Generation Z: Facing the challenges of relocating with teenagers

Austria is a multicultural country and moving to another country is becoming more and more natural in a globalized world. When relocating with your family, one needs to consider everyone’s situation, including that of Generation Z – that is the current wave of teenagers – who are likely to give a catalogue of reasons, well thought-out productions, on why the family should not relocate. 
How do you organize a successful relocation with the Generation Z?
Motivation is the key
As parents, it is important to generate excitement about the relocation and to include as much as possible your son and daughter preferences in the relocation plan. 
A recent study from AFS carried out on more than 5,000 teenagers in 27 countries who have never studied abroad indicates that most of the teenagers have a preference for English-speaking countries. The same research has also found that cultural exploration more than academic advancement is what makes a lot of teenagers pack their suitcases and start studying in another country.
Although in many circumstances, it is not possible to choose the relocation destination, focusing on the opportunities that the new culture offers can be a way of engaging your teenagers into the relocation and keep them motivated during all the process.
Before a relocation, we all have fears and teenagers are no exception. The AFS research asked for the most common concerns of the Generation Z before moving abroad for educational purposes and these came out on the top:
  • Security issues
  • Not making new friends
  • Being homesick
  • School re-entry requirements after the period abroad
  • Being aware of your child fears and discussing possible solutions on how to overcome them will help the family to face any future challenge.
Engage them!
Parents can also challenge their teens to become more involved; even take personal responsibility for specific components of the relocation. The whole process can be treated as a real life experience. Because teens are often more computer savvy and conscious of online intricacies, they can do the research on a multitude of issues concerning their destination, such as real estate -- best neighborhood to buy or rent; driver’s license information – what forms to fill out; school systems – which are the highest rated; places to visit, foods to eat, major languages that are spoken, and many other things
Remember: keeping everyone involved brings you one step closer to a positive outcome for your relocation!