When should I leave my family behind?
Emigrating with children: what to look out for
Many people have the desire to move to another country in order to pursue a career there and build a new life for themselves. As long as you only have to make this decision for yourself, this isn't really that big of a problem.
However, it looks different if a partner or even children are affected by the emigration. Not only the parents, but also the children have to leave their familiar surroundings, their friendships and family behind. They will likely have to learn another language, go to a new kindergarten or school, and find their way around an unfamiliar environment.
Children can usually adapt quickly to a new environment, make new friends relatively quickly, and have fewer difficulties than adults in learning another language. Nevertheless, one should let the children in on the emigration plans in good time and not surprise them with the emigration. In this way, the children also have the opportunity to prepare for emigration. The extent to which the children are involved in the preparations naturally also depends on the age of the children.
The age of the children
The right time to emigrate probably does not exist, or it is anytime. In general, however, it can be said that emigrating with children is easier the younger the children are.
- Babies and toddlers
It is easy to emigrate with very young children. As a rule, they can adapt quickly to a new environment, as they have mostly not yet established close friendships and are less likely to miss them. In addition, if they attend a kindergarten in the target country, they will learn the new language with ease.
- Elementary school children
If the children are already going to school, things get a little more complicated. The children have already made friends and got used to a certain school system. They don't like it when they have to leave their friends behind. They go to a new school and at the beginning they do not understand the material very well because they have not yet mastered the language. As long as the children are still in primary school, however, this is less of a problem. They can usually adapt to the new circumstances relatively quickly.
- Secondary school
If the children are already going to secondary school, they should be prepared more intensively for emigration. You don't just have to learn another language in the new school. It may also be necessary to catch up on learning material when the new school has progressed in certain subjects. Older children may have more difficulty adjusting than younger children. They miss their friends in their country of origin and may have to look for other hobbies than they are used to. But emigration can also be a success for older children.
Choosing the right country
For most people, career prospects are probably the deciding factor in emigrating to a particular country. If children emigrate, however, it should not be forgotten that the children should also feel comfortable in the destination country.
The language is usually not a big problem for children. It is easy for them when they emigrate to Switzerland or Austria, where German is spoken. An English-speaking country is also an option, as children usually start learning English in elementary school.
But many people are also drawn far away to other cultures with other languages. If this is the case, care should be taken to ensure that life there is safe for the children and that they are not exposed to violence and crime. In addition, you should be able to offer them a similarly high standard of living in the country of destination as in the country of origin.
Schools and daycare centers
The education systems in other countries can differ from those in Germany. You should find out about this well in advance. In some countries, for example, school fees are paid or the children have to wear a school uniform. The lesson times can also be different than in Germany. In some countries kindergarten is compulsory, in others it is not. If you move to another country for only a few years, it is possible for the children to consider attending a German or an international school. If you stay in the destination country for the long term, a local school is probably recommended, as the children can integrate better there.
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