When you get a career opportunity overseas, you will no doubt be in two minds whether to take it. While it could benefit you financially and provide a boost to your career, you may be wondering; ‘what about the kids?’ Many parents with young children are especially reluctant to move, but what they should bear in mind is that it’s often better to move with younger kids rather than older ones. Here are some reasons why you should move while the kids are still young.
Younger kids are more adaptable
Children are much more adaptable when they are young, so can get used to any sort of lifestyle. Therefore, if they move overseas when they are small, they will get used to expat life, whether it’s staying in one place or living all over the world. It’s when they get older the adjustment becomes trickier.
They can still get a great education
No matter where you decide to settle in the world, rest assured, your kids can still get a good education. For example, young kids can settle into the Rama 2 international kindergarten, where they’ll follow a UK or USA curriculum, but also learn how to integrate into local life. This will allow them to grow up as part of both cultures.
Being bilingual comes naturally
Are you struggling to learn a new language? As an adult, it’s very hard to speak a second language, but young kids who move overseas can naturally become bilingual because:
- They are fully immersed in the language
- They only need to hear the language used regularly and they’ll understand it
- Children can naturally learn new things with ease
- They will have language lessons at school
Don’t be surprised if your child picks up the local language much faster than you do.
Young kids don’t have strong friendships
While pre-school kids have friends, they don’t have the sort of lifelong friendships that can be hard to leave when you move overseas. Teenagers will often have friends they’ve known since the start of school, so often find it so much harder to move somewhere new. However, young kids will miss their friends, but find new ones quickly.
It can be disruptive to move a child overseas, but as a rule, it’s much better to do it when they are young and adaptable. The younger the child, the easier they’ll settle into expat life, pick up the language and generally go with the flow.