School for Kids while Living Abroad

Parent Q&A

Year abroad during high school? Jun 5, 2021 (4 responses below)
Returning to same school after a year away Oct 20, 2016 (4 responses below)
  • Year abroad during high school?

    (4 replies)

    My husband and I are considering going abroad during his next sabbatical, when our son will be a sophomore in high school. Our daughter will have just graduated. We are considering Spain, Mexico, Australia, the UK, or maybe Germany. Has anyone done this? Are there ways to make the schooling transferable? Or do they have to do an independent study? I’d be very interested in advice from anyone who has done this with a high school student. 

    Hi, we are doing this right now. We moved abroad in December and my daughter is a sophomore. We were supposed to only be here (South Africa) for 6 months, but are extending for at least another year. It's been amazing for our children. They are attending an American school so the schedule stayed the same, so she won't have any issue with transferring credits, but mostly I found international schools are very well versed on students that are coming from other countries and other curriculums. There are kids who move every few years for various reasons so international schools are prepared to make sure their schooling keeps up. 


    My daughter spent a semester abroad in junior year ( pretty difficult but totally worth it)

    I guess it depends on the school he is currently enroll in. In our case, my daughter went to Bishop O'Dowd and we made an agreement. There are some requirements for graduation and maybe to completed junior year, so she took extra classes here via K-12 online school. You will need to translate and certificate all his grades but it is not a big issue. The big issue was how they account for his grades here and the fact that evaluation in the US tends to be easier, so many kids have A's....that is not that common in other countries, therefore his gpa maybe compromise to enter in college, if he lower his grades...

    We would not had done it in any other way, she had a great experience even though her grades did not allow her to get into the UC system...She graduated with honors from USF :)

    I wish I would had taken that time as well to go with her.

    Good luck!!

    Your best bet is to go somewhere with an American high school. The curriculum in other countries is likely different enough that otherwise there might be problems getting credit. For example in Germany high school is less of a course system. You have more subjects per school year but fewer time with each. But you have each subject over several years. So your child would likely end up with lots of partial credits which are of no real use.

  • Returning to same school after a year away

    (4 replies)

    does anyone know if Berkeley allows children to return to the same school after a year away living abroad?

    As long as you live in Berkeley your child can attend Berkeley public schools. You will need to re-admit your student(s) at the District offices. However, you will have go through the lottery again, so there is no guarantee your child will be placed in the same school. 

    You might speak with the principal at your child's school and get their take on it. Definitely your kids can attend Berkeley schools if you are returning to live in Berkeley, but whether they can return to the same school, I don't know.

    I don't live in Berkeley, but I believe it may be similar to other public schools. I don't think that any school will "hold their place" for a year. If the school is impacted, they will let someone in who will take the place of the child who left. If there is space when you return, you'll be able to re-join the same school. If not, you may be redirected to another school. I'm in Lamorinda, and this was one of my biggest concerns. When we left for a family sabbatical in January, there was literally a kid who took my son's seat the next day. We immediately put ourselves on the waiting list to get back into the school and we felt lucky to have received a spot at the same school the following school year. He was, in fact, I think the only "new kid" who entered at that grade level when we returned to the USA in August.