Expat living is fun as well as a learning challenge for children

Expat living is fun as well as a learning challenge for children

Expat living is fun as well as a learning challenge for children

Many parents are hesitant about relocating overseas as they’re afraid their children will suffer as a result.

The dilemma of relocating with the family to a new country for a better job at a higher salary is often a cause of heart-searching as to the effect the move might have on the children. However, research indicates that, rather than proving damaging, travel and the experience of living in different countries is beneficial to children in many ways. Expat children actually enjoy the diversity of their situation and value new friends with their different backgrounds, races and religious beliefs.

Growing up in an unfamiliar country is known to teach children valuable life lessons through their experiences of a new language, an unfamiliar culture and a new cuisine. They’ll develop a broader world view than if they’d stayed in the home country, and will soon learn to empathise with those in less fortunate situations. Kids really do absorb the best of the culture they’re in at any one time and the experience increases their awareness of the lives of others who may be less fortunate.

Learning a second language is a valuable asset for later in life, with children finding it far easier than their parents. Being multilingual or bilingual will benefit children’s education as well as their life skills as adults, giving them an undeniable edge over their peers once they join the adult world. The extra confidence seen in young people who’ve lived overseas with their parents is another advantage, especially if they find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings.

Expat children and young adults are far more likely to be adaptable, open-minded and prepared for change than their equivalents back in the home country as they’ve learned to accept the need to embrace the unfamiliar and get on with their lives. Adventure is exciting rather than terrifying, and there’s no greater adventure for a child than to live in a totally different and often exotic environment.

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