The Basics

Unless you are heading to one of a very few countries where English is the native language, or unless your family already speaks the host language fluently, your child will likely not attend the equivalent of a public school while abroad. Most schools abroad have no provisions for teaching the host tongue as a second language, as is common in many American school districts with large immigrant populations.

It is quite unfair for all concerned to think that you'll toss your child into the mix in hopes that he'll “pick up the language”. If you are not sure, try this test: throw the kid into the deep end and see if he “picks up” swimming. Sorry to be mean.

With that out of the way, the next piece of news is another negative point. There is no entitlement, no obligation for the host country to provide education for your child simply because your company or organization has sent you abroad. There are places where there may be no suitable school (this is even more of an issue if your child requires some sort of special education or special adaptations to her school environment).

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