Expat parents who have taken the brave choice to relocate their families abroad will have a lot to sort through before making the big move. One of the most important considerations they have to make is choosing the appropriate public, private or international school for their little ones and teens. Educational consultants can be a fantastic resource for parents navigating a new schooling system.
What do educational consultants do?
School consultants typically match expat children with a learning environment suited to their needs and interests in their new home. This may involve arranging accompanied visits and facilitating the application process until families accept an offer.
This can take immense pressure off parents, as educational consultants can visit public and international schools to review the facilities and speak to teachers, allowing parents to make informed decisions regarding their children's education even before the move. School consultants know the school options well, and will often gather inspection reports and research specific schools for parents to evaluate. The best consultants will manage expectations, discuss education options, and where necessary suggest alternative options for the child.
Special educational needs services
Some educational consultancy companies also offer specialised services for both corporations and families, such as special education needs consulting. Educational consultancy companies typically have SEN specialists on their teams, enabling them to effectively evaluate learning and testing materials as well as the facilities schools offer to make professional recommendations to parents.
Financial aid assistance services
Educational consultants can also be an invaluable tool for expat parents seeking financial aid. These professionals typically establish rapport with educational facilities in the areas they work in and may have access to information that may assist parents with the application process.
Navigating language barriers in the school application process
Parents who cannot speak the local language or English will benefit from a multilingual educational consultant who can lead the application and negotiation process with public, private or international schools. These professionals often make school placement recommendations based on the family's long-term goals for their children's education.
Their intimate knowledge of different education systems and schools also puts educational consultants in the perfect position to give families and students insight into what is necessary to succeed both academically and socially in a particular school environment.
Holistic family support services
Over and above assisting families with school placements, some education consultancy companies provide whole-family support. This includes offering partner support for trailing spouses who are looking to learn a new skill or take up an educational course in their new country.
Parents with older children looking to get into tertiary education or take a gap year may also benefit from using the services of an education consultancy company. Some of these companies offer college and university placement services as well as personalised gap year programmes that allow young adults to structure and maximise their gap year.
Interview and assessment preparation
Many education consultants will also help prepare children for their school interviews and assessments. This may be one-to-one interview practice, via video link or in person.
Below are some of the world's top international education consultants.
International education consultants
Bennett International Education Consultancy
Established in 1991, Bennett International Education Consultancy is one of the top education consultants offering both corporate and individual family services. With more than 70 multilingual consultants worldwide, Bennett International connects its clients with professional and highly qualified school consultants and specialists.
Bowker Consulting is a UK-based education consultancy company offering both local and international education relocation services. The company provides personalised school search and placement services for families with children of schoolgoing age.
Founded in 2013, Educatus supports families moving elsewhere in the world to the UK with placing their children in schools best suited to their individual needs. Established by a seasoned expat, Educatus deeply understands the challenges facing relocating families and aims to personalise the experience for its clients as far as possible.
Foundation Global Education
Foundation Global Education is headquartered in Hong Kong and assists families relocating to Asia with selecting the right international, boarding and summer schools for their children. The foundation operates on a customised seven-step process, allowing them to place expat children in international schools based on their needs and intimate knowledge of more than 200 schools worldwide.