schooling abroadMany young families go abroad to live in southern European countries in order to have a better life for their children.

By this I mean a life which embraces outdoor living because of the weather and opportunities for living near the beach and also the food which is more wholesome and tends to include less processed food. In addition, and often more importantly, parents are concerned about the safety of their children, about the day-to-day risks and also the likelihood of them getting involved in underage drinking and drugs.

In seeking this kind of life for their children a lot of parents find their ideal place but don’t give enough thought to their children’s future.

When I worked at an international school in Portugal I wondered what the children I taught were going to do when they finished their GCSEs or A-levels. Going to an international school meant that they were less integrated in local society and their language skills were, on the whole, below their peers at the local Portuguese schools.

This meant that if they wanted to go to university, which the majority of them would do, they would have to return to the UK. And at a time in their life when they are arguably most vulnerable from the very things that their parents were trying to protect them against!

And, if they decided not to go to university, then what would their prospects be in a country which has had high unemployment levels, low incomes and painfully bad social security?

How many of the parents whose children returned, alone, to the UK to complete their A-levels or go on to higher education have regretted the choices they have made?

Do you know someone who has returned to the UK to complete their education? Or have they gone to a local school and managed to go to a local university?

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