Early involvement of the whole family helps
Younger children who are in school may be understandably reluctant to leave their friends, activities and familiar surroundings to go to a strange new country. Help them understand why you have decided to move and how it will benefit them. Involve them in the planning details, and let them help make small decisions.
Share photos and information about the new area and recreational activities available for children or teens their age – especially activities or sports they currently enjoy. Let them know there will be plenty of fun things for them to do.
Older children and teens may enjoy doing their own online research and learning about the most popular spots and activities. Reassure your children that they will make friends quickly, and that they can easily keep in touch with old friends through e-mail, social media and talk live via communication apps.
We're all in this together
It can be helpful for younger children to know that they are not alone in their concerns. Encourage them to ask questions and share their fears. Let them know that you also are wondering what it will be like, that you are a little bit nervous too, but that you will all be together and it will be an adventure.
Take advantage of resources available to help find the best schools for your children overseas, to let you know which documents will be needed for school records, and to facilitate the application process so that your kids arrive ready to start.
Be sure to consider factors such as language differences, cultural adaptations and class sizes. If your child is used to a small school, he or she may feel even more overwhelmed in a foreign institution with thousands of students. Many countries have international schools which offer instruction in several common languages. Crown can connect you with helpful, trustworthy resources to find the best options for your family.
Allow your children to take favorite toys or belongings along, and even keep one during the trip. Give them time to get used to their new surroundings, and help ease the transition by placing familiar items in their bedroom and around the house. Take them along when you explore the new city. If you can, visit the new school and meet the teacher before classes begin to help your child feel more comfortable.
Here at Crown we have special kid's destination guides written by kids for kids. They are available for most countries in the world and have been written as school projects to assist kids who are moving to a new country. Ask us to get a free Kid's Guide for the country you are moving to.
Here's what some of those kids are saying....
“Korean food is very diverse and there are a great variety of dishes. Although majorities of people say that Korean food is spicy, you have much choice in what kinds of dishes you like to eat.”
Paul H. moved to South Korea
“At school, you can play softball, American football and basketball. It is really easy to get to play sports here.”
Juho H., moved to Thailand
“The Singapore Zoo is full of animals from the size of a hummingbird to the size of an elephant. The
Night Safari is a place very much like the zoo, except, of course, it’s at night! You can see jaguars, panthers, monkeys and all sorts of other animals.”
Nicole W., moved to Singapore
“Sometimes we go to Odaiba on the weekends. We can go on rides there. They have a huge ferris wheel. We used to go to Tokyo Disney Land a lot, but now we usually go to Disney Sea.”
Maya N., moved to Japan
“You will love Malaysia because it is a beautiful place with lots of trees with hills and flowers. There are a lot of rain forests, too! There are many supermarkets and nice hotels. You could make good friends. The weather is really nice in Malaysia. It doesn’t snow so it’s warm. There are lots of celebrations. You will love it!”
Akari I. and Janne M., moved to Malaysia
“There are plenty of fruits, vegetables, beef, rice, saté and chicken. I hope you will like Jakarta foods. Have a terrific meal! I think you will like the beef with rice.”
Isabella C., moved to Indonesia
Crown has been helping families relocate abroad for decades, and we understand the challenges. We have a great children’s program with a range of tools to assist parents through the transition. Let us know how we can help make your move smoother for everyone.