The Ultimate Guide to Moving Abroad with Children


Moving to another country is a challenge for both adults and children. The question is how will they cope and survive this difficult period in their lives. Adults can motivate themselves with higher living standards, new career prospects, a carefree and comfortable old age. But how to assure a child that moving is a good decision, and how to make their adaptation to the new environment as comfortable as possible?

In this post I'm going to share my top tips for moving abroad with children, to hopefully help answer these questions.

Preparation Stage

To save your nerves as a parent, turn the move into an adventure mission with a clear action plan and maximum participation in the process. Inspire your children to move to another country. This will allow both you and them to get used to the idea of leaving their current home, and also tune in to a positive vibes. This can be done by triggering maximum interest in moving. They should help to pack things, communicate with you about new opportunities, get the answers to all “how”, “where” and “why”.

Study together the destination country. Show what entertainment activities and places will be available to all of you in the new place. Sometimes it’s even useful to mourn: this helps to prepare your children for a more adult life, which is not always cheerful. But the best cure for sadness and despondency will be your unity and understanding.

Prevent Culture Shock

Find out if there are cultural events, performances, clubs, or groups near your home from the country you are moving to. Watch online videos, documentaries, or programs about your future place of residence with your child. Pay more attention to videos about children from the country of relocation to see how fun they are. Watch a video about pets in your country of future residence. Your task is to cause laughter and smiles in children, arrange them, and show that the same ordinary and cheerful children live there.

Start Learning a Language Early

Language is what allows you to quickly adapt to a new environment. Fortunately, children quickly learn something new. Enrol your child in a foreign language course at least six months before moving, hire a tutor, or try to teach them yourself. So you will increase your skill as well.

Various tutorials, language learning apps like DuoLingo or LinguaLeo, or watching videos/movies with subtitles will help you with this. To make the child more enthusiastic, create such a video yourself! Just find their favourite foreign language cartoon and add subtitles in your own language with the Movavi Video Editor or desktop iMovie app.

Consider all Education Options

It is not easy to arrange children in school, let alone find good education abroad. Google the presence of international schools in the destination country - they often help children connect and learn better in a diverse group of friends. If the reviews for such schools are not very good, try to find tutors for expat children. But be prepared for big expenses!

Choose the Right Area

It is crucial to find an area where everything is literally at hand - children's hospitals, doctors, nurseries, and schools, as well as grocery stores. Make sure the area is safe for your child's development. If you value leisure activities, consider moving to a town or village near the city. In case you want to quickly make new acquaintances, choose a place with social or hobby clubs to take the most from your family's spare time. And always encourage children to connect with local families as well as other expats.

Embrace your New Home 

After arriving in a destination country, you can finally relax a bit! Get a good nights sleep, unwind, and walk through the neighbourhood. Then start transforming your new house into a cozy home and resuming your typical family routine. Take care of the children's rooms first when your belongings arrives - it might be a good idea to get your children to pick extra special items that they can keep in a box with them at all times. This will help them settle in a lot quicker.

Adaptation will also be facilitated by following old traditions, keeping in touch with friends and relatives from the old country, as well as learning a foreign language. In general, on-site learning at any age is faster than in a non-speaking environment. This is where the “survival” ability of the brain comes into play. Also during this period, all parts of the brain are actively working, and any new information is absorbed successfully.

Do not be afraid to move overseas with your family. Remember that the benefits to the child in the future will outweigh the little hardships they will experience in the beginning. And adults should try to make the move as painless as possible.

This is a collaborative post.

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