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Schools

A huge concern of parents, either expats posted here, or overseas Indians returning to India, is what sort of educational opportunities are available for their children.  The good news is that there are more high quality educational options now than ever before.  The bad news is that INDAX doesn't have the full details yet.

The options vary with the age of your children and where you are located.  Internationally oriented schools are being opened in most larger cities, but we have no idea of the quality or costs of most of them.  As we find out, we will be posting the information here, and we would appreciate feedback, either from schools or parents.  Please contact us

Considerations

SchoolParents will need to consider the age of their child and the educational background he or she is coming from, and will perhaps return to.  Students who are here for one or two years, for example, will want to continue on a path similar to the one they left, and will eventually go back to.  High school students will need to consider the requirements of colleges they hope to attend.  On top of that, costs and quality have to be considered.  Many schools have come up recently, and parents should make sure they can deliver on their promises.  Location and facilities are another concern.  How far away is the school? Does it have sufficient infrastructure? What is the quality of the staff and administration? Are they more interested in your money, or your children's welfare? These, and other questions, need to be addressed.

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Pre-schoolers and early elementary

Very young children will be easiest to find schools for.  There are day-care centers and kindergarten type places in any large city.  These vary greatly, in both fees and quality.  There are Montessori schools in many places.  You may be able to find out options by asking people you know with similar age children

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Middle schools and high schools

Older children present more of a challenge.  Besides the academic requirements, there are social and cultural considerations.  Check out the options available where you are.  As we get info on schools in different cities we will post it here.  In the mean time, ask others you know what they do.  For older children, with a certain independence and maturity, you might consider a boarding school in India.  This means a certain separation (which may be harder on the parents than the child), but is compensated by improved academic and social opportunities.

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Boarding Schools

There is a long tradition in India of boarding schools catering to expat families.  They are usually located in hill stations, benefiting from a healthy climate and a peaceful environment.  Boarding schools have definite advantages and disadvantages.  Enhanced educational and social opportunities, and the chance for students to develop maturity and independence outside the family structure are pluses.  The loss of contact and family support structure are minuses.  Some students thrive in a good boarding school, some suffer, and parents may feel it the most.  It is very much a judgement call based on individual and family concerns.

The best international boarding school in South India (many say in all of India) is Kodaikanal International School (KIS) and the details are given below. The report may be a bit biased, since the author is an alumnus, but it's a tribute to the school that so many former students remain attached to it years after graduation.

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Kodaikanal International School

Located in the far south of India, near Madurai in Tamilnadu State, this school is over 100 years old. Originally established as a school for the children of Christian missionaries, it has evolved into a globally recognized institution with a truly international staff and student population. The school has excellent facilities and a curriculum that allows graduation in the International Baccalaureate, English 'A' and 'O' levels, and American high school diploma. It is fully accredited and graduates from there have an excellent rate of entry into top European and North American colleges and universities.

The school is in a beautiful setting in the Palani hills at 7,000 feet elevation. The climate is cool all year round and the physical environment is majestic. The school offers a stimulating environment, with a strong commitment to social and environmental values, and tries to balance Indian, Western, and international values. Kodaikanal is a lovely tourist destination in its own right so it is well worth a visit to the town if you would like to check the school out.

Information on the programs, costs (not cheap), and admission information for KIS can be found on their website (www.kis.in)

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Woodstock International School

Originally a sister school to KIS, Woodstock traditionally schooled the children of missionaries located in North India. Today it is an excellent international school offering high quality education for all grades.

The school is in a beautiful setting in the Palani hills at 7,000 feet elevation. The climate is cool all year round and the physical environment is majestic. The school offers a stimulating environment, with a strong commitment to social and environmental values, and tries to balance Indian, Western, and international values. Kodaikanal is a lovely tourist destination in its own right so it is well worth a visit to the town if you would like to check the school out.

The school is located in a beautiful setting in the foothills of the Himalayas in the hill station town of Mussoorie, Uttaranchal. You can get full details at their web site: (www.woodstock.ac.in)

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