A partner that is used to working outside of the home may feel restricted or useless outside their natural environment. In a situation where everything is foreign, it is often easier to stick with the same routine as at home. Meeting new people can be a bit of a trial if you are stuck in the house with small children and it is important to make a real effort right from the start to talk to other parents at the park and playgroups. Sometimes the school gate is the best place to try out your language skills and meet some other people in a similar situation.
It is really the younger the better if you have children because they are more willing to adapt to new situations and make new friends. They rarely have hang-ups about things and integrate into different environments far easier than adults. If you are planning to move to a country that is not English speaking, you will be surprised at how fast your child will pick up the language. Even if you have studied the language for a while prior to settling in your new home, you child will overtake you by leaps and bounds in a very short while. Children who learn a language before age ten are also able to speak it without an accent.
You will also have to make decisions regarding your child’s schooling. Factors like the child’s age, the length of time you will be staying the country, your child’s fluency in the language of instruction and your child’s academic ability should all be taken into consideration. If you are planning to stay in the country long-term and the standard of education is high then it may be good to place your child in the same school as local children. If the standard of education is poor, your child is not fluent in the language or they are planning to attend university in the next three or four years, you may find that a school that offers the International Baccalaureate program to be the best choice.
The best way to discover how things work in your new country is to talk to other people who have made the same move. They will have invaluable tips and will be able to put your mind at ease. You can chat with many expats here on our forums!