By World Family Education
Going to a different school is a challenge, even in a child’s home culture. Living internationally adds a whole new dimension to this major life change.
Major life transitions involve several phases of adjustment. Read more about Transitions and how to handle them successfully from World Family Education.
Moving to a new culture involves many transitions, and changing schools is a big one. Your child will need to adjust to many differences in their new school, whether it’s an international school or local school. Some of them may be:
From your child’s perspective, a new school can either be an adventure or a stressor — or perhaps a blend of both. Supporting your child through this transition will help them navigate their new environment and even thrive there.
Before You Move
Children often resist change and can feel anxiety about going to a new school. If your child is moving schools, the best thing you can do is prepare them for the adjustment.
Including them in the process of choosing and moving schools is a good way to do this. It will help your child have ownership of the decision and see positive aspects of the move. Allowing them to express their concerns can help you see the situation through your child’s eyes.
Other ways to help your child prepare for the move are:
After You Arrive
Once you are in your new location, you can help your child connect in person. Communication with the school’s principal and your child’s new teacher(s) will help to establish a good relationship right away.
When School Begins
Once school has begun, take some time to help your child settle in.
You can help your child get the most out of school by building relationships with others in the school community — parents, teacher, students — from the very first day. It’s a good idea to get involved with school activities and functions for families whenever you can.
More Helpful Links
Preparing Your Child for the New School Year — Good ideas from Aha! Parenting for supporting your child as they adjust to a new school.
How to help your child settle in a new school — The Expat Child offers helpful tips for international families.
How Can You Help Your Child Adjust to a Foreign School — Louisa Heath offers good ideas to support your child in a new school.
10 Things I’ve Learned From Being the New Kid in High School — A high schooler at Huffington Post offers advice to teens adjusting to a new school.
Starting or Changing School — The National Autistic Society of Ireland gives advice to parents of autistic children for adjusting to a new school.
raisingchildren.net.au. “Moving Schools.” Retrieved May 25, 2019, from https://raisingchildren.net.au/school-age/school-learning/school-choosing-starting-moving/moving-schools.