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Moving Abroad and Starting school in a new city

June 14, 2018

You and your family have finally made the move and adjusted to your new surroundings. Your children have already adjusted to the new city, and will soon need to adjust to their new school. Here are a few tips to help your child get started in their new school.

  • Moving Abroad Series Part 3: Starting school in a new city

You and your family have finally made the move and adjusted to your new surroundings. Your children have adapted to the new city, and will soon need to adjust to their new school. Here are some recommendations on how to ease your child in to their new school.

Grades are not always the most important thing

When your child starts a new school in their host country try to avoid putting instant pressure on them to become top of the class. The immediate concerns for your child will pertain to coping with an unfamiliar environment, fitting in with the other children and finding their way around a strange environment. Talk to them about these things and help them to plan how they will approach the first few days. Worry about grades later. Be aware that your child’s grades could be affected by the move. Often, grades go down. This can be due to the change in curriculum, change in teaching styles or simply that they need time to adjust.

 Encourage your child to participate in extra-curricular activities

Attending extra-curricular activities outside the classroom environment will give your child opportunities to make new friends. If there is already a sport or activity that they are good at, this will also allow them to build some confidence and win some respect among their peers.

Make sure they know the route to and from school

If your child has to travel or walk to school, make sure they know the route, the times that the bus picks them up, and how to get home. Ensure that your child knows their home telephone number and their address, just in case.

Pack a special lunch

Leave special treats in their lunch bag. A note from you is always appreciated, too. Just try not to make them feel homesick, rather encouraged. Acclimating to a new school does not happen overnight. However, given time and the right opportunities, it should not be too long until your children start to accept the new country as home.

Ongoing support

Keep open lines of communication with your child. This is especially important during the settling-in phase where the child will deal with unfamiliar people and surroundings, and will need plenty of positive support. Listen to your child, let them express their feelings, without necessarily coming up with solutions. Help your child to see that anxiety and fear are just the flipside of excitement and adventure. Lead them through the tricky early stages and they may soon blossom in their new environment.

Teens are likely to need plenty of empathy and support even though they may not ask for it in an obvious way. Look out for rebelling and mood swings. These are signals that he or she needs help with the adjustment. An important strategy is to join online communities that offer peer-to- peer support. Sites such as are excellent sources of information, advice and networking provided for kids by other kids.

We are here to support you:

Our school has a strong community of local families as well as long and short-term expatriates. Your child’s school often becomes a major focus of your child’s life as well as your family’s social life.

We encourage parents to keep close contact with the Admissions Team as they are an invaluable source of local information, as well as tips and advice on everything from places to live and visit, to joining sporting and social clubs.

We also encourage parents to join local groups or other activity-focused websites that connect families in the area in which they live.

Please contact our Admissions Team with any questions you may have about your move.