First, think about the style of learning, traditional or more unstructured type. If it is important that the school have a religious affiliation this will narrow your choices. There are schools for children with special needs as well to address any physical or mental health issues.
Some schools are considered preparatory or “prep” schools and have long histories and connections with prominent universities. Students will be prepared for attending these advanced colleges, in hopes the will become future leaders or professionals. There are boarding schools where children live on campus during the school year.
Finding a list of private international schools is a simple as conducting an internet search, or contacting the Cambodia Ministry of Education. There are actually websites that focus primarily on this topic, providing a list with contact information and descriptions making it easier to choose the best school, such as the Invictus – one of the top international school in Cambogia. You may also want to ask other parents in your neighborhood where they send their children to school.
When you have narrowed your options based on affiliations, language training, and teaching methods, contact each school to arrange a visit. For a decision this important, a tour of the facility and meeting with the principal or some of the teachers is advised.
Consider the daily commute and how you would drop your child off each day. Perhaps choosing a school close to your home, or even close to one parent’s place of employment will provide an easier routine or more peace of mind. If there are other kids in your neighborhood that attend the same school, it may be possible to coordinate a car pool and trade off the driving responsibilities.
Ask the principal to provide references of other parents that you can call to ask about their child’s experiences at the schools you are considering. Also, ask for any ratings or other reports that may list how the school compares to others in Phnom Penh. Look at passing and failing statistics and the success rate of students advancing to university, or vocational programs.
Of course cost is going to also factor in to your ultimate selection. International schools do require a tuition for each student to attend their school and many will have a dress code or uniform policy. There are some schools that base tuition on your family’s income level while others are a set rate no matter what. Depending on your physical location or any affiliations there may be scholarships to help defray some or all of the cost. This is something to discuss with the school administrators when looking at each school or while filling out applications.