No matter where you are in the world, exams are always going to be a stressful part of your teenager's life. You can have the ocean five minutes away, a bustling metropolitan city on your doorstep, or a mountain range down the road, but none of these sights will help soothe the anxieties that come with submitting coursework or sitting exams.
Leaving the UK does not mean you have to leave its education system – British universities are still an option in many parts of the world. It's one of the best systems around the world and your teenager won't feel behind or left out if you return to the UK. In addition, your teenager will be receiving a cultural, hands on education that they could never expect to get in the UK.
Linguistic skills can be improved, as well as their sense of travel and seeing the world. This mixture of educational and cultural lessons is invaluable in later life, no matter if your teenager is headed for post graduate study or is planning on going straight into work.
However, if school starts getting tough, do you know where to go? Many students struggle with at least one subject during their GCSEs, A-Levels or IBs, and this difficulty can be the difference between feeling confident with their school work, and dreading school and upcoming assignments. Back in the UK there are numerous private tuition resources: according to Ipsos MORI research nearly one in four young people in the UK has received private or home tuition at some point. However outside of the country, help can be limited.
Getting a tutor is the usual antidote for struggles and worries in education - but when you’re in a foreign country the choice is likely to be limited. In the best case scenario, your teenager’s school will offer extra classes and private help - and in the worst, you could face having no one to help them through this time.
Rebecca Zook is an experienced maths tutor and offers some good advice for expat families. Firstly parents should ask around to find the best tutor: check with your child’s teachers at school, other expat families, online expat forums, someone out there may already have a contact. Try and avoid agencies – tutors who work tend to have more invested in their work.
Alternatively parents can always look into online tutoring. Online tutoring is an increasingly popular resource used by students around the world, and as long as you have a laptop, a webcam and a broadband connection, anyone can get involved. Your teenager can browse through a variety of tutors across a range of subjects, instead of being restricted by what’s on offer in your town or city.
Online tutoring services, like MyTutorWeb, offer a free meet-the-tutor session, so your teenager can be confident that they have made the right decision, and that they are working alongside someone perfect for them. All tutors go through a rigorous interview process, and only the most intelligent and most passionate candidates get through.
Online tutoring is completely controlled by the parents and the teenager: you figure out who you want your tutor to be, you decide when the sessions are, and you decide when you have them. This arrangement is ideal for any expats: time difference isn’t an obstacle, and nor is being able to find a tutor to help your teenager through their exams.
Moving overseas is a life-changing and character building way to bring any child up, so take this opportunity to ensure that their education in the classroom is as nurtured as their education in in the real world is.