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The Pros and Cons of Moving Abroad with Children

Nowadays it’s increasingly more common that people receive job offers, often for teacher related jobs, from companies that are outside of their home country or would require them to regularly change locations. This is not only a big step for the individual being offered employment, but also for their children and partner.

Views regarding this topic tend to vary. Some people find it a good opportunity as their families would get to experience living in a foreign country, whilst others see more cons to it than benefits. In this article, I will give you both the benefits of moving abroad and the setbacks that one can experience as a result of it.

A positive could include your family having the opportunity to get an insight into another country and its culture. This is not only good because they would get to explore a new location, but could shape them for the better.

By experiencing and witnessing different religions and nations, children especially could grow up into more accepting and empathetic individuals. Through being exposed to a variety of cultures and races, human ‘differences’ would be normalized for them. This could facilitate their communication with foreign people and could also contribute to them forming future friendships more easily.

By being aware of cultural differences and accepting those they could become more understanding and respectful towards others. This would also allow them to form a strong sense of empathy, perhaps also creating a volunteering trait in them.

However, despite these qualities being something that every parent would be proud of their children to have, often they attain this through personal experience which may be negative.

Despite your child potentially benefiting from growing up in a multicultural environment it can also come with loneliness. Regardless of your child’s age, moving away from a place they call home is a big step and often requires a lot of time and support from others to accept it.

A negative of moving away would be removing your child from an environment that they are used to. This doesn’t only concern their education and friendships but also their family.

A lot of parents would accept the foreign job offer, be that from a retailing job or a larger marketing company without truly considering the effects that it may have on their children. You might think that your five-year-old daughter will handle the change easily as she is young and hasn’t experienced that many things before. However, to many people’s surprise, even young children can be greatly affected by changing locations.

So if you are considering accepting the job offer do first sit down with your partner and children to discuss what they think and make your decision accordingly.

Also, moving abroad can be complicated due to the different education systems. Some countries have only local education, meaning that your child might need to learn a foreign language. This could be quite challenging and your child might initially feel a bit left out on the playground. However, in the long-term, it would mean that they would be able to speak another language other than their mother tongue with a similar fluency.

Nevertheless, if your children are young and also speak another language or two simultaneously that may result in them losing some knowledge of their mother tongue as they wouldn’t be using it as often.

However, you should not worry. Nowadays they have excellent exercise books with fun activities or even language apps that could help them maintain it. If they enjoy reading then you could even order books from your home country.

Nonetheless, usually, every country tends to have a variety of foreign curriculum and English-speaking institutions for expat children. This generally includes the International Moving Quote IB diploma system, British and American education.

If you are American or British then perhaps the decision might be quite simple, whilst for European parents, it might be a bit more difficult. Regardless of your nationality, selecting the right higher education system for your child can be crucial.

While children are young, it doesn’t matter which institution they complete their kindergarten in, however, teenagers that are graduating and heading to college and university soon should be in the required one.

But how do you know which one is the ideal one? This is a tough question and requires you to think about their future and where they would want to live and work. As this is concerning your child’s life, you shouldn’t make this decision alone and should try to have a conversation with them regarding this early on.

Some questions that you might consider would include “where would they want to live in the future?” and “what would they want to study at a higher level?”

The reason why choosing the correct educational system is so important is because often universities only accept certain documents and qualifications. The education systems may also vary in content and level of difficulty, thus contributing to their academic capabilities.

However, selecting a school abroad is not only based on the education system but on price. You should prepare yourself that foreign countries might not offer free education and that school fees might be high. 

Because of this, you should also consider if you will be able to pay for their education next to other expenses. It wouldn’t be fair on them if they would have to change locations again once they have gotten used to the environment and have developed friendships.

Moving abroad is not as easy as it seems and can put tremendous pressure on an individual. As an adult, you will be making decisions both for yourself and your children so you should make sure that you are confident in your choices and aware of possible consequences.

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