People move abroad for many reasons. Perhaps to return to where they were born or to be near to their extended families. Others move for work or education opportunities. Some people move simply because they think that they can give their families a better life in a different country, with better opportunities and a better economic and social climate. It can certainly have many benefits, and if it’s the right decision for your family, there’s no reason that you can’t all be incredibly happy living in another country.
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[ctt template=”4″ link=”Y6X2R” via=”yes” ]Moving your family abroad can be a tough decision. No matter what the benefits are, deciding to uproot your family and take them to a new place is difficult. But, it might well be the best thing that you ever do. Let’s take a look at some ways to ease the transition.[/ctt]
But, when you’ve got a family with children, it can be a tough decision. No matter what the benefits are, deciding to uproot your family and take them to a new place is difficult. But, it might well be the best thing that you ever do. Let’s take a look at some ways to ease the transition.
Moving Your Family Abroad
Lots of Visits
The last thing that you want to do is move your kids to a place that they’ve never been before and tell them that it’s home. They won’t understand, and they won’t feel safe and comfortable. Routine is hugely important to a child’s development and happiness. Even if you were only moving to the next city, it would be a good idea to take them to see the house and spend some time in the area before the big move. To give them a chance to adjust.
This is also important when you are moving to a different country because it takes away the feeling of being far away. One of the things that children will worry about is leaving their friends and family behind. Young children have very little concept of distance. Another country, any other country can seem like the whole world away. The reality, of course, is that in modern society, even those countries that are on the other side of the world aren’t that far away. We can fly around the world easily, we can video chat with our friends back home, and nothing is as different as children expect it to be.
As well as helping them to feel safe and close to home, visiting will give them an image. Something to get excited about. Tell them that you are moving to another country and they’ll struggle to imagine what their life will be like or picture their new surroundings. Take them for a visit, and they’ll be able to see it more clearly. It’ll give them something to think about.
Find Fun Attractions
Visits can be busy. There is a lot to arrange and sort out. It’s not really fun for the kids. By all means, take them to see important things like your new house or their school. But, don’t overwhelm them with serious details on their visits. Try to do as much of this as you can when you and your partner are alone. Or, take a friend or parent with you, so that the kids don’t need to come for all the official parts of your trips.
Instead, find some fun things that they can do. Look for exciting local tourist attractions, but also things like playgrounds, libraries, and parks that aren’t too different from the ones at home. This will also give them things to look forward to and make it seem a lot closer to home.
Consider Schooling Options
If you’ve got school-aged children, you need to have a plan for their education in mind before you move. Even if your children are younger, it’s something that you will want to consider.
Your two main options are either finding a local school or homeschooling. Local schools are great. Your kids will settle quickly with other children their own age, and they’ll pick up their new language much faster if they are surrounded by other children speaking it. They’ll also soon find that language isn’t a barrier to play. Children find many different ways to communicate their feelings through their games and creative endeavors, and it won’t take long for them to make firm friends. But, it can be difficult in the beginning. They may feel alone and isolated, they may worry about not being able to understand or fit in, and if they are a little older, they might find that barriers aren’t broken down as easily without the aid of childish games.
Homeschooling also has its advantages. It gives you a great chance to protect your children and help them to settle. It means that you can stick to similar subjects and schooling as they would get at home and it means that you don’t need to worry about them. But, too much protection can isolate them more, and your abilities to homeschool will depend on your own level of education, their age, and your temperament. It’s certainly not for everyone.
Of course, you can always mix the two. You might want to homeschool for a few months until they are more settled and then move them into a public school later on.
Find the Right Home
Finding the right home is always important, but it can be more difficult when looking in another country. If you know what area you need to be near to work, then try to find the time to explore the local areas to get a feel for the communities and scout out local amenities. Consider your commutes to work and school, and what there is to do nearby. Write a list of the areas that you’d like to live, in order of preference. Then look online at house prices for those areas to try and match one of your preferences with your budget. HDB rental price tends to be good, and an excellent option if you’re not ready to buy.
Look at homes online when you are at home, making sure you give yourself enough time to finalize a deal before you need to move.
Learn Some Language
It’s fair to say that English is spoken all around the world. In most countries, you can get by with English. But, while that might work well on holidays, if you are going to live somewhere full time, you’ll need to learn the language. Without it, you’ll always feel like an outsider, struggling to get by and be understood.
Learning some language before you go will help you to find work or settle into your new job, help you to feel more at home, safe and comfortable, it will help you to sort out all the official documents of your move, and it will help you to make friends.
Make learning the language fun. Children tend to take to new languages much easier than adults do. As adults, the part of our brain responsible for learning language might have been underused for a long time. Since school, or even when we learned to talk. Children are learning new words all of the time. Every day they hear something new or try a new sound out for themselves. The language areas of their brains are active and alert. So, they might be better at it than you. Let them enjoy this. Spend time learning together, researching online and even watching TV and films in your new language. Try not to make it a chore that needs to be done. Have fun with it and push each other forward as a family.
Plan Trips Home
It’s easy to say “we’ll still visit” or “we’ll talk all of the time” but kids don’t get the abstract notion of a non specific time in the future. They won’t really believe that it’s going to happen. To give them some reassurance that they will still see their friends, family and favorite places from home, book things.
Take a look at your diary or work schedule and book some flights and hotels for some trips home. You can even book tickets to their favorite attractions to get them excited. Give them a date, and a firm plan so that they trust it and they’ll be much happier about leaving.
Get to Grips with Video Chat
Video chat is so easy nowadays. It’s as easy to talk to someone in another country as it is someone in the next street. Make sure you’ve got your internet connection sorted or that your mobile phone is set up for roaming, then, start practicing.
Show your kids how easy to video chat by calling relatives or your partner when they are at work. Let them know that they can do this whenever they want. You could even get them a tablet with skype installed so that they can make their own calls.
Make Some Plans
Moving is always stressful. But it’s even harder when you are going to a new country. It can be a good idea to leave the kids with a relative back home while you move everything and get set up. Then, make sure you have some fun things planned for their arrival. Send them the tickets or a photo or copy of them, so that they know what to look forward to.
This is a contributed post.
- video chat
- online homeschooling curriculum
- local tourist attractions
- HDB rental price
- [amazon_textlink asin='B00G9MW2HC' text='foreign language kit' template='ProductLink' store='neededintheho-20′ marketplace='US' link_id='1b3c6551-4ce3-11e8-9637-23a8a5964cac']
- book some flights
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