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Parent's Review of MEF International School Izmir in Izmir, Turkey

What is the name of your child's school? (Please report on one school per survey.)

MEF International School Izmir

In what town or city is this school located?

Izmir

How would you describe this school? (i.e. American, British, International, Local, etc.)

Proprietary, Turkish administration, mostly European students

What grade levels are represented at this school?

K-12

How do most children get to school everyday? (bus, train, walk, etc.)

Most children take long bus rides because the school is located in an industrial zone near the airport, far from the center of Izmir.

How would you describe the facilities at this school? What extra-curricular activities are available?

The schools facilities are cramped and inadequate. As the school is located in a former factory, the campus leaves a lot to be desired. The school's tiny play areas are not what one would expect in an international school. (In fact the school seems more like a Turkish school with international students.)The classrooms are small and lack resources.

The school has NO league or team sports. The schools community service seems to limited to donating unwanted goods and lost and found articles to poor Turkish schools. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, there are some after school activities, these are arts and crafts activities, and some games that seem more like an extended recess. Parents have suggested the school hire a martial arts expert to for this time, but the school has failed to act on parent requests.

What has this school done to help your child transition from the curriculum in your home country into the curriculum in your new country? Are there programs to prepare your child for repatriation?

The school has not been honest in what it says it would provide for the students. There is a Turkish lady who teaches English as a second language, but she appears to lack the proper training, experience, and resources. She shows a lot of videos to keep the students occupied and gives them work sheets, it seems like a lot of busy work and not what I would expect from a professional.

How would you describe the social activities available for parents through this school? Are there parent-teacher organizations?

The PTA organized a hike to a castle and a lunch at a winery. There are some great parents who really want to make the school a better place, but they seem to have a hard time getting the school administration to listen to them. The principal has been dishonest when parents have asked questions. For example the PTA president asked what books is my child using. He was told that each teacher had a $5,000 budget to buy books. I later talked to a teacher who said her budget was cut to $952.

What advice would you give to someone considering enrolling their child in this school?

Visit the school. Talk to the teachers. There are some excellent teachers. Some have international experience, others are retired teachers from Canada that seem rather bitchy and should go back home. There are some teachers that can not communicate with the students. I have been confused when talking with the Host Country Studies teacher. My child can not speak a sentence of Turkish after one year. I can not understand the middle school math teacher.

In meeting with the school owner I felt he did not care about me or the students. The principal has walked out of meetings with parents. I have been very disappointed in the school.

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