Dealing with onwards transition to the next assignment destination is common for many internationally mobile families. Here, ACS college counsellor Joan Liu reflects on dealing with onward transition, whether that is as a student moving onto higher education or between schools, or relocating with the entire family unit.
Onward transition for relocating families and students can be a challenging time; keeping up established ties with friends and ensuring uninterrupted education for students are often key concerns. International schools and local communities can be sources of invaluable support as the student and family unit prepares to move on.
A common concern amongst students moving on to higher education or to another school is their ability to cope with different styles of learning, which is why a qualification that transcends national boundaries can help develop mental flexibility and adaptability. An international programme, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a case in point.
The IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) encourages students to develop intellectual independence, mental self-reliance, as well as the ability to reflect critically and gain research skills. The IB learner also cultivates an internationally-minded outlook by being able to look at issues through multiple lenses and perspectives. IB students, equipped with this skill set, will find it easier to adapt to new surroundings and unfamiliar contexts.
International qualifications can play a crucial role in the seamless transition in a student’s education. The IB, for instance, is accessible to students in most countries, in national, international, state and independent schools. IB World Schools, like ACS International Schools, form a global community which can guarantee a high quality of teaching, assessment and curriculum choice for students. This standardised curriculum allows students to transfer seamlessly between IB schools without missing crucial curriculum elements.
Keeping ties alive with the school community
As a college counsellor, I often meet students who are worried about keeping up ties as they move on to higher education. However, international schools, like ACS, generally have a dedicated alumni service that allows former families and alumni students to keep in touch, not only with each other but with the entire school community.
Keeping contact with family and friends from the previous school community can aid the onward relocation process, especially for children; students boosted by the strong bonds with old friends, will have more confidence when establishing new friendships. Staying in touch with old friends and other alumni is important for the whole family when relocating.
Using a variety of both online and offline platforms, including social media and networking events, the alumni service plays an important role in keeping the wider global ACS community in touch.
Indeed, many families will return generations later as a result of this established connection; the Rovetta family is one such example at ACS. Brian Rovetta is a second generation ACS Cobham graduate; following in his mother’s footsteps (she taught at the school) and now a resident of Qatar, Brian sends his own son to ACS Doha.
Brian describes his connection to the international schools, “The family has always had a strong connection with ACS and I went back to visit ACS Cobham with my wife when we were posted in London briefly.
“I knew that I wanted my son to attend ACS Doha because of the global mindset and friendships I developed at school; I loved having such a diverse worldview and I felt that ACS prepared me very well for transitioning onwards to both college and life after ACS. “
Ensuring an uninterrupted education for children and students by studying an international qualification like the IB and keeping up established ties with friends and family from your previous school aided by alumni networks, can help to guarantee a smooth onwards transition process.
For more information, visit www.acs-schools.com