More than 258 million people — or 1 in 30 people — now live outside of their passport country. And projections indicate that about 405 million people will be living internationally by 2050.
If it’s the first time your family has lived in another culture, you likely have much to look forward to as you step into this new adventure. But that adventure will also be a challenging time of adjustment. Your family will face a lot of changes — in culture, housing, relationships, school, language, food, currency, and more.
Families moving to a new country will encounter new cultures. Some of those cultures are indigenous to the new country, and some are foreign to the new country, especially those within the international community. Some of the cultures will be localized to a community such as an international school or workplace.
Growing up in a culture away from the one imprinted on one’s passport isn’t such a rare experience anymore. Globalization has transformed the experience of so many families today.
When a family uproots from their home culture, one of the most difficult aspects of leaving is letting go of close relationships. Despite having social media and other modes of staying connected, the physical loss of family and friends can be incredibly painful.
For families living internationally, short-lived stressors such as moving or changing schools are a familiar challenge. But when temporary difficulties turn into long-term hardships, families have to contend with a much greater level of stress.
The return home, also known as repatriation, can turn out to be more difficult than the move to a new culture.
If you are experiencing a major transition as an internationally mobile family, a seminar or coaching session may be helpful.
Not everyone needs to learn a new language when they move to a new culture. But it certainly can help with feeling more at home.
Sometimes families need to reach out for help. Whether you’re dealing with a crisis or facing the challenging aspects of living in another culture, counseling or coaching is a good option to support your family.
Explore more about the experience of living in another culture and find resources to help with transitions, stress, and culture shock.
Books are a great way to open up your child’s imagination to what life will be like in another culture and what it means to be a cross-cultural kid.
Sometimes asking for professional help is the best way to determine your child’s needs and how to meet them in your setting.