There are over 100 000 students studying at any one time. By studying here you are giving yourself the added advantage of learning about cultures from all over the world. You get to live in the most diverse city on the planet and you will gain a network of friends and colleagues that will last you throughout your life.
Moving here and studying at a university is going to be one of the best times of your life. Take the opportunity and live the experience.
Tuesday April 5th, 2011
If you are considering moving to London with children, your first thought is going to be for their schooling. The education system in England is slightly different from that in America or Canada, and it can be confusing at first. You might be tempted to place your older children into an American style school especially if they are of college going age, and there are several schools in London that offer the America syllabus, If you have younger children however, you’ll find that placing them into a local school will help them make friends in the community.
Where you live in London will play a large part in choosing your children’s school, so if it is vital that you get them into specific school, you’ll have to choose a London rental in the zoning area for that school. The schools in London are arranged according to area, and it is extremely difficult to get a child into a school in an area other than where you live. Schools in the more well to do areas of London will mean that you are paying a premium rental, but if you are careful, then you can avoid paying exorbitant rents and still send your child to a good school. It can be a matter of one street that makes the difference.
Education in England is divided into distinct age brackets. All children start school when they are five years of age and they attend Primary School until they are eleven. After that they can sit an exam to attend grammar school, or move onto the local comprehensive Secondary School. Between the years of eleven and sixteen, your children will prepare for their GCSE examinations which provide a school leaving certificate. For teenagers who want to attend university, there is a two year A-level course which prepares them for their field of study and for life at university. Most children enter university at the age of eighteen or nineteen.
Most schools in England require their pupils to wear a school uniform, which is decided upon by the school governing body. While you might be tempted to keep your children within an expat conclave, you might be better served by letting them attend a local school. Living in London will be one of the most exciting times in their life; they will learn so much more about their new home if they are fully immersed into the community.
Wednesday February 16th, 2011
With thousands of Americans moving to London and Canadians moving to London all of the time there are a number of schools in London that have been established to cater to families who wish their children to continue with the American style of schooling. If you are moving to London with our family, this may affect where you choose to rent an apartment in London and the transport factors in getting your children to school. If you have young children, it might be wise to let them attend a local school so they can make friends with children of their own age and integrate more fully with the community. For those who have children that are older, you may choose to continue with the American style of schooling especially if they are nearing college age and are intending on going to a college in America.
The American School in London is probably the best-known school that follows the American syllabus and the school terms. Their mission is to provide an American standard of education that has a uniquely global perspective. It is not only Americans who attend this school; many of the scholars are from different parts of Europe and indeed the world. It is an expat community school more than a distinctly American school. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Be aware though that this is a private school and the fees reflect that.
You could also consider sending your children to the American School in England, which is a private school in Surrey, which is just outside of the city. The American School in England offer both the American high School Diploma as well as the International Baccalaureate diploma and has a boarding school option for students from Grade 9 – 12. Another option is the ACS International group of schools. This is a group of three international schools that are also situated outside of London at Hillingdon, Egham and Cobham which offer the American High School diploma as part of the curriculum. These are truly international schools and have people from all over the world attending the prestigious campuses.
Choosing a school for your children is an important part of moving, but it is also important to remember that there are many fine English schools, both state run and private and you may be giving your child one of the best experiences of their lives if you let them integrate into the British way of life. They will e able to make friends in their neighbourhood as well as gain a richer understanding about the city that is their home.
Tuesday January 25th, 2011
If you are moving to London with your children, then one of your primary concerns is going to be whether or not they are going to have an adequate education while they are in England. The debate rages endlessly about the standard of education in most countries, but the fact of the matter is that if you are traveling to London with children then your choice of schools and schooling for them might have a massive impact on where you are going to live. In most cases you have to live in the catchment area of a specific school for your child to be accepted into the school. If you have a London apartment in an area that is out of the school district of a particular school, then you might struggle a bit to get your child accepted.
Schooling in England – A brief overview
Children are required to attend school between the ages of five and sixteen. They may start earlier than this but have to be enrolled in a school in the term after they turn five. State education in England is free and nearly 90% of all children attend state schools, with the rest attending fee-paying private (public) schools. If you are living in London then there are a number of excellent international schools that follow the International Baccalaureate programme. You will also be able to find private schools that follow the American system if you want to.
If your child is nearing college age then you might want him or her to continue with their curriculum, so as not to affect their grade point average. But if your children are younger, then they may benefit from a couple of years in an English school. It will certainly widen their sphere of knowledge and all round education. They will also be able to make friends with other children who live in the neighbourhood.
Leaving school at the age of sixteen is equivalent to getting a GED. If your children want to enter university or college in England then they will have to complete a further two years of education, which is known as A-levels, in order for them to have the required academic standard to enter an instituition of higher learning.
Children have to attend the school that is closest to their home. In each suburb or area they may be a number of schools for you to choose from, based on the needs of your child, but you will have to choose the area that you live in carefully, if you are moving to London with small children. Most schools in London have a website, and you will be able to apply online once you know where you are residing. Schooling in England offers a well rounded and academic education.