How To Tell Your Kids About Your Plans to Move
In terms of timing, try to inform your children of your plans to move as soon as possible. This will give them plenty of time to process the news, prepare for the move and to say their goodbyes. Choose a moment when everyone is relaxed, and you have enough time to explain the situation.
When breaking the news, tell them why you are relocating and when you plan to move. Don’t forget to tell them why the move is exciting, but don’t make any promises you can’t keep. Encourage your kids to ask questions and if you can’t answer something, involve them while you research the answer.
Before You Relocate
Make an effort to involve your children as much as possible in your moving preparations. Listen to their opinions and include them in decisions about accommodation and school. Be sure to encourage them as well to learn about the language and culture of their new home. For younger children, consider using pictures, stories and games may to tell them about their new home.
Settling In & Making Friends
Routine is important for kids… especially when moving to a country where everything is new. When relocating, try to hold on to a few home comforts (e.g. blankets, toys, bed linen). It’s also a good idea to make an effort to keep up family traditions and routines.
Help your kids make new friends by arranging playdates and parties. If your child attends an international school, enrol them in extracurricular activities so they can make friends with local children and learn the language and culture.
Finding a New School Abroad
According to the 2016 Internations Expat Insider Survey 32% of expats send their children to an international school. International schools are great because they offer English-laguage instruction and follow a globally recognised curriculum – thereby ensuring continuity of education for your child. On the other hand, international schools are very popular among expats and as such you may have to endure long waiting lists and expensive fees. What’s more, international schools are not an ideal choice for a long-term move as they may make assimilation more difficult.
52% of expats choose to send their children to a local private or state school. These tend to be much cheaper and easier to get into than international schools. Going local is a good option if you are emigrating permanently, as they allow your child to become friends with local kids and develop their language skills. However, the unfamiliar language, culture and teaching methods may make your child feel like an outsider. Another key point is that any educational qualifications they attain may not be transferable should you decide to move back home.
Top Tips for Choosing a School Abroad:
1. When choosing a school, don’t forget to factor in the proximity of the school to your home and workplace.
2. Research local state schools by consulting with individual schools, fellow expats and with families who have children currently attending local schools.
3. Thoroughly research how your choice of school will affect entry into third-level education.