International school fees steadily rising

China, Switzerland and Belgium top the list of most expensive countries for international education. has released the results of its annual worldwide survey of international school fees. The study examines the increasing financial burden of premium education for children of expat parents, and calls for companies to re-evaluate their global mobility programmes to better support relocating families.
The ExpatFinder International School Fee Survey 2016, designed to provide guidance on navigating cost challenges relating to global relocation, bases its ranking on a comprehensive market survey of 707 international schools across 98 countries. The annual survey also captures sentiments around international school fees to not only highlight challenges for expats, but also opportunities for companies to remain attractive to foreign talents.
Sébastien Deschamps, CEO and Founder of, says, “We still see a trend of expat families looking for growth opportunities offshore given challenges in the domestic environment. However, according to our survey findings, international school fees are steadily rising, particularly in markets that are popular destinations with expats.
“The rising cost of international education, coupled with an ongoing trend of employers replacing traditional expat packages with local contracts, increases the financial burden on expats considerably. While employers must be mindful of the financial pressure that relocating a family and moving children to international schools can place on expats, globally mobile employees must also take into account those education costs and taxes as early as possible in their salary negotiations. This is particularly true when the employer uses the host country local salary as a benchmark without including additional benefits such as an allowance for international school fees and boarding.“It is not surprising, therefore, to see expat parents rethinking their entire approach to their children’s education. For example, we see more and more parents considering options such as home schooling or enrolling their children in local schools that offer internationally recognised curriculum. Some have also opted for private tutors that provide supplementary native language lessons in lieu of costly international education.”

Across the globe

Based on the median of the 6th grade tuition fees per country, China (US$36,400 per annum), Switzerland (US$28,300 per annum) and Belgium (US$27,800 per annum) come out tops as the most expensive countries for international education.