The British Empire vs the Ottoman Empire, Mary Queen of Scots vs Mary Mackillop. Depending on the syllabus you were taught in school will shape which historical figures you learn about, the cultures you’re exposed to, and which method you measure in – are you a metric or imperial system kind of person?

As an expat in Singapore, finding the right school for your child (or children) will probably be one of your top priorities, and with an influx of information available on the internet these days, narrowing your options down can be tricky.

So we’ve broken up the criteria for you to help you make an informed decision.

1. Curriculum

If you’re planning to move back to your home country at some point during your child’s schooling, it’s worthwhile finding an international school in Singapore that teaches a similar syllabus.

National curriculum and international schools    

These are schools that teach specific curriculums which coincide with certain counties. Choosing one of these schools gives children a smoother transition into expat life in Singapore and equally so, it will help them ease back into life in your originating country when it’s time to return.

Blended Schools  

Schools like the Canadian International School and the Australian International School combine local and international curriculums.

2. Costs

Although you’re most likely earning a higher wage now you’re working in Singapore, expenses like school fees are much higher than most other countries. Not only will you have to fork out for tuition, you’ll also be expected to pay for:

– Enrollment fee

– Registration fee

– Building or development levy

– Additional Technology

– Lunches

– Transport

– Excursions

– Textbooks

– Exams

The average cost of total schooling per year can set you back around $27,402 – per child! Which is a significant amount when you also have to factor in higher property, grocery and vehicle costs on top. Some schools allow you to pay in installments, while others ask for full payment upfront.

Another thing to note is that international school fees increase as your child moves up an age group, so do your research before you set your heart on a particular school.

If you’re planning to pay for schooling with money you have saved in a back account back home, make sure you do your research first.

Your first port of call might be to use your bank – an obvious option for transferring money overseas. What many people often overlook, however, are the hidden fees and bad exchange rates that come with transferring funds with a bank.

Historically, banks were the only providers available to transfer money internationally – but in world where consumers demand more choice, we’re no longer restricted with options.

International currency transfer specialists exist to give customers more choice and better value for money. In fact by using a specialist provider, like global company WorldFirst, you could save up to three times more on your transfer in competitive exchange rates and avoid the unnecessary fees that the banks enforce.

3. School’s culture

Don’t dismiss intangible qualities, such as the school’s culture, in your search. Ideally the school you choose will have effective leadership – from the top down – to empower students to embrace their learning. This will be especially important to keep your little ones motivated in a new environment.

4. Location

If you know where you’re going to set up home, make sure the international school is a reasonable distance away for your child to commute to everyday – you probably won’t be driving them!

Checkout the locations of international schools in Singapore here.

5. Class sizes

Class sizes in each school vary. Smaller class sizes are usually an attractive quality in a school as it suggests teachers will be able to spend more time on your child.

For instance, at Tanglin Trust School, the average size is 12, whereas at the Canadian International School, the average class size is 22.



Disclaimer: These comments are the views and opinions of the author and should not be construed as advice. You should act using your own information and judgement. Whilst information has been obtained from and is based upon multiple sources the author believes to be reliable, we do not guarantee its accuracy and it may be incomplete or condensed. All opinions and estimates constitute the author’s own judgement as of the date of the briefing and are subject to change without notice. Please consider FX derivatives are high risk, provide volatile returns and do not guarantee profits. We have no commercial affiliation with any organisation or commercial interest regarding the venues mentioned in this article. The information is only provided as gathered and should be verified before, using your own judgement.