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Expat Exchange - How to Enroll Your Children in School in Saudi Arabia
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How to Enroll Your Children in School in Saudi Arabia

By Betsy Burlingame

Universal Tax Professionals
Universal Tax Professionals

Summary: If you're a newcomer in Saudi Arabia and enrolling your children in school in Saudi Arabia, here's how:

Education in Saudi Arabia - How to Enroll Your Children in School in Saudi Arabia

Enrolling your child in a public school in Saudi Arabia as an expat can be a complex process. It requires a thorough understanding of the Saudi education system, the necessary paperwork, and the steps involved. The paperwork includes your child's birth certificate, passport, immunization records, and previous school records. Additionally, you may need to provide proof of your residency in Saudi Arabia. It's also important to note that the Saudi education system is segregated by gender, so you'll need to apply to either a boys' or girls' school depending on your child's gender. The following guide will help you navigate this process.

  1. Research Schools: Start by researching the public schools in your area. Consider factors such as the school's curriculum, the language of instruction, and the school's reputation. You can find this information online or by asking other expats in your community.
  2. Prepare the Necessary Documents: Gather all the necessary documents. This includes your child's birth certificate, passport, immunization records, and previous school records. If the documents are not in Arabic, you may need to get them translated.
  3. Apply for a Residency Permit: If you haven't already, apply for a residency permit (Iqama) for your child. This is a legal requirement for all expats living in Saudi Arabia. You'll need to provide a copy of this when enrolling your child in school.
  4. Visit the School: Once you've chosen a school, visit it in person to submit your application. Bring all the necessary documents with you. You may also need to pay a registration fee at this time.
  5. Take the Placement Test: Most public schools in Saudi Arabia require new students to take a placement test. This test assesses your child's academic abilities and helps the school determine which grade level is appropriate for your child.
  6. Wait for Acceptance: After submitting your application and taking the placement test, you'll need to wait for the school to accept your child. This can take a few weeks, so be patient.
  7. Register for Classes: Once your child has been accepted, you'll need to register them for classes. This usually involves meeting with a school counselor to discuss your child's academic goals and select appropriate classes.
  8. Pay School Fees: Finally, you'll need to pay any remaining school fees. These fees vary by school, so be sure to ask about them when you submit your application.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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