When uprooting your family, it is inevitable to have some concerns about the impact on your children. Moving away from well-known routines, clubs and friends into the unknown is a big adjustment. Parents rightly worry about their children’s wellbeing, the standard of living abroad, the quality of education and how safe their new country will be. If you are looking for the best country to bring up your children, then New Zealand may be for you!
With its outdoors lifestyle and healthy living, the country has topped the Raising Children Abroad league table in the Expat Explorer 2014 survey. What is it about New Zealand which makes for such a magical childhood?
Image Source: Pixabay; Mconnmama
The Great Outdoors
New Zealand is famous for its sprawling, unspoilt scenery. These incredible natural surroundings create the perfect backdrop for children to get out and discover the joys of the great outdoors. With these surroundings, it is little surprise this is the place where the most expats felt that they have experienced a leap in the quality of the environment since moving (84% compared with a global average of 40%). Indeed, New Zealand is where expats are most likely to associate their new home with cleaner air, water and other positive environmental health factors (73% compared to a global average of 33%).
Image Source: Pixabay/Mariamichelle
Get involved: Go whale watching in Kaikoura, enjoy the natural hot springs by the beach in Coromandel Peninsula, explore Rotorua volcano or, if your kids are fans of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, take them to explore Middle Earth.
A Haka’lot of Sport
Not only does New Zealand offer plenty in the form of sports such as rugby and cricket, its diverse climate allows for more adventurous sports such as surfing and skiing! Expats clearly take advantage of having all these options: expats here are the second most likely to increase the amount of sport they play (40% compared with a global average of 29%). Amongst these, rugby is considered the national sport. Not only are the All Blacks, the New Zealand national team, known across the globe for their incredible rugby skills but their pre-match Haka - originating from the Maori challenge - is a must see for all.
Image Source: Wikipedia/Sonya & Jason Hills
Get involved: Find local clubs, teams and after school clubs offering sporting options. Alternatively, grab that football/cricket set/bat and ball, head to the nearest park or beach and have your own game!
A Great All Rounder
It’s clear that expats find New Zealand to be a fantastic country for families. In the Expat Explorer survey, the majority of expats say their children enjoy a higher quality of life (87% compared with the global average of only 56%) and nearly six in ten (58%) say their children are more well-rounded since moving there (compared with the global average of 40%). The surroundings and sport pays off when it comes to health too - nearly eight in ten (78%) expat parents in New Zealand say their children’s health has improved since moving, compared with a global average of 56%. So while New Zealand may be Down Under, it’s not hard to see why it comes up top for raising children abroad.
Check out the latest findings of the Expat Explorer 2014 survey on our interactive tool here. Share your experiences of your sports abroad with us in the comments section or on Twitter (@expatexplorer).