Children and school when moving abroad

Leaving Europe | Departure conditions/formalities | Norway

A large number of children accompany their parents on research stays abroad. In most cases a period spent in another country is a positive and informative experience for the children.

If you decide to bring your children with you abroad, you should look into childcare or schooling at the earliest opportunity.

Will my child be able to keep his/her kindergarten place in Norway?

Check whether your child will be able to keep his/her place at kindergarten (barnehage) until you come back. Contact the board of the kindergarten well in advance to find out how the kindergarten deals with periods of absence and applications for leave.

According to current regulations, a kindergarten place cannot be left unfilled for many months, and will be allocated to a child on the waiting list. After a research stay abroad you therefore have no guarantee that your child will be able to get a place at the same kindergarten. This may be slightly easier if you come back during the summer because all kindergartens have a number of places available before the autumn.

Will my child be able to continue in the same class at school when we come back?

In Norway you can apply for a leave of absence from school. However, you should check with the school as to the consequences of a period of absence. Will your child have to repeat a year of school when you come back to Norway or will the child be able to go back into the same class? It is a good idea to find out if there are any subject areas in which the child may fall behind.

Many people find that their children bring a lot of new knowledge and experience home with them too, and it is just as important to be aware of this when the child is to be re-integrated into Norwegian school.

Take with you the necessary documentation about your child’s schooling in Norway, such as reading lists and curricula. Some schools in other countries also require a health certificate and proof of vaccinations.

Do we have to pay a tuition fee?

You normally have to pay a tuition fee for schooling in English-speaking countries and at English-speaking schools in other countries. Check with your Norwegian employer about whether they provide coverage for tuition fees.

How do we find a kindergarten or school abroad?

Ask your host institution for help finding a suitable kindergarten or school. EURAXESS Services in EU/EEA countries will also be able to help you. It is a good idea to visit the kindergarten or school and talk to the staff there before you accept a place.

Additional tips