There are few life events that are more exciting, challenging and, to be fair, worrying than moving overseas with kids. Yet such a move can be a life-changing and life-enhancing experience, giving both you and your children new opportunities to experience a different culture, learn a new language, and make new friends – often with children from all over the world.
Yes, there are challenges, but if you’re geared up properly to meet them, you can do your move abroad knowing that you’ve thought through those challenges and know how to rise and meet them.
Plan, Plan and keep Planning
You’ll be used to moving your kids around, taking them to school, to sports or music practice, to friends’ houses for visits, so you already have the base for planning your move. It’s all about research and organization.
Many people decide to move overseas with their kids because of work commitments or a brand-new job. Before moving, try to immerse yourself in the culture and customs of the country that you’re moving to, and involve your kids in research and discussions as much as you can. You may have the job, but as a responsible parent, you should, wherever possible, put your children’s needs first.
Encourage them, excite them, look at schools with them, start them off with a new language so that they get a feel for what they’ll hear in a different environment. It will be an amazing experience for all the family.
Get your Timing Right
Sometimes it’s out of your hands as to when you need to move, but check out weather patterns and temperatures for wherever you are going to go at various times of the year. If you’re moving from a relatively warm climate to Canada, for example, remember that winter there can be ferociously cold for many months, and prepare accordingly.
Alternatively, if you are relocating to Singapore – an attractive destination for its dynamic business and cultural life – be aware of the monsoon seasons from December to March and June to September when planning your move. It’s a family-friendly place with an outdoor way of life – ideal for children growing up.
The Best Education
Scope out the local schools well before you go, what their entry requirements are, and what costs might be involved. Look into curriculums and the out-of-school activities that schools offer. An international school can be the right solution for your children, where usually the main language is English, but there are opportunities to learn several different languages as well as meeting both international and locally based kids. Sais.edu.sg provides schooling from age two to 18 so you can ensure that your kids get a high-quality education at any age.
Any overseas move has pitfalls, including language barriers and an unfamiliar education system. If you prepare yourself and your kids well, these become just a part of the new and exciting learning experience as you provide them with new ways of looking at the world and expanding their minds as they get to know their new environment.