Thursday, April 5, 2012

Getting Your Children Educated on the Costa Blanca

For many families looking to buy property on the Costa Blanca, it may seem increasingly attractive to simply sell up in the United Kingdom and move out to Spain permanently. After all, with Sterling's value plummeting, the Euro is not the cheaper option it once appeared to be; while it is still relatively easy to buy property on the Costa Blanca for a very reasonable price, mortgages have increased by around 30% on average, so due to the recession, investing in a second home will be a lot less feasible to an increasingly large group of Britons.
While this may kill the dream for many, there are some of you out there who may take the massive step of moving your family from this grey and unpleasant land to sunny Spain. This, of course, is not a decision to be taken lightly especially with a family, so here are some useful tips on making sure your children are able to have a good education in a foreign country. When buying property on the Costa Blanca, and with a family, your first consideration should of course be your children's education; there is no point finding a dream home, relocating the family, only to discover your children are deeply unhappy or receiving a sub-standard level of education.

Therefore the age of the child should be your first consideration; for example, younger children - not babies, but toddlers - are most likely to integrate into a new culture with a new language most seamlessly. They are of an age where they are naturally learning to speak, so can learn as they go, and will pick up the language very quickly, so if you are considering buying property on the Costa Blanca, and you have young children, you may want to consider making the move when they are young. Furthermore, toddlers will be able to start state school with other Spanish children, and you may well find that they adapt to the language better than you!
And what of older children? Well, it is perfectly feasible that those over the age of ten could have a natural aptitude for the language, and pick it up quickly, but on the other hand, they may well be refused admission into a state school, especially in smaller areas, where the authorities could feel that they will not be able to get a good standard of education without a stronger grasp of Spanish. This, in turn, could necessitate sending them to private schools, thus adding an extra cost to your move.
But how will having children restrict you in buying property on the Costa Blanca? The honest answer is actually not a lot. The Lady Elizabeth School near Alicante teaches children aged between 3 and 18, so could be an option for those looking to send their children to a fee-paying school where they can continue, or begin, their education in English. There is also the English School Los Olivos - a small school, where children are taught the full English curriculum, allowing for an easier transition when moving. Ultimately it is up to the parents, whether children are a deciding factor when considering buying property on the Costa Blanca, but with a wealth of both English and Spanish educational institutions, they need not be the reason for dashed dreams.

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