It’s not just children who need support as they settle into their new home overseas
NCBIS Parents’ Group “bringing out the best in everyone”
After 40 years of international education and experience, NCBIS is committed to supporting our international families as well as educating their children. While we are busy at the start of year providing comprehensive inductions for new staff, developing team morale, helping them settle in to their new city, country and culture, open bank accounts and organise work permits etc, it would be easy to forget the pressure that our international Parents will be under, with similar challenges and nerves. This may well be their first visit to our wonderful host nation, but jet lag, new school routines, new culture and no supporting family around them, all provide their own challenges. Settling Parental concerns is vital, as if the Parents don’t settle, how can we expect the children to feel completely at home, especially the younger ones? The Trailing expat spouse could easily feel isolated and depressed, particularly in compound life together with the long work hours associated with our multinational companies and managerial positions. Children are well known for their adaptability, with the routine and support given to them at school, but may well settle in more quickly than their parents in some cases. That’s where NCBIS’ important home-school partnership and our vibrant and forward-thinking Parents’ Group steps up!
Parental induction starts with the first tour of the school, fitting in with busy company schedules and narrow in-country introduction windows, followed by a comprehensive Admissions service. All new families are then invited into school one day before the official start of year, to meet staff, school Doctor, Parents’ Group, Transport team and Counsellor, all the people able to help ease their transition.
That in itself would not be unusual, but then the Parents’ Group steps in with a series of regular year group coffee mornings in our stunning green, relaxing and colourful Pergola, itself an oasis of normality and tranquility in bustling and vibrant New Cairo.
Coffee mornings allow informal interaction so that no one feels isolated at the first “meet the tutor” (Secondary), or “meet the class teacher” (Primary). The Parents’ Group then organises four day tours including shops and services in New Cairo, walking tours of Maadi and Heliopolis, followed by a cultural visit to historic Zamalek along with traditional refreshments besides the stunning River Nile. Unforgettable social and cultural moments, giving confidence, whetting the appetite to explore further our historic city and cultural treasures, forging lifelong friendships and developing new intra-cultural experiences, as befits an International school. This is all linked to Parent workshops by our School counselor on “Settling in”, “the challenges and advantages for third culture kids” etc, along with opportunities for consultations with life-mentors to discuss relocation issues, where necessary.
The jewel in the crown is then our much awaited October “Family Day”, when the school field converts to a musical theme park, entertained by the NCBIS orchestra, stage band, community choir and year group choirs. An exciting mixture of games, activities and of course international cuisine for “all tastes” adds to the occasion, and makes for a remarkable occasion. With momentum gaining, Parents take over again, with a variety of social, cultural and sporting experiences, including weekly international cuisine, “Zumba”, Yoga, mixed Football field hockey and touch rugby and even cricket matches.
Life in an international school is always busy, culturally exciting, vibrant and dynamic – but when supported by School and Parents’ Group, it provides unforgettable and priceless memories and experiences. That’s why we smile in over 30 languages, and currently represent 65 nationalities – one family, many cultures! Please come and meet us!