Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Moving Your Family Overseas

Whether it’s for professional or personal reasons, moving a family overseas is no simple task. This process definitely comes with its share of challenges, but all of them can be overcome with research, planning and preparation. A successful transition abroad isn’t just about getting a home and a job, it’s also about encouraging the entire family to embrace the change and feel excited about building a life in a new place.

Social Integration Takes Time

One of the biggest challenges families face in the first year after moving abroad is establishing a cohesive social network. Family members should definitely rely on each other during this time, but it’s also important to take active steps to connect each person with peers. Finding other families who share a common origin or language can help alleviate feelings of homesickness.

It’s Easy to Lose Touch with Home

Many people who move overseas fully plan on keeping in touch with their family and friend at home, but this is easier said than done. International travel can be expensive, especially when you are taking an entire family on a round trip for the holidays. Rather than facing expensive holiday travel, you can consider doing an annual trip home during an off-season for a less stressful and more affordable visit.

Devices, Appliances and DVD Compatibility

Electrical outlets are one of the many sources of potential compatibility issues for families moving internationally. Hair dryers, phone chargers and many other kinds of electronic items will need an adapter, depending on the country’s standards. Components and accessories for various kinds of equipment, including lights and DVD players, may also be incompatible with devices brought from home.

Public Transit Isn’t Easy

People considering international moving often factor in the availability and affordability of public transportation into their budget strategy. Many urban centers do have good transit, but it can be complicated and inconvenient for those new to the system. When possible, families should dedicate some time to completely learning how the local transit system works and ensuring their children understand it as well.

Pet Quarantines and Restrictions

One of the most difficult decisions when moving overseas is figuring out what to do with a family pet. Some countries do allow you to bring domestic animals permanently, but this entirely depends on the current laws and regulations of that specific country. Some nations, like the United Kingdom, enforce strict quarantine laws on all foreign animals, which can require months of isolation before entry into the country.

Moving overseas should never be a rushed decision, but it’s not one that families should be afraid of either. There are plenty of great reasons to transition across national borders and it’s an achievable goal as long as you can encourage all family members to take part in the experience.

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