School Choice Group School Search Solutions LEAP Global Education Explorer

Mastering the Alignment of Mobility Service

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School Choice International’s Global Field Supervisor, Patricia Muesse discusses the role that School Services may have in helping families relocate internationally and domestically.

Providing an education for children accompanying parents abroad equivalent to home-country expectations is important to discuss when the company first offers an employee the opportunity to relocate. Immigration requirements for entering a host country’s academic system differ greatly. Local statutes and regulations can make identifying and accessing appropriate schooling options a time-consuming process for the employee, and an expensive undertaking for both company and employee.

Helping families relocating both internationally and domestically can be a stressful process for employees
moving with children, and even more complex when the child has special needs. Placing their children in the
schools that meet their child’s needs and the parents’ educational goals for their child is often one of the most
important decisions the family will make. The school placement process typically begins once an employee
has accepted the assignment, but it can also occur when employers are attracting new talent or when an
employee is considering a move but wants to ensure suitable school options are available before accepting.
From the perspective of school placement, the visa and immigration process is handled independently, and a
consultant will typically receive information about the visa approval through the employee.

The first step is understanding the child. A family is usually planning a visit to the new area, and if applying to private schools, the family may have already started the application process and be planning to complete student assessments and interviews during this visit. The education consultant assists in managing the relationship with the school as the employee plans the move.
If the visa approval is delayed, the education consultant notifies the school that the child’s start date will change.
Ensuring the school is completely informed about the family’s arrival is crucial to a successful school placement.
In some cases, the visa approval timeline impacts the school start date and may influence whether or not a child gains acceptance into competitive private schools. When a visa is denied, the time and energy a family has put into finding the right school for their child is unproductive. This can become a “chicken-and-egg” scenario—the family cannot confirm the move until the visa is approved, but they also do not want to move forward until they know a suitable school is chosen.


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