5 Mistakes Parents Make When Choosing International School For Kids

In the quest to provide the best of everything, there are times when parents fail to do their due diligence. This is most striking in the realm of education. The educational environment not only influences the child’s growth, improvement, and development but also serves as a solid launching pad that enables them to soar higher and farther in the future. Choosing the most suitable international education environment for a child has never been an easy decision for parents, as it is a significant investment. Moreover, as the international school system in Vietnam develops, parents have also begun to ponder on how to choose the most suitable international school for their children.

In order to ensure providing their child with the best learning environment, parents often believe that selecting the most expensive and prestigious school is the way to go. However, these criteria are not sufficient to help their child find the right school. Instead, the child’s learning needs and preferences should be the top priority for parents.

In this article, we will explore the 5 most common mistakes that most parents make when selecting an international school for their children. Then find a way to If your family is considering enrolling your child in an international school in the coming years, this is an article that parents should not overlook.

1. Focusing too much on name brand


We have heard many families say that choosing the “best school” for their child means all their desires and needs will be met in the best possible way. For example, their child will have access to international standard facilities, receive support whenever needed, or have numerous opportunities to participate in activities that are exclusive to that particular school. These schools are indeed excellent and have built a strong reputation to stand out among other institutions. However, in reality, the best school for a child should be the one that suits them the most.

Parents believe that the “top-notch” schools will enhance their child’s chances and abilities to secure great jobs, earn more money, or achieve greater success in the future. That may be partly true, but it is not the entire picture that parents can rely on 100% when it comes to the school. Just because some students excel in prestigious schools does not necessarily mean those schools are the most suitable for every child.

There is another truth: an outstanding child can succeed anywhere. We can find many academically successful students who have graduated from completely ordinary international schools with less fame but still have excellent academic achievements. The right school for a child is where they feel the happiest and most excited about learning and have the confidence to continuously develop in that environment.

Therefore, instead of solely focusing on the reputation of the school, parents need to pay attention to talking with their child to better understand their desires and interests. Only then can parents choose an educational environment that is appropriate, nurturing, and fosters their child’s development, helping them easily pursue their dreams and aspirations. Additionally, understanding their child’s desires is also a way for parents to show respect for their children, avoiding imposing them into certain frameworks or standards.

2. Focusing too much on academics (ignore other factors)focusing-too-much-on-academics

The academic factor is very important, and sometimes it is the reason why families always want to find the best international school with the most effective curriculum for their children. However, children will need more than just studying, for example:

  • For elementary and middle school students, a school that focuses heavily on English reading and writing skills or mathematical thinking may seem excellent, but make sure that your child still participates in developing social skills, soft skills, and emotional management.
  • During high school years, in addition to improving academic achievements, your child truly needs an environment that provides opportunities for them to explore their direction and dreams, as well as enhance their college application profile.

Therefore, when choosing a school for your child, parents should ensure a reasonable balance between academic factors and other elements such as sports, arts, community service, extracurricular activities, etc.

In addition, the school culture is equally important in helping children develop human values and behavioral norms. Parents should consider whether the school provides an environment that embraces multiculturalism and respects the differences among students. A reputable international school will have a code of conduct for all teachers and students, a well-defined disciplinary process, a humanistic approach, and prioritize the students’ interests. From there, it can best support children in terms of psychological well-being and character development.

3. Not visiting the school firstnot-visiting-the-school-first

Most parents think that there is no need to visit schools because these institutions are recognized as some of the top international schools in Vietnam. However, there have been many cases where parents have realized that the facilities do not correspond to the tuition fees they have paid, or their children do not feel comfortable with the campus, classrooms, friends, or teachers.

Make sure that the family has thoroughly researched and studied the school. Afterwards, parents can visit the school to verify whether what is posted on the school’s website is accurate. Parents can observe how the school’s learning spaces are designed, whether the campus is spacious enough, or how the teachers are teaching the students, and whether the school staff are attentive and caring for the students. This way, parents will have more confidence in their decision to choose the school. If possible, parents should bring their children along to experience the educational environment and see if they are enthusiastic and enjoy this learning environment. And if the family has any questions, take advantage of that opportunity to ask the school and listen to the information they provide.

4. Choosing a school without regard to location

Parents often prioritize other factors when choosing an international school for their child, so sometimes the location factor may not be considered. However, this is also one of the factors that will have a long-term impact on the child.

Although the location factor may not be as important as other factors such as tuition fees, curriculum, entrance exams, facilities, etc., parents should choose a school that is closer to home so that the child does not encounter too many difficulties in getting to school – for both emergency situations or when participating in school events. Moreover, when a child lives far from school, it becomes challenging for them to join their friends in extracurricular activities after school and stay late because of the fear of being late. In the case where the school does not provide transportation services, parents may have to travel a long distance twice a day, every week, and throughout the year.

5. Not asking about the parent-school communication

Lastly, parents often overlook the factor of the connection between parents and the school. Find an international school that consistently and promptly updates parents about their child’s information.not-asking-about-the-parent-school-communication

Recently, there have been many stories that highlight the potential risks that students and parents can face. When there is a lack of appropriate and effective communication between parents, students, and the school, these risks can lead to unforeseen consequences, as seen in cases of emergency scams targeting children. According to some opinions, such incidents partly arise due to information security “gaps” on the school’s part, as well as the loose and untimely coordination between families and the school. Therefore, always ensure clear communication of information between parents, students, and the school, as well as actively participate in parent associations to stay informed about similar incidents.

Because children learn best when parents are involved in their education, proactively understanding how a school welcomes parental involvement is crucial and necessary. Seek a school that provides opportunities for parents to participate in various ways and maintains an open channel of information exchange between parents and the school. In addition to getting to know the school’s staff and teachers, make an effort to meet and converse with current or former parents of students. This will provide parents with a better understanding of the school and how the parent community of the school engages and operates.

Parting words

In conclusion, selecting the right international school for your children is a crucial decision that requires careful consideration and avoidance of common mistakes. By avoiding these common mistakes and taking a comprehensive approach to selecting an international school, parents can provide their children with an enriching and fulfilling educational experience. Remember, the right school is not just about prestige but about finding the perfect match that nurtures your child’s unique talents and fosters their overall growth and development.

Everest Education has been a long-standing partner of international schools in Ho Chi Minh City, with over 10 years of experience accompanying students on their journey to conquer their dream schools. Therefore, we are confident in providing parents with valuable support in choosing the appropriate international school for their children and a personalized plan to help them achieve the goal.



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