Homeschooling in Foreign Countries

Individuals who travel abroad may be considered residents of the foreign country to which they travel, and as such are subject to that country’s education laws. Homeschooling of children is not unusual among members of the diplomatic corps, however homeschooling families must comply with local laws and regulations.

Each foreign country has different requirement for the duration of stay which results in residency status in that country. In order to find the residency requirements of the country to which you plan to travel, call the country’s U.S. embassy. If you do not know the phone number for an embassy, the U.S. State Department can provide assistance at: 1-888-407-4747 (from overseas: 202-501-4444). If you do not stay in the country long enough to be considered a resident, you are subject to the mandatory education laws of your state (e.g. California). For example, a family who plans a 3-week tour of China can continue educating their children under their California private school (R-4) while in China. Likewise, a family who plans a world tour, not staying in any country long enough to establish residency, would also continue to educate their children under their California private school.

Mandatory education laws differ from country to country. Some countries have exceptions for children of some resident aliens (such as members of the diplomatic corps.) Information on each country’s education laws may be obtained from the country’s U.S. embassy before you depart. The U.S. State Department can provide the phone numbers of different embassies’ offices of educational affairs (to contact the State Department, see phone numbers above.) Many members of the diplomatic corps homeschool their children, and it may be useful for people considering residency in a foreign country to explore education options with members of the ex patriate and diplomatic communities already living in that country.

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