What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?
Private international schools are the most popular option among the local expatriate community. There are 3 schools for foreign expats recommended: The American International School, the British School and Vael’s Billabong High International School.
What are some examples of these schools?
The largest school in Chennai for expatriate children is the American International School - Chennai (formerly the American International School - Madras). It is a non-profit, independent, coeducational day school. It was founded in August 1995 and offers a U.S.-style educational program from preschool (3+ years) through grade 12 for American and international students and Indian nationals who obtain a “No Objection Certificate” from the Central Government’s Ministry of External Affairs before admission. The school year extends from August to June. There is also the St. John’s Residential School and some Indian schools, like the Sherwood Hall, that also admit expatriate children.
Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?
Yes, there is. It is wise to try and be placed on the waiting list as early as possible.
Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?
For younger children, there are numerous private playschools and kindergartens in almost every area; some are run according to the Montessori Method. These vary greatly, in both fees and quality. One can also get nannies (ayahs) to care for their young children.
How are most kids transported to and from school?
By car (sometimes carpool).
When does the typical school year start and end?
July to May at the International School and June to April in other schools.
Is there anything else I should know about local schools?
It is not very easy to get admissions in good schools that have a long waiting period. So, start your application process early!
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