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Thursday, December 5th, 2019

Moving Abroad with Children: Key Factors to Keep in Mind

Moving abroad with children, whether caused by a sudden unforeseen change in circumstances or being the result of a long-term meticulous evaluation process, can simultaneously feel like both a daunting and also a very exciting undertaking. Have you taken into consideration all of the potential factors which will play a role in your family’s future abroad?

In this article we would like to help you navigate around the logistics and practicalities of moving abroad, in this case with some examples for moving to Spain with kids. To do this, we’ve compiled a summary of some essential factors you should keep in mind in order to ease the transition for you and your family when moving to another country.

1.     Communication is Key

Moderate Expectations

All parents want to minimise their child’s possible anxiety and fears with regard to relocating to a new country, while also reinforcing a positive and excited tone towards the endeavour. However, when discussing the factors involved and the future that lies ahead, be sure not to make promises that you cannot necessarily guarantee and which may lead to disappointment and resentment. Some parents even find it beneficial for their children to have their own relocation journal where they can record all of the details surrounding the move, along with their doubts, fears, anticipations and feelings.

Something Old and Something New

Although your new home will most certainly have many new and unique characteristics that your son or daughter will fall in love with, be sure to incorporate familiar items (eg. toys, household items, decorations) and routines (e.g. favourite meals, family traditions, chores and responsibilities) that can help to instil a sense of familiarity and support feelings of stability. Often these seemingly small details can greatly reduce a child’s feelings of homesickness.

2.     Education: Know your ABCs for Finding the Right School

Pinpointing the best educational institution for your child in a foreign country is not an easy task. You must take advantage of all available resources in order to identify the core scholastic characteristics which will ultimately result in your child’s academic success.

  • Get to know in detail the areas around the locations of your schools of interest and the facilities that are easily accessible This includes high traffic streets, parks, after-school installations, parking availability for pick-ups and drop-offs, etc.
  • Don’t just get information about the reputation of the school from the institution itself. Although attending an in-person open house or having a phone call with an administrator can be very useful, attempt to get third-party opinions that can help you obtain a more unbiased perspective.
  • Compile a list of your must-haves for your child’s future school. Is it essential for you that they attend a private school? Do you prefer a non-religious curriculum? Can your child complete their entire required academic career there, or will they eventually have to transfer? In Spain for example, some schools only offer pre-school and primary education, while at others students can remain at the same location until they ultimately graduate high school.
  • Don’t forget to inquire about the availability of special services which you or your child may require, for example, early drop-off, lunch programs, after school activities, speech therapy and counselling.
  • Also keep in mind that the grading system may be quite different from that of your current location. Be sure to familiarise yourself and your children with the different cultural variations of the academic structure, schedules and other aspects that can be easily taken for granted. Additionally, look into how your child’s academic record is going to be valued. Will they have to retake a course, play catch-up with their classmates, or on the other hand, even be ahead of the curve?

3.     Other Considerations

Language and Customs

The common saying which suggests that you must ‘walk the walk and talk the talk’ is no laughing matter when it comes to relocating abroad. Knowing common customs and having the ability to effectively communicate your needs are essential tools for moving overseas with children and adapting to the norms of a different country.

Aside from learning the local language and exposing your children to it, be sure to read up on local and national traditions and celebrations. For example, in Spain, whether it be the Fallas of Valencia or the many festivals to enjoy along the Costa Blanca, you want to be sure to mark these important dates in your family calendar and embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself and your family in the celebrations.

4. The Next Step

At Rimontgó, our experts are fully prepared to support you and your family throughout the process of buying a property in Spain. For example, explore the exclusive properties currently available in the Costa Blanca and find the luxury home that’s waiting for you and your family.

Moving abroad with children can be a challenge and our goal is to ensure a streamlined process that results in the most satisfactory conditions for you and your family’s future. Contact us today and take the next step towards your new home.

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