5 tips to help your repatriation
For many families, the choice to move their family’s lives overseas turns out to be one of the best they have made. However, for a variety of reasons, some eventually decide to repack their bags and return to their native countries. Many then discover that repatriation can be harder to adapt to than moving abroad in the first place.
Regardless of your reasons for returning, repatriating in your homeland can be just as stressful as expatriating, so it’s important to take the necessary steps to make the move as stress-free as possible. Here are our top tips to ensure your move home runs smoothly:
Prioritise your children’s emotional well-being
Moving away from home may have put a great deal of emotional strain on your children, who were likely sceptical about the initial move overseas, and perhaps even resentful at first. But this doesn’t mean that they’ll be delighted to go back home – they are kids, after all! Many grow to love their new homes and will have built numerous friendships abroad. Others will be scared to return home in case they don’t fit in anymore, which may turn out to be true – living abroad changes us all, regardless of our age.
Be watchful of any changes in your children’s behaviour and ensure you listen to your child’s concerns. Keep in touch with their new school to keep tabs on their development and ensure they’re settling in to their new educational system.
Make sure you can afford the move
As you will already know too well, moving your family to another country is an expensive affair, and costs often arise that were not considered in the initial planning stages. For example, you might need to rent a temporary residences while you find a job.
Remember that if you closed your bank account when you left your native country, you might not be entitled to credit upon your return and it may be difficult to even open a bank account in the first place due to changing rules and lack of home address evidence. Some advice on opening a bank account in the UK here.
It may be wise to make a list or spread sheet of all the expenses you can think of, taking into consideration your in-goings and outgoings over the coming months. If you don’t have enough money, now might not be the best time to return home.
Recognise that things will be different since you last lived there
The area that you live in will have different people living in it with different shops, restaurants and facilities. Many of the friends you once knew will either no longer live there or have different lives and priorities than they did years before. Not to mention that you will have changed considerably too, even if you haven’t noticed it yourself.
Considering this, you’ll basically be entering foreign territory all over again, so be prepared to make the effort to fit in. Similarly, ensure your children understand that this move is a fresh start rather than a return to your previous way of life. It can be best for you all if you consider this repatriation as a ‘just’ a move to different country.
Prepare yourself for unsupportive friends.
Your friends and loved ones in your native country will greet your return in different ways. Some will be really happy you’re back and try and support you while you adjust. Others however, will mock you for ‘failing’ to build a successful live abroad or resent you for even spending a few years living in another country.
Be resilient and surround yourself with positive people instead of unsupportive ones. It will take time to fit in as it did the first time round, but just like last time you’ll feel at home eventually.
Understand your rights to healthcare when you return
Make sure you do your research with regard to your healthcare entitlement once you return as you may require medical insurance. Do not assume that you will be entitled to medical services. This is not the case in several countries once you have lived abroad for several years. Make the necessary arrangements before you leave your host country so that you can rest assured that your family is covered in case of an emergency.
There are several factors to consider before repatriating to your native country, all of which must be contemplated carefully to ensure your move home is as stress-free as possible.
Overall, it is vital that you remain positive. The reason behind you returning home may not be positive, but it’s important to remember that your state of mind will rub off on your children. By all means, remember the negative implications of the move, but focus on the positive.