Picking education consultancy companies for international hires: a checklist for global mobility managers
by Edufax, on Jul 27, 2020 3:46:51 PM
As a global mobility manager, you need to act as a linchpin between different parties. Families might ask you in-depth questions about their children's education when moving across borders. These range from finding the best school to dealing with socio-emotional issues. It can be complex and time consuming to figure out the right answers. Fortunately, education consultancy companies provide a solution. An impartial third party, they communicate with the family in question and the hiring manager. In a forest of question marks, they'll act as a compass: based on knowledge and experience, they can make independent recommendations on education solutions that benefit the child.
Working with education consultancy companies can significantly decrease the burden of global mobility managers and families alike. But how to pick the best fit? This checklist will set you in the right direction.
Interests: prioritizing the child
Education consultancy companies should be impartial and put the child's needs first. They need to consider all stages of the relocation. For example, a child may require a pre-departure language course as well as a mother-tongue maintenance course during the assignment. Good education consultancy companies monitor a family throughout the assignment, checking in on a regular basis to make sure the child's needs are met.
Holistic advice: long-term plan
There are many different aspects to an international relocation. It's usually an emotional rollercoaster for children, so education consultancy companies need to consider more than just their academic performances. The way a child experiences the relocation also depends on their age and personal circumstances. If you want things to go smoothly, all these matters should be taken into account. And if you intend to make an international move twice in a row (from the home country to a second and third location), the child will need tailored educational advice based on their long-term future plan (for example, to be able to attend university in a particular country).
Best-fitting educational solution: right place, right time
The most highly regarded school in the region is not the best educational solution for every child. Good education consultancy companies consider the child's unique situation and needs, as well as parents' expectations in terms of education. These will be decisive factors when creating the best-fitting educational solution for the child.
Monitoring by education consultancy companies: check-in moments
What happens after the family has relocated to the host country? Experienced education consultancy companies don't leave them to their own devices. They know it's important to check in from time to time and ask a few important questions: How is the child doing in school? What's the child's socio-emotional situation? Does the child receive proper training to maintain their mother tongue?
It also works the other way around: families should be able to contact the education consultancy company if they need help. For example, they may require additional language support or a tutor. In that case, the company can take timely measures to make sure the child can develop their full potential.
Managing expectations: adhering to the company policy
Education consultancy companies should consult with the employer on the global mobility policy. If, for example, there's a maximum budget for education, the company will select schools that fall within the budget range. If other schools are a better option for the child, the company will clearly indicate the additional costs for the family. It manages expectations throughout the process, so everyone knows what will and won't be reimbursed right from the start.
Unforeseen circumstances: always prepared
What if your company decides to reorganize and international hires need to return home sooner than expected? Or what if a pandemic affects every aspect of life, including the education of expats' children? Education consultancy companies can assist in the event of unforeseen circumstances. They're willing to function as a safeguard and are prepared to escalate if things threaten to go wrong.
International education systems: well versed, well informed
Experience is essential for education consultancy companies. When looking for the best fit, make sure to ask several questions:
- Does the company possess knowledge on all aspects of the international school system?
- Does the company constantly expand its knowledge and keep up with the latest developments in the field of education – for example, through an Innovation Center?
- Can the company assess and interpret the quality of public and international schools, and can it recommend schools in all countries based on quality criteria?
Stellar reputation: trusted partners and certifications
Before deciding whether you'll work with an education consultancy company, check its references. If the company has worked with trusted partners for years and has an ISO-certification, those are good signs. Make sure you also know how long the company has been in business. There's a world of difference between three and thirty years of experience. Last but not least, read what families have said about working with the company in question, so you'll know what to expect from a collaboration.
Want to join forces with an education consultancy company?
Are you a global mobility manager who wants to provide families with A-to-Z educational support throughout an international relocation? Families, employers, and schools have relied on Edufax since 1992. Want to join them? Contact us to find out how we'll go the extra mile for the families you work with.