Settling Your Family in a New Country

Settling Your Family in a New Country

Moving to a new country is always a hard choice, but it can be made even more difficult when you’ve got children. Not only do you have to think about finding a job and making new friends. You also have to consider schooling, how your kids will cope in a different culture and how they will adapt to learning a new language and living in a new environment.

Well, the surprising truth is that kids often adjust and adapt much easier and much faster than adults do. So, while as a parent, you will always worry and try to find ways to make things easier for your offspring, if you want to move abroad and have valid reasons for doing so, don’t let worries about your children hold you back. You may find it’s actually them that helps you to settle and gains the most from the experience. Here are some ways you can settle and adjust to life more easily.


Moving to a new place is always daunting, but it’s even more so if it’s somewhere you are unfamiliar with. Try to visit as often as you can before the move, even if it’s just for the odd few days.

While some time on the visits is bound to be spent looking for work or checking out schools and apartments, try to set aside as much time as you can for fun. It will be good for your children to see that they’ll still be able to have a good time. One of the best things that you can do on your visits is head to a local playground. Let your children see that things aren’t that different and that the children in the area like doing the same things as their friends at home.

The whole world is big and new to a child, especially if they are very young. They tend to focus only on those parts they understand and are comfortable with. So, taking them to a playground gives them a link to home. When you return, this play area and the other children they met playing will stick in their mind and help them to feel at home.

Learn Some Language

Nowadays people speak English all over the world, so you may not have to learn a new language when you go on a vacation. But, if you are going to be living somewhere new, especially if it’s somewhere away from tourist hotspots, where the locals do not need the English language, you’ll need to learn some of their mother tongue.

Children learn languages much faster than adults, as the language learning section of an adult’s brain has often been out of action since their own childhood, whereas a child’s is still very much in use learning new words in their native language. Learn together. Let them see that this is hard for you too, and make it fun with the use of apps and games. Having even basic language skills will help you all once you’ve moved.

Find Great Accommodation

There is fantastic, family-friendly accommodation all over the world. If possible, take older kids to visit the new house before you move, so they know what to expect. If you can’t, at least show them online on sites like Let them see their room and any other facilities. Use Google Earth to take a look around the local area and give them as much information as you can about where they are going to be living.

Before committing to an apartment or house, learn as much as you can about the area, just as you would if you were moving within the same country. Look at nearby schools, crime data, average earnings and other safety information. Find out if there is a forum online for other expats in the area and ask questions.

Carefully Consider Schools

If your child is at or approaching school age, their education is something that you will need to think about very carefully. While travel and living abroad is an excellent experience that will teach them a lot about themselves, the world, culture, economy and religion, they will also need some form of formal education. You may want to homeschool, at least in the beginning until they pick up more of the language.

If you do want to homeschool, you’ll need to make sure you can fit lessons around your own work or responsibilities. You’ll also need to take a good look at the curriculums used in schools at home to get some ideas. Check out this site, for advice. Pinterest can also be an excellent homeschooling resource, and it’s a great idea to try and create educational projects focused on your surroundings.

Take Some Home Comforts

If you are moving abroad with your family, you probably won’t be able to take everything you own with you. At least not straight away. But, it’s essential for your children that you take some home comforts to help them feel safe and secure. This could be things like their blanket and cushions, their favorite toys, their usual dinner plates and some photos and pictures that are usually on display at home. This could help the rest of your settle too.

Keep in Touch

Skype, Facetime, and Social media sites like Facebook all make it easier than ever to keep in touch with our families and friends back home. Let the kids speak to family as much as possible to reinforce the idea that they are still always there for them and want to see them.

The world is nowhere near as big as it used to be and you can still have a fantastic relationship with family and friends, even if you all live dotted all over the world. Keeping in touch won’t just help the kids the settle, it will help you and your family back home to realize that things don’t have to change as much as you might have expected.


Putting a routine into place as soon as you can is crucial to settling in quickly. The sooner things feel like normal life, the better. Have a few weeks sorting out your house, jobs and school, so you all know where you need to be, then try to stick to an everyday routine as much as possible.

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