If you make the move to become an expat, it is inevitable that your children will too; becoming expats is an adventure for all the family. The thought of moving children around to different parts of the world as they grow up is often a difficult issue for parents contemplating becoming expats. Without question, the experience will be challenging at times, with the term ‘third culture kids’ describing the potential confusion of growing up in-between places and cultures. However, despite the challenges, there are strong arguments for why growing up abroad is great. Here is our pick of the best.
Friends in many places
One of the best advantages of living in many different places, means friendships will be formed around the world. The skill of sustaining relationships over distances is also a valuable life skill, and with advancing social media, it is becoming easier to keep in touch across seas.
It is very common that the children of expats will pick up the local language quickly and become fluent speakers, which vastly opens up opportunities for children at the present time and for the future. Making new friends, broadening places of where they can live and travel, and advancing career prospects are just some of the advantages of being bilingual.
There is one thing an expat childhood will most definitely be – unforgettable. Growing up abroad will offer adventures which some people will never get a chance to experience, and the sense of an urgency to continue to adventure and explore will remain throughout life. Moving abroad and adventuring as a family will provide memories which will last a lifetime.
Appreciation of the diversity of cultures
Naturally, children who have experience living within cultures different to their own have a certain sensitivity and understanding of other ways of life, and an open-minded outlook on the world. The experience of being raised in a foreign culture exposes children to a diversity of values, people, experience and cultures, and engrains the notion of tolerance and a global awareness.
Getting used to moving around at a young age inevitably builds confidence and flexibility towards new situations. Moving to new places and making new friends is pivotal to increasing a sense of adaptability, which will be useful throughout life.
Check out our interactive tool to see how different countries compare for raising children.