Parents should consider carefully whether their children should study at an international school - a place where different cultures meet, educators have said. More and more parents are considering sending their children to an international school because of the uncertainty of education reforms and Hong Kong's future place in the globalisation of the world economy. Professor Cheng Kai-ming, pro-vice-chancellor and chair of the Faculty of Education of the University of Hong Kong, said teaching methods adopted by international schools differed a lot from those of local schools. Parents should think carefully whether the cultural mix at an international school is good for their children. 'Children from international schools may be very good and distinguish themselves well when they enter society. But they might also face problems in try ing to fit into a certain culture,' Professor Cheng said. In different cultures, behaviour, standards, values and ways of solving problems would be different, he said. Most students at international schools are children with parents who go from country to country during the course of their duties. Such students are called third culture kids. Psychologist Lesley Lewis has taught and been a consultant to such children for over 25 years. She said the number of third culture kids was increasing. Such children had their strengths as well as weaknesses. They could speak more than one language and had good social skills, adaptability and flexibility. But they could also be confused about their identity because of the constant moving as their parents were transferred to new cities, Ms Lewis said. 'They often feel different and alienated from others when they have to go back to their home country,' she said. 'They also lack a sense of belonging.' Besides, the children often had difficulties making decisions as most decisions were made by their parents and they had no say in their parents' arrangements. 'They might surrender their opinions and just conform. They do that because they want to adjust and fit in quickly. Third culture kids have a great desire to be accepted in their new environment.' But this uncertainty also made third culture kids high achievers as they were forced to live in a world where they were constantly challenged by unpredictable and sudden changes in their lives. Ms Lewis advised families who needed to move a lot to al low time for their children to adjust when taking up residence in a new place. Parents should consult their children's schools if they noticed their children were having problems. Professor Cheng advised parents who were considering sending children to an international school to think about the type of career their children wanted to pursue and the place where they would build their career.