Expat child benefits
Understandably, the idea of uprooting your family from their home and moving them half way across the world can be incredibly daunting – and that’s on top of the stresses involved in moving home in the first place.
It’s easy to assume that expat children will resent their parents for taking them away from familiar surroundings, and perhaps find it impossible to adjust to new surroundings. In reality, expats generally find that their children adjust quicker than they’d hoped, or at least find it easier over time*. And the benefits of moving can drastically outweigh the possible hurdles your family might face along the way. Don’t dismiss the chance of a more fulfilling and advantageous life for your children before you consider the undeniable benefits of an expatriate lifestyle.
Your children will experience more of the world
Thousands of young adults choose to take a gap year and travel the world as a break from education, or more importantly to broaden their horizons and experience the world beyond their home-cities. Travelling gives people a hands-on learning experience of the world they live in. It also teaches us a great deal about our limitations, our passions and ourselves. Additionally, employers are paying increasing attention to ‘well-travelled’ job applicants with global experience.
Your children will become more understanding of other cultures and backgrounds
One of the most beneficial aspects of raising children overseas is the opportunity it gives them to integrate with people of other cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. By introducing diversity into your children’s lives from an early age, they are more likely to grow up tolerant and respectful of other people. This kind of mind-set is integral in today’s diverse economy, and will already be in your child’s nature.
Your children will gain a more diverse and unique education
Depending on their age, your child may already have received some form of education in your home country. Uprooting a child from their current school and curriculum can seem like a bad decision. However, studies have shown that students who have lived overseas during childhood are more likely to attain a university degree than those who have not.
Your children will learn other languages
Not only will travelling benefit the quality of their education, but it will also expose your children to an entirely new language they would normally be unlikely to learn. Children are far more able than adults to learn a new language quickly, especially when surrounded by children who speak in different tongues. This is particularly notable considering that being bilingual is one of the top qualities looked for by employers today.
Your family will become closer as a result
Moving to a different country can put a great deal of emotional strain on any family, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the place you’re moving to. The family unit becomes more dependent upon the others with no other friends or family around. Most expat families find that they spend even more time together as a result, giving the family more quality time to bond and become even closer than before.
It would be foolish to assume that moving your family to another country will be simple. It’s likely that your children will find the idea daunting and the actual move difficult to adjust to. But it is important to remember that children do adjust and adapt, often very quickly. The benefits of an expatriate lifestyle are endless and could give your child an excellent start in life. There is every reason to suggest that your new house will swiftly become your new family home.
*Please don’t assume all children are resilient and accepting of expat life, though. Proper preparation for the move abroad is vital, and there are many other aspects to take into consideration too. Please take a little time to explore some other articles here on ExpatChild to gain more insight.
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