Living abroad is something that many families choose to do for a whole host of reasons. And although it’s something that may seem daunting to those who haven’t done it before, it’s actually a task that expat families in cities and towns across the globe have approached with relish. From understanding how different cultures work to enjoying the best educational opportunities that a country has to offer, there are plenty of reasons to give your kids an international experience as they grow up.
If you spend a certain amount of time in a foreign country, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll pick up the languages spoken there. This is especially true for children, many of whom behave like sponges when it comes to languages and end up acquiring speaking and listening skills very easily. In Singapore, for example, English might be one of the main languages – but plenty of people also speak Mandarin, Malay and more. Being able to communicate in more than one language is something that will leave your kids in good stead for a long time to come. Not only will it look good on their job applications, it also means you and your family can converse with more people than before, allowing for more meaningful and streamlined communicating.
Top educational opportunities
There are many parts of the USA which unfortunately don’t enjoy a particularly strong local education scene. But by thinking strategically about your family’s needs when moving abroad, you can select a location which has a range of top-end schools to pick from. The Singapore international school offers a variety of advantages to its students, including a worldwide mentoring system involving Nobel Laureates – an option that not many American kids have at their local high schools back home! Whatever particular benefits the school you choose offers, though, the international dimension will make it a profound experience for your child.
By moving abroad either for the short term or the long term, you can expose your child to people from a variety of different religious, ethnic and social backgrounds – an experience that’s not a guaranteed outcome for children back home. Even just taking a walk around the local park can give children who live abroad a sense of the diversity of the world, and it’s a highly valuable perspective. This is a great investment in your child’s future. By allowing them to learn by example and see that there are different people from all walks of life co-existing across the globe, they will develop skills like tolerance and empathy, which will be useful not just in their personal lives but in their professional careers as well.
Children who benefit from an international experience often look back on it with fond memories, and they also frequently credit their feelings of openness and tolerance to the experience as well. So, if you’re considering making the trip overseas either for a few months or for an indefinite period, there are plenty of reasons to do it, and the positive impact it will have on your family is a particularly important one.