A major problem for Contractors who work abroad is the effect that their life has on their family, in particular the children. It is all very well deciding to take your family with you to go and work abroad promising an educational cultural experience that can only benefit the children, but this does not always work so well in practice when it comes to schooling.
Expats are often faced with three choices when it comes to the education of their children.
1. Have them attend a local school, the benefits of which is that they are much more submersed in the local culture, however if they do not speak the language well enough then this leaves them very behind the other children when it comes to learning.
2. Most countries have private schools that teach in the language of home and whilst this is a much better option for children who do not know the local language it can work out very expensive.
3. Leave the family at home in order for the children to finish schooling and commute whenever possible to see them.
However, there may now be a better option if you are thinking of working in Flanders. From September of this year a further eighteen Flemish schools will join the existing twenty four schools that already conduct around 15% of the basic subjects taught in French, German or English as part of the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Programme. Whilst the programme is intended to benefit the local children by strengthening their language skills it does also open the door for foreign children to interact better with the Flemish children in a local environment.
Studies have shown conclusively that younger children are much more likely to pick up languages quicker and speaking more than one language can help memory recall in later life. When you also take into account how the business world is becoming so much more international there can be no argument of the benefits of learning a language from an early age for the future of our children.
For more information please contact us!