We focus a lot on the benefits of retiring overseas, or buying a second home overseas. But what about if you are moving overseas with kids?
Kids can benefit from a move overseas as much as adults. There are a long list of potential benefits from a second passport, to learning another language.
Here are some tips for moving overseas with kids to help ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Research Local Schools
Find the right school, and your children will find things much easier. Most expats just look for the nearest international school. If you can find a school that follows the same curriculum then your kids can move almost seamlessly.
If there isn’t an international school close, then you should try to speak with other expats about the best options. Lots of countries publish rankings so you can read up on the school that way.
Be sure to take your children’s feelings into account. After all, they’re the ones who will be spending their time there. Don’t stress too much either. If things don’t work out you can always move schools.
Be Careful Planning Your Finances
If you’re moving overseas without already having a job lined up then make sure you have enough money for at least three months. The more you can save, the better.
Moving and adjusting to a new way of life is a big enough challenge on its own. The last thing you need is the stress worrying about money.
If you’re not able to find a job straight away, there are lots of straightforward ways to earn money from home. Most of these require minimal investment, take a read and see which ones are best for you.
Start Learning The Language Before You Leave
While adult expats can get by without speaking the language, in most cases this will be impossible for children. You might be able to find an English-language school, but most of their peers will probably speak another first language.
Give your kids a head start by taking some language classes before you move. This will enable them to hit the ground running. Children under the age of 6 or 7 will pick up the language fairly naturally, but older children will really benefit from lessons.
This one is very important and often comes up when speaking to expats who have moved overseas with children. Speaking another language can be a big advantage in life, too. Studies show children who speak more than one language tend to have a higher I.Q.. They can also learn future languages more quickly.
Integrate Into The Local Lifestyle
Get your kids signed up into classes or sports team. This provides a great opportunity to meet other kids the same age. Integrating and putting down some roots should definitely be a priority.
Visits to local events, sports games, or festivals is another way to feel at home in new surroundings. Try to learn about the local history and if there are any folk heroes.
Ensure Your Children Are Involved In Moving Process
Involve your kids in the moving process as much as possible. Get their input any properties you look at. You might need to make some compromises, but in the long run it could pay dividends.
Show them pictures of the neighborhoods and surroundings. If you’re kids are resistant to the idea of moving this can be a good way of opening them up to the idea.
Keep In Touch With Your Friends And Family Back Home
Luckily keeping in touch is easier than ever. If they’re teenagers then they’ll have no problem staying in touch with their friends. If they don’t yet have their own phone or laptop, make your device available to them.
Make an effort to take vacations back home if you can. When you move overseas, everyone will promise to visit, but most expats report that this doesn’t happen. If you want people to come and visit, you will need to stay on the case. If not, it will get delayed for year after year.
Allow For An Adjustment Period
Realize that starting a new life overseas is a process that will take time. You will need to integrate into a new culture, but remember to keep the ties to your home culture.
This could be watching movies or Netflix shows or going out for a burger somewhere. Holidays like Thanksgiving and Independence Day are a good way to remember your culture.