If you’re moving abroad with children, you may be worried about how they will settle into a new school. Moving to a new country will be a huge change for everyone, including for your child who will have to adjust to a new way of learning and make new friends in a new place.
As experts in international removals, we look into the best ways to help your child adjust to starting a foreign school.
Communication is key when it comes to making sure your child is comfortable with the move. No matter how old they are, they might be confused and upset about having to leave their friends and school.
Talk to them before you move and make sure they’re involved with every step. Explain to them why you’re moving and make sure you give them enough time to process what’s happening and ask any questions.
Try to get them excited about their new home and school by telling them about it and all the opportunities they’ll have there. Assure them that you will be there to support them and be understanding if they are not enthusiastic about the move straight away.
Consider what type of school is right
For older children, you should talk with them about their preferences for the type of school they will attend abroad. They may prefer to attend an international school, where the curriculum will be what they are used to and will be taught in their native language. This can be the better option if you will be moving again in the future.
Alternatively, they may prefer to go to a school that teaches the local curriculum in the local language. This may take some more adjustment, but it will help them to learn the language more quickly and integrate into the local culture.
Let your child know what their options are and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Letting them have an input into the school could help them to feel more excited about starting there.
Visit the new school
If possible, you should organise a visit to the new school with your child. Most schools will be able to accommodate a visit, to show you and your child around the school and speak to teachers and pupils. This can help your child become a little more familiar with the surroundings and help them to feel more comfortable.
If you can visit the school, ask if your child could speak to a pupil who has joined recently. They may be able to offer advice to your child about how to best settle in and they will, hopefully, be able to reassure them with their own experiences.
If it’s not possible to physically visit the school in advance, you can also look online with your child. Look at the school’s website and social media so you can see what type of activities and lessons they do. You could also arrange a video call with a teacher so your child can ask questions about what they will be learning.
Help them learn about the new culture
You should do what you can to help your child learn about the new culture before they move. Even if they will be attending an international school, helping them to learn the local language will make a huge difference when they’re out and about. If they’ll be attending a local school, having a basis in the language before they start will make them more comfortable in talking to the pupils and making friends.
You can help them to research the local culture and any cultural differences, especially when it comes to the school experience. Some schools will expect pupils to speak up and ask questions, whereas others will expect pupils to work quietly. Helping your child to understand what will be expected of them can help to avoid any embarrassment when they start in the new school.
You can also try to get your child excited about the move by trying some local food and watching local TV and films. This can help to give them a real sense of what will come in their new home.
Help them maintain friendships
Building and maintaining a good support network will really help your child to settle into their new home and school. This includes their friendships in their previous home as well as friendships in their new home.
You could encourage your child to speak to their friends in their previous home in whichever way they prefer. Thanks to social media, they now have a lot of options for communicating with their friends overseas, but some may prefer to write and send letters instead of speaking digitally.
If it’s appropriate in your new home, you could throw a housewarming party and invite your child’s new friends from school. Alternatively, you could invite just one or two children over for a play date.
You could also encourage your child to find an extra-curricular activity they enjoy. This can be a great way of helping your child to find friends with similar interests to them.
International removals from London with Britannia Ryans
Britannia Ryans is a trusted London removal company with extensive experience in international removals. Whether you’re moving to France or another part of Europe or the rest of the world, we can help to make the move a success.
We know that moving abroad is a big step, which is why we’ll take care of every step of your move with the utmost professionalism, reliability, and efficiency.