If you lead a busy life that involves regular international travel or long-term overseas relocation, it can be difficult to provide your children with a stable and effective education.
International Private Tutors can provide a tailored and flexible education to ensure your child fulfils their academic potential.
This comprehensive guide will explain everything you need to consider when hiring an international private tutor. If you would like to book an International Private Tutor, whether it be for a short-term holiday or a long-term placement, please get in touch with us to speak to a consultant.
Many families either live overseas or travel frequently. The option of leaving their children at home at boarding school may not appeal and it is likely that they will instead enroll them at an international school. This can be problematic because of different teaching standards and the frequent turnover of students and staff.
In cases like this, many parents use an international tutor to ensure that their child receives the best education possible, while retaining the benefit of having their children close to them and exposing them to new and exciting cultures.
If your child has a learning difficulty they may be better served by a qualified international tutor than by local supplementary providers. Also, if you are preparing for specific entry tests for a UK school such as the UKiset, 11+ or 13+ Common Entrance, you need to have a tutor who understands those tests. Preferably, you want someone who is familiar with the type of schools you are hoping to send your child to.
In addition to helping your children with their studies, tutors can act as mentors, especially if parents are absent for long periods of time. It is important to find a tutor who is an excellent match for your children and family, both on a personal and professional level. The tutor will be spending a great deal of time with your children, so it is essential that the chemistry is right.
Some international tutors will be prepared to contribute to tasks that fall outside the classroom, such as school drop-offs and pick-ups, helping to organise birthday parties and play dates. Others will insist on a clear division between academic and pastoral care. It really is important to remember that your tutor will often become a part of the family, rather than just someone who turns up for a few hours to educate your children.
There are two main types of international private tutor: those who live with you in a fixed location (residential tutors) and those that accompany you on your travels (travelling tutors). The type that is most appropriate for you will depend on the needs of your children and your family’s lifestyle.
A residential tutor lives with your family and provides tuition as and when required. In the case of full-time residential tutoring, the tutor provides a home schooling environment and children do not attend the local international school. Alternatively, the tutor can also provide after school and weekend tuition, and the child remains at school.
In many countries, there is a shortage of suitably qualified SEN/SPLD (Specific Educational Needs/Specific Learning Difficulty) teachers. Consequently, the prospect of home schooling delivered by an experienced SEN/SPLD residential tutor is appealing. This is particularly appropriate for children who need ongoing specialist support because of learning difficulties such as dyslexia, Asperger’s syndrome, dyscalculia, attention deficit disorder or other learning difficulties.
International residential tutors have different qualifications and skill sets to regular hourly private tutors. They have to live and work with families across the world and become an extension of the family. Above all, they have to be flexible and adaptable.
International tutors are often highly experienced generalist educators, so if your child needs help in various subjects, you will only need one tutor, instead of having to work with multiple tutors to cover different topics. In some cases however, particularly for older children, you will need a specialist subject tutor.
International private tutors can also work as a supplement to your child’s existing school. For example, if your child is currently attending an international school but requires some extra help in a particular area, you can employ a residential tutor that works with your child in the evenings and on weekends. You can also hire a tutor just for a few weeks during the holidays.
Residential tutors do not have to live with your family. Many parents prefer to provide accommodation a short distance away from the family home. This option works particularly well with part-time residential tutors that will work with children outside of the regular school hours.
Tutors who travel with you
In contrast to a residential tutor, a travelling tutor is ideal for families who are regularly on the move. An exotic lifestyle might provide your children with endless adventure and eye-opening cultural immersion but it will probably be difficult to provide them with a stable education, especially if they attend different international schools throughout the year – or go for long or short periods without any schooling at all.
A travelling international tutor will accompany you to provide your children with the extra tuition that they require to either improve their grades or help them to prepare for a successful application or reintegration to a UK school at the end of your travels. Lessons could take place in hotel rooms, on a boat, a jet or in a mud-hut. Wherever you choose to live your life, a tutor can be alongside your children at all times.
Your child will benefit in many ways from working with a travelling tutor, these include:
Online is the future in almost every aspect of our lives, and learning is no exception. Sometimes face-to-face learning is not a practical option, so online tuition is an excellent alternative.
You could be living in the Scottish Highlands and in need of an International Baccalaureate expert, or be in Kazakhstan and preparing your child for entrance to Eton. No matter what your situation is, if a face-to-face tutor is not a viable option, an online tutor can provide your children with specialist expertise in each of their subjects.
Whether or not you use an online, ‘dating agent’ or a professional tuition agency to find the tutor it is paramount that you select tutors who have precisely the right character and expertise for your child. Essentially, it is easy to find a bad-to-average tutor but to find a good one requires a great deal more in-depth research and screening.
Online tutors are highly experienced and lessons need to be tailored towards your children’s specific needs. The process is considerably more complex than the simple provision of automated lesson plans and online tests!
Whether you are in need of a residential, travelling or online tutor, you need to ensure a good fit both professionally and personally between tutor and child. If the process is not completed properly there could be a number of problems. For example, if an international tutor does not hold the appropriate level of experience they may teach a syllabus incorrectly, or in a way that significantly diverges from the school your child is destined for. Moreover, for high profile families, there can be additional security risks. Given that the tutor will become part of your personal and family life, it is imperative that they are meticulously background checked.
Finally, tutor commitment also needs to be an important consideration. If a tutor is not adequately committed to your child and to their education, they could leave before the end of a contract. This can have significant emotional and academic repercussions for your child.
Qualifications and experience
It is essential to fully research a tutor’s qualifications and experience before hiring them. Tutors without the appropriate experience or qualifications may not have the ability to provide your children with the well-rounded education that they require.
As a minimum you should:
Here are four main qualifications to look out for along with a brief explanation of each.
In terms of experience, it is essential to find a tutor who has worked in situations similar to the one you require them to work in with your child.
The cost of an international tutor can vary and will depend on their qualifications, experience and whether you opt for the residential, travelling or online option. Online tutors typically charge from £60 UKP an hour. Residential contracts are typically between £50,000 UKP and £200,000 UKP each year.
Most families will also provide accommodation for tutors either in their own home or in a place of residence situated a short distance from the family’s residence.
It is unlikely that you will instantly stumble across the perfect tutor for your children. Asking friends and colleagues (or your child’s school) is an option but there is no guarantee that a tutor who worked well for someone else will work well with your child. Working with an agency such as Simply Learning Tuition can save time and will guarantee that you find the best tutor for your child. It also adds value in the form of Educational Consultancy which can provide specific, expert advice precisely tailored to the needs of your child and you family.
Conduct a thorough interview process
After you have drawn up a shortlist you can then decide which tutor(s) you would like to invite to interview. It is recommended that where possible, you carry out interviews long before you expect the tutor to start work as this allows plenty of time for them to prepare syllabuses and make travel and visa plans.
You are in charge of the interview process. Tutors should be prepared to travel to you, although good ones are often in full time employment at the time that you approach them, so you may need to wait until they can take a short break. In many cases, you can use Skype for an initial screening.
Now that you are aware of the important factors when searching for the right international private tutor, here are a few questions that it is always worth asking to ensure that the tutor is the right fit to provide your children with a complete education.
This list of questions is by no means exclusive. You may also want to consider using a private security company such as Kroll to ensure that all the necessary background checks are carried out and to verify the information that has been provided.
Hiring an international private tutor is a complex process. It takes time to find a tutor that has the right expertise, experience, personality and cultural values to suit your family’s requirements.
Unlike otherl private tutors, international tutors will spend a considerable amount of time with your family, especially if you opt for a full-time residential tutor to provide home schooling. Consequently, whilst qualifications and experience will always be the most important factor, you also need to consider the importance of background, personality, cultural values and interests.
The key is to create a strong shortlist of potential candidates and then complete a thorough interview and screening process to ensure that you find the perfect tutor for your children.
To find out more about how Simply Learning Tuition can help you to find an expert international private tutor, call us on +44 (0)207 350 1981. We will be delighted to introduce a friendly, professional and expert private tutor for your child. You can also read more about our international tuition services
Case Studies can often be helpful to show how families work with international private tutors.