As an expat family, foreign schooling can be challenging without the right tutor.
There’s a lot of pressure on parents to retain a sense of normalcy and routine for their children amidst the stress of moving countries. An integral part of this process is ensuring that their children transition into new schooling painlessly. To help with this, online tutoring has provided a way for expat children to connect with their learning journey comfortably from wherever they are, and to support them in their transition to school life in a new country.
Here’s what Hélène Rombaut from GoStudent has to say about tutoring expat children in the Netherlands.
Tell us about your tutoring journey thus far. Where are you from? How did you get into tutoring?
HR: It all started when I offered to help an acquaintance with her daughter’s French lessons. As I was living in Luxembourg at the time, I ended up tutoring via video call and it worked out perfectly as my student ended up doubling her grades in French. I loved online tutoring from that moment on and jumped at the opportunity to join GoStudent. After completing an admission test, GoStudent paired me and my skills with students from all over Europe and here I am today, loving every second of it.
What do you think expat kids struggle with the most?
HR: I think their biggest struggle is learning how to communicate with their peers in a foreign language. Being an expat child, you crave social connection more than before and so for them, learning the nuances and details of a new language they want to learn is really important to them. If you can find a tutor that really understands those cultural and linguistic nuances of the country they’re in, it can help kids learn about these things in a less pressurised environment.
Why do you think tutoring is important for expat kids?
HR: I believe that expat kids need a close circle of support they can trust and feel safe in, especially when it comes to learning. 1:1 tutoring is a great way to help kids find a safe space to learn in at their own pace and in a way that’s familiar to them.
What’s the best thing about tutoring online?
HR:The best thing about online tutoring is that there is hardly any stress for the kids or the tutor. You can learn from the comfort of your own home and there’s no juggling between timetables of work and tutoring and traffic stress. You don’t have to hike all over town with bags and laptops. It really is the most hassle-free way of learning.
What’s the one thing you wish parents knew about tutoring?
HR: I find that learning happens best when there’s some trust extended to the tutor and the child, as it’s important that we have the freedom to build a good learning relationship based on our own terms.
How do you manage stressful timetables with kids?
HR: Unlike traditional school methods, everyone should feel comfortable and ready for the lesson.This means allowing room for flexibility and collaboration to lead your lesson. If a child is feeling stressed about their timetables, it’s important to let them know that they can extend some sort of control over their situation.
What do you love about tutoring?
HR: I love being able to transmit knowledge and enthusiasm to another person from the comfort of your own home. Secondly, seeing a child’s progress is so rewarding and I love the personal relationships you can build up with those students. It is more than a rewarding job, I call it “my calling” and “my life’s work” – and as the saying goes a “life’s work is never done”.