5 advantages of expatriating with your family

As the big departure approaches, the pressure is on and the questions run through your mind as a parent: “Will my children fit in?”, “How will they cope with being away from the rest of the family?”, “What will happen if we don’t like our life there?”.


Il est vrai qu’il ne s’agit pas d’une mince affaire. Car cela implique pour chacun des membres de s’adapter : nouvelle vie, nouveau pays, nouvelle culture, nouveaux amis et parfois nouvelle langue. Pour mener ce projet à bien et en faire une réussite, des discussions seront nécessaires bien sûr, ainsi qu’une bonne préparation administrative, matérielle et psychologique.

Of course, there will be a few killjoys who will judge this decision as unconscious, selfish and thoughtless, and will express their incomprehension. Guilt and doubts will regularly dampen (or even spoil) your excitement, joy and impatience in the months leading up to your departure. Not to mention a few sleepless nights and swallowed chocolate bars… 😉

Pourtant… c’est certainement l’une des meilleures décisions que vous aurez prise de votre vie, autant pour vous que pour les enfants. Car une merveilleuse aventure vous attend (ce qui ne l’empêchera pas d’être parsemée d’embûches).

On the other hand, we tend to think that expatriating solo or as a couple has more advantages than as a tribe: it’s more practical, simpler and so on. During preparation, perhaps (less paperwork, no need to look for schools or day-care centers, budget, etc.), but once you’re there: nay !!!!

Here’s proof by 5 that living abroad as a family has many advantages. Expatriating as a group allows you to :

1- Strengthening the family

Face aux difficultés et à l’inconnu, l’humain a tendance à chercher refuge auprès de ses proches. “L’union fait la force” est un dicton particulièrement vrai durant une expatriation : bravant les épreuves de la vie à l’étranger, les membres d’une même famille vont faire preuve de plus de solidarité entre eux que dans leur patrie.
Rien de tel que l’expatriation pour souder une famille : les liens se resserrent, les confidences se font plus courantes, les moments partagés plus nombreux, et les souvenirs inoubliables.

2- Integrate faster and easier

Long live school! Thanks to her, our little ones will make new friends and discover that friendship transcends borders. But the good news is that it will also benefit parents. 😉
For adults, the school is a wonderful breeding ground for potential acquaintances and friends. The parents who bring their children to this school have a lot in common with you: the children (Bonjour Monsieur La Palissade), the neighborhood, the concerns and the activities. There are plenty of subjects to talk about, which makes it easier to approach: homework, teachers, lice, etc. 😀
There’s nothing like waiting for hours on a bench (until Junior’s game is over) to strike up a conversation with another “commis d’office”: time flies, don’t you think? 😉

3- Learn a language much faster

Learning a foreign language is a must in some countries, and here again it’s handy to have several people facing the same “problem”.
Be mentally prepared for your children to take you by the scruff of the neck: going to the local school or little neighbors, not to mention their brains being less “wrinkled” and more spongy than yours, will enable them to learn at lightning speed.
It’s rewarding for them (“I speak better than Mum”, “Dad, with your accent, the gentleman can’t understand a thing”), challenging and endearing for you: everyone benefits, and you learn and master the local language more quickly than if you’d expatriated alone or in pairs.

4- Positiver

Contrary to popular belief, life abroad is not always idyllic: it is regularly punctuated and tarnished by moments of doubt and/or the blues.
Alone, or even as a couple, it’s easier to feel sad, to mope and “cry over our fate”. With children, on the other hand, you have to put on a positive face and overcome your own homesickness, especially if your children have been recalcitrant to expatriation from the outset, or have experienced going abroad as uprooting.
It’s up to us to reassure them, to prove to them on a daily basis the merits and benefits of expatriation, and to make them want to integrate: we emphasize the good of their new life, we congratulate them, encourage them, admire them for their speed and ease of adaptation, and above all, we’re patient.
By doing so, we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, and we learn to get over our homesickness and appreciate the good things about this great family adventure.

5- Discover, discover, discover!

Following on from the previous point, to ensure that our children (and we, of course) enjoy their life abroad, we make sure to make every free day extraordinary You visit a new place, take part in a local activity, attend a traditional festival, meet the locals, and so on.
In short, we don’t stay cooped up at home: we go out and make every outing an adventure… whereas alone, the temptation is great to stay at home, spend hours on the Internet or in front of the TV… and miss out on a lot!
In short, going abroad with your tribe has its share of fears, efforts and pitfalls, but dear parents, believe me, if you have the opportunity to experience this wonderful adventure, the “game” is worth the candle. 🙂

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