Moving abroad is an incredible opportunity, no matter what stage of life you’re at.
But for many of us, there could be one thing holding us back from making the leap — our children.
While moving abroad when you’re young and free with minimal responsibilities can be a liberating leap of faith, there’s suddenly a lot of serious things to consider when you want to do the same thing with kids.
What are the schools like in your new country? Is the healthcare system developed? Will there be other British children to assimilate with?
But once you’ve determined whether these factors are in place in your new country, you can start looking forward to the new life you can create for your kids abroad.
There are plenty of benefits to being an expat kid — here are just a few.
They Will Become World Citizens
Many parents worry that their children will feel rootless if they’re turfed out of their home country and into a new and unfamiliar country.
But as long as you make the effort to ensure that they assimilate and make friends in their new countries, your expat kids will have the benefits of two different cultures to learn from and grow.
While most people have to wait until they’re older to truly travel and see the world, child expatriates are given the benefit of travel from an early age.
Experiencing new cultures, making friends of different races and ethnicities, and perhaps even speaking a new language, will give children a global sense of perspective, a broader world view and a cultural appreciation that belies their young years.
They Could Learn A New Language
If you’re relocating to a country where English isn’t the first language, chances are your child will need to take language lessons in order to make friends and keep up at school.
Not only will this give them the gift of a new language, but it will develop their learning skills early and show them the immediate benefits of a new language.
When kids are made to learn French, for instance, at secondary school in Britain, it can be hard to motivate them as they can’t see the benefits of their hard work. When they’re learning French in France, however, they’ll be able to see benefits immediately as they practice every day and feel proud of their improving achievements.
Plus, languages are always a great skill to boast on a CV during a job hunt later in life!
They Will Grow in Confidence and Resilience
Moving abroad and settling in a new country can be stressful — especially for kids, many of whom may be resistant to change, missing their British friends and home comforts.
But as they ease into their new lives and start learning the ropes, their confidence will grow as they realise that they can make new friends across a cultural divide and make a life for themselves abroad.
This newfound confidence and resilience will translate into other pursuits as they get older: including in new jobs, social situations and relationships.
Perhaps it will even empower them to become expats on their own terms someday!
They’ll Appreciate the Wonder of Travel
Being able to travel at a young age will open your expat kid’s eyes to what’s beyond just the borders of their own country.
Whether you’re in the wilds of Asia, the deserts of the Middle East or the cosmopolitan cities of Europe, these new lands and new people offer a host of new experiences for travellers — and that includes children.
Travelling while young will inspire your kids with the travel bug for the rest of their lives as they grow into their status as global citizens.