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Moving Abroad with Your Family and How to Cope with the Changes

Moving overseas can be a lot – doing it with your whole family in tow can be even more challenging.

Of course, going overseas with the people you care the most for can make the transition easier in so many ways, and you won’t feel so alone. However, the added pressure of making sure that your partner and children are taken care of and adjusting well can cause a lot of additional stress and frustration into the mix. 

This doesn’t mean the task is impossible, though! Here are some simple tips and mindset shifts you can make to ensure that you and everyone else in your home is happy and thriving throughout the process. 

Plan Ahead

When planning your move, there’s a lot you’ll need to consider. Make sure you think about all the aspects of your family’s daily life, from your home and schooling to healthcare and finances. Research the cost of living in your new country and create a budget to ensure financial stability. Get clued up about the healthcare system too, and look into options like Cigna Global for international health insurance. 

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When it comes to education, explore all the possible avenues for your children, including international schools, local schools, or even home-schooling options if that’s something you or your partner would be able to take on. 

Embrace the Adventure

Moving to a new country is more than just a geographical change; it’s also a pretty transformational journey for your family.

Encourage everyone to embrace the adventure that lies ahead of you by researching the culture, history, and traditions of your new country before the move. Consider going to cultural events or language classes together to immerse yourselves in the local customs and language. This can help you build a deeper understanding and appreciation of your new home and help your family feel connected. 

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Communicate Openly

You might all be experiencing a range of different emotions during this period, from excitement and anticipation to anxiety and pure, cold fear. It’s crucial that you all communicate openly with one another about what you’re feeling. 

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Create a safe space where everyone, no matter their age, can express their thoughts and feelings and validate each other’s experiences. Involve your children in the decision-making process whenever possible, allowing them to have a sense of control and ownership over the move that can help negate their worries. 

Maintain Routine and Stability

With all the chaos associated with a big move, maintaining a sense of routine and stability can help provide some much-needed comfort and security for your family. 

Try to maintain your consistent daily routines for meal times, exercise, play, bedtime, homework, relaxing, etc., to create a sense of normalcy in a new and strange environment. Keeping up a healthy diet and routine will also help you to physically adjust to all the change. 

Create Connections

Building some kind of support network in your new community is a good idea for both practical assistance and emotional support while you adapt. Encourage your family to participate in local activities, clubs, or sports teams where they can meet new people and build friendships.

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Community events, festivals, and religious gatherings are some simple ways you can  immerse yourselves in the local culture and connect with like-minded individuals. You can even look for expat communities online which will allow you to meet up with families and individuals who have shared your experiences. 

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Be Patient and Flexible

Immigration is a huge journey filled with countless ups and downs, and it’s important to approach this period with a pinch of patience and some flexibility. Try to help everyone understand that adjusting to a new country takes time, and be prepared for moments of frustration or homesickness along the way.

These challenges don’t mean that you’ve made a mistake or need to change course. They’re all part of the expat experience and provide an opportunity to learn and grow together as a family. Try to prioritize self-care, and give yourselves grace when you find you’re struggling. Over time, things will start feeling easier and more natural, so long as you continue to support one another. 

Explore Your New Surroundings Together

Finally, try to hold on to the sense of wonder that comes with a move abroad. One of the best parts of making this change is the opportunity to explore a new country and all it has to offer.

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Take advantage of this amazing opportunity by exploring your new surroundings as a family. Plan weekend outings to nearby attractions, parks, and landmarks, allowing everyone to discover the beauty and diversity of your new home. Encourage your kids to keep a journal or scrapbook of their experiences, documenting their favorite places, foods, and memories. By exploring together, you’ll not only create beautiful family memories but also deepen your connection to your new home. 

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