A strong emphasis on education has been the driving force behind India’s flourishing economy. However, the standards at Indian public schools often fail to meet international standards. Even in private schools, the teaching methods may not be suitable for expat children. International schools that follow either the curriculum of the expat’s home country or a globally recognised qualification such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) tend to be the preferred option for most expat families moving to India.

Indian families hold academic accomplishments in high regard and push their children to excel at school. As such, those that can afford private schools avoid the public schooling system in India.

Public schools in India suffer as a result of administrative issues and underfunding. Class sizes exceed international norms and facilities are mediocre at best. While some public schools in India teach in English, outside the major cities many don’t. This creates a language barrier that expat students struggle to overcome.

For these reasons, public school in India is often not a viable option for expats.

While Indian private schools have an excellent reputation, the emphasis on results and rote learning isn’t always suitable for expat students.

Private schools are a popular option amongst middle-class Indian families. Local students are highly competitive and experience a lot of pressure from their families as well as society in general. Many expat students will be unaccustomed to this culture and may find this type of learning environment frustrating.

That said, private schools are a good option for expats who plan on settling down in India in the long-term. It’s also a good choice for those who want their children to have a more integrated learning experience, mixing with local children. Furthermore, English tends to be the language of instruction at these institutions which makes the transition easier for some expat students.

There are a wide range of international schools in India, with the largest concentration being found in the major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru.

These institutions are the ideal option for most expats as they allow children to continue studying a familiar curriculum from their home-country. They also tend to teach in either English or the home country’s language which makes learning easier for expat students.

The standard of teaching at international schools is excellent, class sizes are small and facilities are of a high standard. These institutions also offer their students a wider range of extra-curricular activities.

American and British international schools are well-represented throughout India. There are also a smaller number teaching the German, French, Japanese and Russian curricula.

The major downside to attending an international school in India is the cost. Tuition fees at international schools in India are high so expats considering this option should try to negotiate a sizable schooling allowance into their relocation package. It’s also worth noting that the best international schools tend to be oversubscribed. It’s best to begin the application as far in advance as possible to secure a place.