This is a collaborative post
Starting a new life in a new country is difficult at any age. For children, who may not have a lot of say in a move as big as this, there is lots to be excited about, but also a lot of anxiety about such a big change. Here’s what you should know in advance of your move and some tips for moving abroad with children to help them feel excited, not scared.
1. Do your homework
Moving overseas with your family is an enormous commitment. Make sure that know what you’re letting yourself in for by doing your homework well in advance. Do some research into your new country based on economics, experience, and family. Line up any contacts you will need, like healthcare help for ex-pats or affordable immigration solicitors. Don’t wait until you arrive to make these contacts.
2. Discover the benefits for ex-pat families
There are many surveys that can help you learn about childcare and education options in different countries. For example, Sweden offers 480 days of paid parental leave, as well as compensation from the social services system if you need to take time off work to care for an ill child. Scandinavian countries are known for having affordable childcare and education, ideal for raising clever, bilingual children.
3. Look after your health
There’s a lot to sort out when you move, and figuring out how the healthcare system works in your home can easily drop off the top of the list. However, when you have children, it’s important to do the research. In many countries in Europe, children are treated for free, thanks to state-subsidized health systems. Remember too that it will be essential to communicate clearly in a medical situation, but you might not always be able to find an English speaking doctor. Look for healthcare plans designed for ex-pats, which will allow you to use their virtual doctor service to speak to a medical professional who speaks your language over the phone or via a video call.
4. Make them feel involved
Whatever the reason is for moving to a new country, whether for a new job or just to experience a change of culture, make sure you help your children to feel involved in the process as much as possible. Show them pictures of where you will be moving, and tell them about all the good things about it. Explore your new town using Google Maps. Point out the landmarks and fun places that you can visit when you get there.
5. Learn new words
Learning a second language as an adult is not easy, but luckily, children are very fast learners and many studies show that children who learn two languages have a higher IQ. Before you go, start learning together. Use language apps to learn a few words and phrases every day as a family. Make learning fun by learning nursery rhymes or children’s songs in other languages, or by choosing words in your new language that sound funny to children’s ears.
We hope that this post on moving abroad with children provides you with some guidance. This is always likely to be a little bit of an anxious time for the kids, so do take time to help your children with those anxieties too. We have a few resources that might help with this:
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