Life for the Expat Child: Broadening Horizons

There are many families that live the expat life, with either one or both working abroad with their family present, and in this article, we will examine some of the benefits that an expat child enjoys. Destinations are often exotic, which would be a profound change for any child, with Bangkok being a classic example, as the head of the family works in Thailand as an engineer, with the family living in Bangkok. Being exposed to new cultures and societies is always going to benefit a child, and if the father’s posting involves rotating every couple of years, the child might experience half a dozen cultures while growing up, which is in itself amazing.

International Education

This is most definitely one of the best perks about expat life, as the employer would pay the school fees for the family of their expat employee, and the child would study at one of the best schools in Bangkok that follows the British curriculum, so they are assured a top-class education. There are international schools in every country, so even if the father is moving around every couple of years, the child’s education would not suffer.

Language Acquisition

Kids learn languages so fast and a Far East posting would expose the child to new languages, which they would acquire with ease, and this is a valuable asset in later life. It is not uncommon to find a person that speaks 7 languages, which is the result of living in different countries for a few years at a time, and that is what happens to the expat child. Here is a great article on the power of the Internet, especially with regard to learning.

Cultural Experiences

When a person is introduced to another culture, this changes their perspective, and the more one travels, the more one experiences a different outlook on life, and there is no better form of education than taking a child to live in different parts of the world. The result is a person with global views and perspectives, and this is a gift that most children will sadly never experience, as they were raised in a single culture. Here is some government information on living abroad, which is a recommended read for all expats.

A Living Adventure

In some respects, the life of an expat’s child is one of adventure, seeing new places, experiencing new cultures, and the earlier this begins, the better. Some people believe that uprooting a child every few years will impair their development, yet nothing could be further from the truth; providing their education is not interrupted, of course. That’s where the international school system comes into its own. While most people grow up in a single society and when they are older and travel, they are able to make adjustments, a child that has lived in different cultures is able to take onboard the new experiences as they grow and develop.

If a person grew up in a multi-cultural environment, they can easily adapt to new things, which is an attribute that will bring many benefits in later life.