Moving to a new country can be very challenging for families. Young children and teenagers can have a particularly difficult time managing stress before and after a move. The experience, however, can be one of the most rewarding and fascinating ones you can undertake.
Here are some ways you can lessen the stress and transitions of relocating.
- When packing, bring along photos of your family, house, pets and hometown—these are also great to share with new friends to show what your life was like back home.
- As much as possible, familiarise your children with their new home, school and city early in the process. Before the move, take your children on a tour of the family’s new home. We are always happy to arrange tours of the school to meet teachers and see our wonderful facilities.
- Keeping as many things the same as possible during the transition period will help settle children. Consistent routines and traditions will help children who look to their parents for reassurance. They then know the family will remain unchanged even though their surroundings are different.
- There are plenty of stores now selling imported food items and western-sized clothing and shoes. Places like Metro supermarket, Corner’s Deli, Taikoo Hui mall and even Taobao.com are excellent and provide several choices. For your first trip here, do bring along some essentials such as medication, health and sanitary products.
- Try and embrace the differences and difficulties you encounter. Not everything may work as you would like to. If you can take a deep breath and see the lighter side, you will have a wonderful time and enjoy your stay here.
- Within the life of an international school, relocating students soon learn that they are not alone in being ‘new’. Students are very adept at welcoming fresh faces into their classes and social activities. All our teachers, many having experienced transition themselves, are also skilled at supporting new children and helping them establish connections with friends in their class. In Primary School, the ‘buddy system’ helps to guide students through school life as well as introduce them to new friendship circles.
- Taking advantage of after-school activities will give students additional opportunities to develop friendships and share common interests with new friends. Parents can also join our Parent Support Group to meet fellow parents and get a chance to arrange play dates and outings outside of school.
At The British School of Guangzhou, we encourage students to view their life experiences as a puzzle, where each new place and person is a vibrant piece that adds to it. A positive attitude encourages students to focus on happy memories and look forward to more in the future.