An international move is full of many moving pieces which will only increase when you add more family members into the mix, especially young ones! Crown Relocations has put together a guide on things to consider when moving to the Netherlands with children to help make sure you haven’t missed any important steps.
Make them part of the moveIt might be tempting to sweep the significance of the move under the rug. However, it is important for children to say goodbye to their previous home. Engage them in conversation about their thoughts and concerns. Don’t be afraid to mention that you are also nervous about the move whilst also emphasising the excitement of a new adventure.
Make it tangible by helping them collate a photo album of happy memories in that location – you could create a few and gift them to friends or family members as a leaving present. For younger children, you may find story books around the theme of moving day helpful in explaining your upcoming change in home. We recommend The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstain as one to check out.
International or local school?Compulsory education for all children occurs between the ages of 5 and 18 years. However, almost 90% of kids begin formal education by the age of three. When they reach the age of compulsory education, one question you may be pondering is whether to send your child to a local or international school.
The international curriculum is typically taught in English, so if you’re moving to the Netherlands with older children, you may consider this a better fit. In this environment, they’ll have the option of taking the international baccalaureate programme which is valid across the world. If you might be relocating again while your children are in education, this may be the option for you.
If this is a permanent move or lasting the duration of your children’s education, you should consider a local school. Younger children, in particular, are able to pick up new languages quickly and so should adapt to this environment well. You’ll find that it will help them to make friends and adjust to their new culture easily.
However, don’t let language be the deciding factor here for your older children. There are an increasing number of bridge classes to help new arrivals pick up the local language. Some schools are also moving towards bilingual education, so it’s worth researching which options are available within your area.
Timing is everythingIf your schedule is flexible enough, try to plan your move around your children’s education. The best time to move that allows your children to have a smooth transition will be if it can coincide with the new school year. This will mean everyone will be starting the year together and they are also likely not to be the only new student. This will help them fit into their new school environment easier.
Get bikingLastly, getting them biking is of course a must! It’s well known that the Netherlands has a strong biking culture. Getting your children’s biking skills up to scratch will be a necessity for when you arrive and begin to navigate your local area.
Moving can be both exciting and daunting. Crown Relocations has been helping people relocate internationally for over fifty years, offering support for all the logistical and emotional needs of you and those moving with you. Download their guide to help you relocate with confidence, so you can start living as soon as you arrive.