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Philippines – Changes in Expat Schooling Preferences

We have seen a recent shift in the choice considerations of a considerable number of expatriates or assignees who plan to relocate in the Philippines. This is driven primarily by changes being made in their company’s expatriate policy and benefits. Companies are now looking for other alternatives due to the substantial cost of sending the children of their expatriates to international schools. At the moment, the companies support 100% of the tuition fee for each dependent of the assignee.

You may refer to the matrix attached below for a profile of select international schools that most expatriates send their children to in Manila, Philippines.

SchoolCurriculumApproximate Tuition FeeOther Fees (USD)School YearContact Details
International School of ManilaAmerican; IB$15,550 plus PhP 500,000Application Fee $450 ; Matriculation Fee $3,500.00August 2018 - June 2019 Enrollment - All Year Roundismanila.org
The British School ManilaBritish; IB£ 6,270 plus Php 594,465Application Fee Php 22,000; Entrance Fee Php 310,000August 2018 - June 2019 Enrollment - All Year Roundenquiries@britishschoolmanila.org
Brent International SchoolAmerican; IB$9,120.00 - Php 418,900.00Application Fee $200.00; Matriculation Fee $3,000; ESL $1,210.00July 2018 - June 2019 Enrollment Ongoingbrent.edu.ph/about/
Domuschola International SchoolAmerican; IBPhp 376,100.00Matriculation Fee Php 50,000.00- for foreign studentsAugust 2018 - May 2019 June - Start of Enrollmentdis.edu.ph
Cebu International SchoolAmerican; IB$2,870.00 - Php 527,700.00Reservation Fee Php 40,000.00 ; Entrance Fee Php 250,000.00August 2018 - June 2019 Enrollment Ongoinginfo@cis.edu.ph
Canadian American SchoolAmerican; IB$13,600.00Registration Fee $200.00; Assessment Fee $300 - $1000August 2018 - June 2019 Enrollment Ongoinginfo@canamschool.org
Everest Academy ManilaAmerican; IBPhp 474,250.00Application Fee Php 3,400.00; Matriculation Fee Php 49,500.00; Reservation Fee Php 30,000.00August 2018 - June 2019everestmanila.com/
German European School ManilaAmerican; IB5,070.00 € - Php 460,000.00 - Php 646,000.00Membership Fee 150 €; Entrance Fee Php 130,000.00August 2018 - May 2019hesm.org/
MIT International SchoolAmerican; IBPhp 229,162.00Application Fee Php 3,000.00; Entrance Fee Php 40,000.00; Miscellaneous Fee Php 49,000; Reservation Fee Php 40,000.00August 2018 - June 2019mitis.edu.ph/
Reedley International SchoolAmerican; IBPhp 278,000-298,000.00Reservation Fee Php 75,000.00; Tuition Fee Php 187,265.00-Php 217,385.00; Micellaneous Fee Php 90,735.00-Php 80,615.00August 2018 - June 2019 Enrollment Ongoingreedleyschool.edu.ph/
The Beacon International School FoundationBritish; IBPhp 578,000.00Registration Fee $200.00; Assessment Fee $300 - $1000August 2018 - June 2019 Enrollment Ongoingbeaconschool.ph/
The Chinese International School ManilaAmerican; IBPhp 468,000.00Matriculation Fee Php 75,000.00; Application fee Php 3,500.00; Miscellaneous Fee Php 25,000.00August 2018 - June 2019cismanila.org/
Nord Anglia International School ManilaAmerican; IBPhp 990,521.00Application Fee Php 22,000.00; Enrollment Fee Php 170,000.00August 2018 - June 2019nordangliaeducation.com/our-schools/philippines/manila/international
Center of International EducationK-12Php421,000.00Placement Test Fee Php 1,200.00August 2018 - June 2019cie.edu
EnderunK-12Php 225,000.00Reservation Fee Php 10,000.00August 2018 - June 2019enderuncolleges.com

With the changing expatriate policies being implemented by (or yet being explored by some) companies worldwide, we have received questions on the cost of sending children in PRIVATE Schools vs. INTERNATIONAL School, how much support can the company give to expatriates (50% vs 100%), if they can enter in the middle of a school term, and if units from the previous school will be accredited in the new school.

There is an abundance of good reputable private schools in the country . However, and in truth, the main factor to consider is the difference on the Philippine curriculum vs. their home country or their previous host country.

  • International schools are beneficial for children of expatriates who transfer from one work location to another in a span of 2 to 5 years as it is assumed that the curriculum is the same. They can enter at any time in the school terms whereas in private schools, DepEd (Department of Education) require students to start the grade level from the start of the school term.
  • Foreign children who enter private schools might have to retake some subjects in order to advance or qualify to the next grade level since the curriculum is the different. The shift from international to private is not as easy as there are some students who used to perform well in their previous school but had difficulty passing their grades in the private school.
  • While most private schools also use English as a vernacular, there are at least 3 subjects conducted in the local language or dialect whereas in international schools, subjects are all delivered in English. Foreign students may enroll in a Filipino language class in order to catch up or remain competitive. Filipino (one of our main languages) is considered a foreign language in the international schools and is not required.
  • There is also the fact that most private schools in the Philippines are run by religious organizations. Although the schools do not force the children to convert or to practice the traditions, religion is a required subject. Religion is not a subject in international schools.

Given the challenges the child/ren will face in entering a new school let alone a new country with a different culture and traditions, we recommend that it would be best to enroll foreign students in an international school.

The reasons highlighted above gives you a preview of how it could impact the total well-being of the student for the entire duration while on assignment in the Philippines. Not only will the child be affected but the entire family as well. This will run totally against what we in the Destination and Relocation Industry strive for: To ensure that the assignee and his/her dependents settle-in seamlessly and without any issues, as doing so will allow:

  • Assignees to fully concentrate while on assignment thus , assuring 100% productivity at work, which is good for the Business;
  • Spouses likewise are more productive whether at work or in volunteer organizations thus, preventing any household/domestic conflicts or problems; and,
  • Children continuing their educational program in and among the best international schools in the country.