Moving abroad with children (Part 2)
We discussed the particular importance that should be given to your expatriation preparation when it involves your family and children in a previous article, you can find it here.
First, let’s discuss the benefits of expatriation for children. Living in a foreign country opens their minds. In effect, they are confronted by a culture different from their own.
They gain an insight to the world that other children of the same age may not have. Expatriation is, from this point of view, a source of personal enrichment.
Additionally, expatriate schools, such as international or French schools, are often known to be among the best.
It is common for these expatriate children to obtain, moreover, better baccalaureate results. For example, in 2001, the success rate for French-language schools abroad was 90.20% compared to 78.8% for schools in France.Your child will also have a more advanced understanding of English, and is likely to finish this expatriation experience bilingual.
Third Culture Kids
Some children have become accustomed to expatriation from a young age. Traveling to fit their parents’ working life, they have lived in several countries for varying periods of time. They are known as TCK: “Third Culture Kids”. These little world citizens are a good example of the open-mindedness that expatriation brings. It is a characteristic trait that they often have.
Several studies show this, including that of Cécile Gylbert in his book about Third Culture Kids. From a very young age, they have been faced with different ways of life and different worldviews. They thus understand that there is no one way to think and act in any given situation. Their adaptability is therefore generally greater than that of other children.This allows them to adapt to several cultures, that of their country of origin and that of the countries of expatriation. However, they maintain a sense of being an outsider to these different cultures. They need to balance and create a sense of belonging in the face of this new environment. However, while having greater openness, their concepts of sense of purpose and identity will be more blurred.
These are the essential things to think about before moving abroad with your family. All you have to do is apply these tips and leave serenely on your great adventure!