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Old 27.10.2010, 18:49
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Re: Moving 16 yr son from midwest to basel

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Thank you very much for sharing your experience. We visited Basel last week, and met with principals in both ISB and SIS. Both of them recommended that our son complete Grade 11 in USA, then join the IB program , repeating Grade 11. They would not accept him into Grade 11 IB program now, in mid-year, even though he has 90% + in all his subjects in the US school, because they still think that he and the IB teachers would struggle to have him cover the material in IB that he missed during the first 5-6 months. He is a young 16 - so repeating Grade 11 would not do him harm . However, he does not want to do that at all, as he sees himself falling behind his US peers, as far as startign college is concerned. So, we are in a fix. Getting your opinions have been very helpful in raising our own awareness of how important it is to understand the feelings of a teenager about leaving friends and known circles, and to ensure that a teenager is agreeable to any changes we propose to make.
Soon he will have to judge himself not by US standards but by international standards and his own standards. Many students take a year in 'study abroad' . Senior year in the US is a bit of a joke, most of the students have been accepted into the university of their choice by the end of 11th year, so they party in the last year, that's why they call 'Senioritis'.

He probably won't miss much! However he must burn his bridges,

Has your son not yet applied or been accepted into a US university?

He could have received an acceptance get the Swiss school to work to the requirements of the Bacc and to meet requirements for US graduation.
I think that the university will be further impressed that he is taking a year abroad while meeting grad requirements. It adds to his resume.

I tried to take both of my kids out of school for senior year and put them in a local college. I tried to advise them that it was time to get on with thinking like a university student, soon high school and most of the friends that they made there would be a distant memory, but neither of them would have it. Both were affected by the attitude of other students who just wanted to party, In hindsight both wished that they had been able to go straight from Junior(11th) year to University.

If he does very well with his Bacc, the High School may still want to claim his as their own ( looks good for on their rating) he may still be able to attend graduation if he has completed basic grad requirements. This would make it much easier for application to US universities.

That would not be my worry, my worry would be-if he wishes to attend a US university for his first degree how will he fund this? Will he have to pay overseas fees? Will he still be entitled to scholarships? Will he be entitled ot government loans? If he returns to the US in less than 2 years, can he keep the US as his tax base?

I would talk to his High School counselor and the university of his choice. Some people employ a private counselor, but this can be very costly.
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