The ABC’s of schooling your child in a foreign country
Relocation is never easy on anyone. Children are especially resistant to change and a huge change such as immigrating might be frightening for your child.
Moving is considered almost as traumatic as losing a loved one or struggling through a divorce and will most definitely contribute to the child’s adjustment to a new home, culture, school and friends.
Parents planning on immigrating would be well advised to ensure their children are as well prepared for their new environment as is possible. This may include getting a good grip on the new country’s language – easing communication with new friends and ensuring your child doesn’t struggle to understand their new teachers.
Making use of a good immigration practitioner such as New World Immigration guarantees your family access to services and facilities that will smooth the road to adapting to the new environment.
The team of professionals will, after consultation with the family, search for and locate the most suitable school for the families children taking all your specific needs into account.
Added to this NWI could even help get Fido back in your kids arms a little faster and help grandpa and grandma visit or put the family in touch with other migrant families so that a little bit of home meets you in your new country.
Orientation classes specific to your new country are available in most cities and children who attend these would certainly have a better idea of what their new country offers and how this may affect their lives. This will also present your child with the nuances of the new country’s culture and practices.
Making friends with a family native to the country you will be relocating to gives the whole family a chance to hear the new language and obtaining first-hand experience of what the citizens in the new country might be like. Certainly such friends would be invaluable in preparing yourself for the new country offering tips, advice and easing concerns.
Adjustment to a new culture, language, and home, according to a 2008 study conducted by the Universities of Melbourne and Hong Kong, seem to affect teenagers most on a psychological level and in particular teenage boys seem to need more attention and preparation in adjusting to their new country.
Practical preparations to consider:
School documentation and records
Collect, copy and certify your child’s school records. This would include report cards, graded projects and tests. Also make sure that you know how your child’s current school compares to his new school. Some countries have very high education standards and it might be necessary to prove your child is on the same academic level as peers in his age group.
Ask teachers to write a letter to the new school detailing your child’s temperament, academic progress and emotional maturity level.
Obtain proof that your child is well versed in the official language of their new country. Ask your immigration practitioner about the specific requirements for your new country.
Every country has different specifications around their child travel laws, but some of the basics would include ensuring your child’s passport, unabridged birth certificate and appropriate visa is ready, up to date, legal and in order.
It is important that your immigration practitioner supply you with a full list of all required documentation.
Make certified copies of every piece of official paper and keep it in a very safe place.