In our increasingly globalized world it's becoming more and more common to send children to be educated abroad. This raises their awareness of different cultures from a young age, and encourages an interest in international affairs and relations.
Some of the children given this opportunity will go on to launch successful careers in diplomacy, non-governmental organizations, politics and other areas that rely on international cooperation.
While students enrolled in state funded education systems are encouraged to take part in international exchange programs, it isn't common for pupils to complete their full education in a state run institution in a foreign country. Most don't have boarding facilities, nor do they have the resources to educate foreign nationals.
It is therefore most common for parents to enroll their children in independent schools abroad if they are seeking an international education. Pupils travel from as far as Asia and South America to study at private schools in Europe.
Scholarships are available at most schools for families unable to fund the costs of a private education and full board. To obtain a scholarship, the child must show excellent academic abilities, and often pass an additional entrance exam.
Consider just some of the private education opportunities in Europe that might be suited to your and your child.
If you've got a lot of money to spare, or are confident your child will qualify for a scholarship, look towards an education in Switzerland. Not many places can boast such terrific facilities, and gather such impressive staff. It comes as no surprise that the Swiss education system is consistently ranked among the top 3 in the world. You can choose between following a range of syllabi from Swiss to International Baccalaureate.
Schools are set on "campuses" where everyone is assigned to live in a house under the supervision of resident teaching staff.
Most boarding schools are set in some of the most beautiful parts of the world with views across the Alps and lakes. Spending time outdoors is therefore encouraged, in winter as well as the summer.
For parents looking to send their child to a school where it's possible to learn in two languages, France is a good choice. Its boarding schools are often bilingual with classes taught in both French and English.
Choose from a range of International and American schools that offer varied academic programs.
Children can sit various international exams parallel to the general curriculum, such as SAT, TOEFL, Goethe Institute, and Cambridge.
Pupils are most often housed in the school's own boarding houses, but in some cases may be accommodated by local families.
The United Kingdom has a strong, historic tradition of independent education that is seen as a gateway to higher education at Oxford, Cambridge and other top universities.
Private schools vary from the very traditional to modern / alternative with some following the Montessori model and others based on certain religious values, for example.
At boarding schools, students are grouped together in "Houses", and each House has a permanent team of staff on hand who develop close, supportive relationships with their pupils, emulating the responsibilities of parents at home.
Most boarding schools are set outside cities to keep children safe, provide them with ample fresh air, and encourage community spirit.
Some private schools in Scotland are set in stunning locations near and in the Highlands. The children therefore have access to an array of outdoor activities from orienteering to white water rafting at an older age.