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Moving Abroad With Kids

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Moving Abroad With Kids

Moving Abroad With Kids: Life changing decisions can be a long time in the making and emigrating is one such decision that can prove agonising, especially for those with a family to consider. If you have children and you’ve decided you want to move abroad to experience a different lifestyle, there are some things you should consider first to make sure the move goes smoothly.

How old are your children?

How old are your children

Everyone if different so there are no hard and fast rules, but generally younger children will adapt more easily to growing up in a foreign country. Older children, particularly those approaching adolescence, will often find it much harder to be taken away from their friendship group and made to start again. If they are older, make sure they have some language skills so that they can get off to a good start in the new location. European languages, especially Spanish, French and German are often taught in high schools but think about brushing up at home too.

What are the schools like?

school holidays

Will you send your child to an English language school or to a normal state school? Their language skills or flexibility to learn a language is crucial here. Likewise, consider the timing of the school terms. There shouldn’t be too much of an issue whether they start mid-term or at the start of term but also make sure you know when school holidays are and if they coincide with prospective trips to the UK.

Do you have employment?

Many people emigrate for financial reasons and they have a promotion or new job waiting for them at the other end. If this is not the case, make sure you have a reasonable chance of finding a job quickly before you uproot your family. For UK nationals, Spain is the most popular expat spot. Their economy is still struggling so be sure you can support your family first.

What will you take?

Moving Abroad With Kids

You can either sell everything you’ve got and put the money towards getting new things in Spain or you can have a lot of things brought over. You might think it would be incredibly expensive for transport but in fact removals to Spain, France or elsewhere in Europe are very reasonable – just don’t pack the tumble dryer! The sun will do that for you! Let your child choose what comfort items they want to take with them to make sure they’ll be able to settle.

What about the extended family?

Kids Travelling

This is probably the issue which causes the most amount of heartache and worry. If you’re moving abroad with your children, how do the rest of the family feel about this? Will aunties, uncles and grandparents be able to visit or how often will you be able to visit the UK? These days we have Skype and other video-calling programmes so you can always keep in touch.

Remember that while there may be issues which are more of a wrench, the overall wellbeing of your family is the most important thing. If you’ve got a job, an idea or simply a hope for a better lifestyle for your family abroad, do your research and if it still sounds great, go for it! Most children turn out to thank you for it in the end!

Joan has recently relocated to Switzerland with her 3 daughters. They all found it hard but Joan doesn’t regret a thing and wants to share her knowledge with other single parents who might be considering the same move as in article “Moving Abroad With Kids”.

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