Moving to a different city or country means going through a lot of changes. If you will be relocating with your family, one of the key items that should be on your to-do list is to explain to your kids that they will experience a lot of new things after the move.
These changes include living in a different house, experiencing a new lifestyle, and learning a new language. Your children will also have to go through a specific emotionally-packed experience: attending a new school.
The weeks or days preceding your kids’ start in a new school will definitely be fraught with a mixture of emotions. You can help lessen some of their worries by making sure they will attend a school that they like.
And to ensure they will be accepted by a school with a great reputation, you have to assist them every step of the way as they undergo the admissions process.
Here are some tips that will help you and your kids go through the admissions process successfully:
1.Make sure your children are eligible for all the schools that they are applying for.
One of the best tips you have to follow when transferring your children to a new school is to choose two or three institutions to apply to. By doing so, they will have at least one other alternative in case they don’t get accepted by their first preferred school.
However, you have to carefully select the schools your kids will be applying to. To avoid wasting your and your children’s time answering forms and completing requirements, check if they are eligible first.
Read the school or college admissions requirements and see if your kids meet all the criteria. If they don’t meet one or two of the requirements, talk to staff and see if your children can still be accepted. If not, don’t waste your time going through the application process; look for another institution to add to your list.
2.Check the deadline for applications.
Certain schools have strict schedules for accepting new enrollees. If you already missed the deadline for a particular institution, find out if they will still accept your kids’ application; if not, move on to another option.
In case the deadline is still far away, help your kids complete all the requirements, including writing their essays, before the closing date. Avoid procrastinating; the last thing you want to happen is for your kids to feel stressed out from completing all their requirements in a shorter amount of time.
Rushing their application can also result in them submitting uninspired essays or incomplete forms which won’t be a good reflection of their personality and behaviour.
3.Visit the shortlisted schools.
Get in touch with staff from your shortlisted schools and ask them if it is possible to visit their campus.
This is a crucial part of the whole admissions process. You and your children need to get a feel of the school. You can do this by visiting the school personally.
During the visit, talk with the teachers and other staff. Check all the facilities as well including the library, gym, music and computer rooms, and the hall.
If your kids are active in sports or want to join after-school clubs, find out what the school has to offer. It is important that your children will like attending their new school to perform well academically. Their sports programs and extracurricular activities may just be the motivation your kids need. These programs will help them adjust socially, and meet and make new friends, too.
4.Supply all the requirements needed from parents.
Some schools and colleges require certain documents from parents. Make sure you include them in the admissions application pack you or your kids will submit.
In addition, if you are the one holding or storing your children’s key documents such as their birth certificates and school records, ensure you have both soft and hard copies of these documents before submitting them.
5.Double-check your children’s admissions application pack.
Once you and your kids have completed all the requirements, double-check all the forms, documents, and attachments. Be mindful of spellings and dates. Make sure all the details in the forms are correct as well.
Additionally, re-read the instructions in the forms and application pack. Ensure all these are followed correctly. If it says you have to submit original documents, do so. Don’t ignore the instruction since doing so will simply cause delays in the decision of the admissions officers.
For kids, transferring to a new school can be as difficult as preparing for the relocation itself. You can help them deal with this challenge successfully by helping them with the admissions process and being constantly present for them once they start attending their new school.
Sybil AbouRahal-Jones is the Marketing & Communications Manager at The English College in Dubai. She majored in Graphic Design and has experience of 20 years working in Graphic Design, Branding, Marketing and Communications. Her role is to set the MarCom strategy for both primary and secondary schools, and implement branding, graphic design, internal and external communications, marketing, and digital marketing