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New ways to optimise international school open days

Open days
Travelling overseas for open days can take its toll on parents. Source: Neonbrand/Unsplash

An integral part of the international school admissions process, open days are put in place by academic institutions to welcome prospective students and parents onto campus.

For overseas applicants, visiting open days are sometimes met with costly flight tickets and a tight squeeze of time schedules.

But with the internet on their side, many international schools have the luxury of providing high-quality virtual tours and insightful glimpses into everyday life on school grounds through student testimonials.

However, for first-time applicants, open days may be a new concept to master.

Helping parents overcome that hurdle, Relocate Global recently released a fresh batch of tips and tricks to introduce/refresh their readers’ outlook on international school open days.

open days

Open days can be stressful for both students and parents. Source: Victoria Kubiaki/Unsplash

Making a concise selection

One key tip conveyed by the corporate relocation and global mobility market publisher is to make a practical shortlist of potential international schools.

With so many flashing open day adverts, it’s easy for parents to get sidetracked and make rushed decisions about where to visit.

But by taking a few hours out of a hectic day to match their child or children to a school that ticks both location and learning boxes, there’s a higher chance of them feeling settled when making open day visits, especially ones that are far away.

Valuing virtual tours

When international school open days are tricky to reach, virtual tours prove invaluable.

For example, through the virtual campus tour at International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) parents can experience an open day at their own pace, and from the comfort of a living room.

Not only that, but the whole family can join in with this experience and start to envision a potential school for the soon-to-be student.

However, Head of Marketing at ACS International Schools, Mark London advises to try and opt for an open day if possible.

“Virtual tours of school campuses are useful too, but be sure to visit each school and talk to teachers, staff and existing families in person to get a sense of its true atmosphere. There is a lot to be said for following your gut feeling about where your child will be happy and thrive,” says London.

Keeping the questions flowing

When discussing a students’ academic future, there’s no such thing as too many open day questions.

By preparing a list of queries to present to open day ambassadors or faculty members, parents will strike a strong feeling about the quality of the campus, the student-teacher interaction rate and the facilities available.

To conclude, Relocate Global also provides valuable talking points for parents to consider taking with them on their open days ventures.

So if any of these questions resonate with you, be sure to note them down before your next open day visit!

  • How long has the headteacher been in post?
  • Can parents visit during break or at lunchtime to see how the pupils interact? Do children have a good relationship with staff?
  • Are the administrative staff friendly and helpful?
  • How does the school communicate with parents? Does it produce regular newsletters? Can you see copies?
  • What are the displays on the walls like? Are there photos of children engaging in interesting activities, such as field trips and community involvement?
  • What extracurricular activities are available and how many of them are free?
  • How much scope is there for involvement in a parents’ organisation?
  • Does the school offer programmes and support for accompanying partners?

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