Moving the family abroad is something that most people will never do. The pressures of life mean that we tend to stay put, do what we have always done. The prospect of moving your family abroad can seem just too complicated, too fraught with risk, but it might also be the start of a great adventure and one of the best decisions you ever made. What is certain is that it isn’t something which you should do without a detailed consideration of what it will mean for everyone.
Establishing yourself in a new country will take time and there will be a whole range of costs involved in the move. Are your finances sufficiently robust to see you through a transition period and provide you with a financial cushion against those unanticipated expenses?
What documentation will you need to enable you to work legally? Will you need to take part in a training course and acquire certification? Do not assume that your U.K. qualifications will be valid. If you intend to set up a business, have you done the preparatory groundwork?
Children adjust to new situations much more quickly than adults, but even so, joining a new school in which the language and culture are unfamiliar is daunting and your children will be need support through the process. The location of appropriate schooling will also need to be taken into consideration when you are deciding where you will live.
Much as we complain about the British climate, we do know what to expect, you may be moving to a location where weather conditions are much more extreme. Ensure that you know what the weather can be like at all times of the year, not just in those glorious summer months.
Friends and family
You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. We take ease of travel for granted, but covid has shown us what absence from friends and family means. You will make new friends, but you will also be absent from those that you love.
Do not assume that everyone speaks English. You will need to learn a new language and language will be a barrier when it comes to forming new relationships and in your day-to-day transactions.
The affordability of housing may well be one of the key drivers in your decision to move: trading in your tiny London terraced house for a large house with a pool. Once you have settled on a country, you will then need to decide on the area in which you wish to live. Many British people move to France, because of its familiarity and proximity, but house prices differ considerably throughout the country. You’ll find that housing on the Cote D’Azur is as expensive as that in southern England but look north, in Poitou-Charentes and you’ll still find one of those dreamy country farmhouses for under 150,000 euros. Portugal is another European country which is popular with the British. The average house price is around 350,000 euros but go inland to the wide boulevards and bustling squares of Castelo Branco and you’ll find that property prices drop to an average of 124,000 euros.
How to Decide Whether a Move Abroad is Right for Your Family