Expat families hit by more increases in tuition fees

Published:  7 Dec at 6 PM
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The increasing financial burden of international standard education for the children of expats is now a major problem.

As the world economy stutters and relocation packages are replaced by local contracts, the ever-increasing fees changed by international schools overseas are becoming a major problem for expat families. As a result, globally mobile expats are being advised to stay firm on education costs when negotiating salaries and benefits.

The situation is becoming critical, with more and more expat parents deciding to home-school their children or enrol them in local educational establishments with international curriculums. Another partial solution becoming increasingly popular is the hiring of a private tutor to give native language lessons aimed at helping expat children cope in local schools.

A recent survey revealed China, Switzerland and Belgium are the most expensive destinations as regards international schooling. The average annual cost in China is around $36,400, with Switzerland at $28,300 and Belgium slightly cheaper at $27,800. International schools in the UK, USA, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Austria all charge over £20,000 annually.

Expat parents are now finding schooling is taking up a major part of their budget and are limiting their lifestyles as a result. Given the stress and financial pressure of relocating to an unfamiliar country, the extra worry of the move’s effect on childrens’ education is troubling for expats struggling to get to grips with a new career move.

Employers are being asked to be mindful of the financial pressure of educating children to a good standard during the relocation period. In order to get the best out of their expat employees. companies’ human resources departments need to develop consistent and creative benefits packages which include a reliable standard of schooling.
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