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Overseas Schools

Moving to an overseas location can be both an exciting and challenging time for military families. One important consideration for military parents is the available education opportunities in OCONUS locations.

Where do I start?

There are several resources available to military families such as the installation school liaison officer, the installation Military and Family Support Center, MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, Military OneSource and the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DoDEA, website. Once you receive orders, talk with your installation school liaison officer or the relocation assistance point of contact at your current location - they can provide value information and resources to assist in this transition. Also, check out MilitaryINSTALLATIONS to learn more about your new installation and community.

What is the difference between a Department of Defense school and an international or national school?

DoDEA 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. Visit the DoDEA website for more information.

DoDEA's student preregistration system helps streamline the registration process and allows school officials to better predict school enrollment, make more informed decisions regarding teacher and staff requirements, and prepare for special services and supplies. Parents can preregister their children by visiting DoDEA Online Student 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.

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 a child graduates from high school.

Where can I find a list of international schools in the country where my family is moving?

You can find a directory of overseas schools on the U.S. Department of State's Schools Worldwide page. The listing includes schools that receive assistance from the U.S. Department of State, as well as other international, private, religious and public schools.

Now that I have chosen a school, how do I successfully transition my child?

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 the school, the more confident your child will feel. Also, allow your child to be a part of the decision-making process, if appropriate.

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