A subset of families living internationally are those involved in Christian service. These families have a unique cross-cultural lifestyle and are typically involved in sharing with others about their faith or in service ministries such as education, healthcare, social justice, literacy, or economic development.
Transitions are critical points of major upheaval for all families. Living internationally can add an extra element of stress beyond the typical pressures families face during life changes.
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.
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.
Transitioning from traditional school to home education is a major life adjustment and involve several phases of adjustment. Your family will need time to adapt to the new situation, new expectations, and new roles.
Sometimes a family finds itself in a situation where it needs to homeschool for a summer, a semester, or a year, but expects to return to traditional schooling.
Transitioning from home education to traditional schooling is a major life adjustment and involves several phases of adjustment. Your family will need time to adapt to the new situation, new expectations, and new roles.
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.
Moving internationally is a major transition for any family. You'll have to adjust to changes in language, housing, food, relationships, and lifestyle. On top of that, you'll need to identify the best way to educate your child in this new setting. That decision can be daunting.
If you are experiencing a major transition as an internationally mobile family, a seminar or coaching session may be helpful.
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.