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Changing schools can sometimes be challenging enough for a child, but changing schools overseas is likely to come with its unique set of stressors. The Department of Defense is here to help. Brief guidelines and resources are available to help you decide how to choose the best school for your child.
There are several resources available to help military families with the transition to schools overseas. You can contact your installation’s school liaison office or family support center. And for more information, visit Military OneSource and Department of Defense Education Activity.
The Department of Defense Education Activity operates schools in 11 foreign countries, Guam and Puerto Rico. DODEA schools are fully accredited by U.S. accreditation agencies and maintain high academic standards.
In general, international schools are English-language schools at overseas locations. National schools are schools where courses are taught in the native language. The curriculum and grading system of an international school tends to be similar to the traditional American education system. This may be an important consideration if your family will be returning to the U.S. before your child graduates from high school.
DODEA's student preregistration system helps streamline the registration process and allows school officials to better predict school enrollment, make informed decisions regarding teacher and staff requirements, and prepare for special services and supplies. Parents can preregister their children by visiting DODEA NonDODSchoolsProgram Student Online Pre-Registration.
The U.S. Department of State's Office of Overseas Schools works to promote quality educational opportunities for families of American citizens overseas. If a Department of Defense school is not available, visit this site to learn more about the schools in your new area.
A directory of overseas schools is available on the U.S. Department of State Schools Worldwide webpage. The listing includes schools that receive assistance from the U.S. Department of State, as well as other international, private, religious and public schools.
Start planning for a successful school transition as soon as you learn about your move – the more your child knows about the new location and school, the more confident your child will feel. Allow your child to be a part of the transition process, too, if appropriate.