Choosing a suitable school for your child is the most crucial decision in shaping their education pathway. School plays a huge part in any child’s life as they spend many years of learning and development there. It is also a place where your child will shape their personality and behavior, make lifelong friendships and discovering their interests. Having said that, international schools are now a more preferred choice for parents for their worldwide-recognized curriculum, extra-curricular activities, smaller class size and holistic learning style.
With so many international schools in Malaysia, how do you know which school is more suitable for your child? Let’s explore the factors to be considered and some useful tips in choosing the right school for your child.
Types of Curriculum
One of the most important factor to be considered, each type of curriculum implements different learning style, environment and programme. Have a good understanding on each curriculum to know which curriculum suits your child best.
Do click the links below for more in-depth explanation on each curriculum:
- International School Curriculums in Malaysia (Part 1)
- International School Curriculums in Malaysia (Part 2)
Level of Education
Each international school offers different type of education level. While there are some that only offer secondary school level, most of the international schools now offer both primary and secondary level. There are international schools that offer preschool and pre-university level as well. So the question is – When would you like to enrol your child to an international school? You can then filter the schools at our site which offer the education level that you want your child to start at.
Location and Transportation
Is location the main factor for your consideration? If yes, your choices of school will be narrowed down to only very few schools. Nevertheless, we would advise parents not to prioritize the location. As long as it is not too far away, prioritize your decision by choosing a school that is most suitable for your child. Furthermore, most international schools now offer transportation services for ease of convenience.
It is also important to ensure that the school you’re enroling your child into offer additional student support. Check if they have extra tutoring classes for weaker students or counselling services for students who are going through a hard time. Also, what are the school’s stand on issues like bullying? Schools that have strong student support system are the ones you should highlight as you will know these schools are not one of those schools that prioritize profit.
As more international schools are established in the market, tuition fees are more competitive now. While lower tuition fees do not mean that the school have lower quality programmes and services, higher fees also do not mean they have better programmes and services. Assess for yourself if the cost is worth given the quality of their teachers, syllabus, activities, amenities, services and support.
Also, do take note that the tuition fees for international school are paid annually or by term. There will be additional fees for registration, enrolment, uniforms, book supplies, extracurricular activities and more. You can easily compare the international school fees side by side using the School Comparison Tool on the EduReviews.com website.
International schools classes are generally small, usually between 20 to 25 students. This allows teachers to have greater personal attention to each child’s learning needs. However, not all children will be comfortable in a small class. Do understand your child and decide what best meets your child’s needs. Otherwise, government school may be a better choice for your child.
Most international schools offer excellent facilities such as laboratories, air-conditioned classrooms, cafeterias, sports facilities and more. Schools with bigger space and land area may provide better facilities and even a swimming pool for your students! Of course, better facilities will also mean higher tuition fees. Therefore, decide wisely and weigh if the school facilities is an important factor for you, given the fees.
Another big value add of International Schools is the additional exposure that students could receive compared to being in a government school. To give your child the best holistic education, check the quality of extracurricular activities offered, type of school camps and trips, and whether the School offers volunteering opportunities or participates in inter-school competitions.
Teaching Quality & School Reputation
It is quite difficult to know a School’s teaching quality, especially before you join it. Hence it is important to do some research on the School’s reputation among students, parents, and the community before deciding on which School to enrol your children. You can find the largest collection of international school reviews and ratings on the EduReviews.com website.
Finally, the below infographic gives you a rough idea on how an international school enrolment process is like. As your child will have to attend an interview or a placement test, you may want to prep your child before that.
There you have it! There is no such thing as the BEST international school! Just do your research and pick one that is most suitable for you and your child’s preference and values. All the best, parents!
Also, below are the links for more in-depth information on each of the programmes offered in Malaysia: