The world as a classroom
For families planning to remain in one location for several months, spending a semester overseas can afford children a unique chance to truly get beneath the surface of their chosen destination. Many traditional schools are able to accept students for a minimum of one semester; it is vital to contact schools well in advance to discuss educational options and fee structures. Other schools – particularly those aimed exclusively at travelling and expat families – may be able to accommodate children for shorter periods of time. South Goa’s Vrindhavan Kindergarten and Vidya Arana schools, for example, both welcome children for periods of several weeks or more, and staff are experienced in smoothing over inevitable “new school” fears. Likewise, the ground-breaking Green School in Ubud, Bali, can arrange school stays for visiting children, offering students a thrilling, and highly acclaimed, curriculum that combines traditional schoolwork with environmental education. For families travelling to Bali during the months of June, July and August, the Green School also offers Green Camp Bali, a cutting-edge summer camp that runs on a weekly basis.
Finally, for the ultimate in school/travel combination, enthusiastic travellers between the ages of 14 and 18 may jump at the chance of applying to the fee-paying Think Global School, an International Baccalaureate World School that spends each semester in a different country, with locations ranging from Boston and Bhutan to Beijing and Chiang Mai. Here teenagers spend months without their parents, becoming instead part of an extended “family” of roughly 60 students from more than 20 countries around the world. Offering courses as varied as film, Mandarin and anthropology, this might be one of the only schools where the curriculum has parents wishing they, too, were attending.