topics
tools
editor's choice

Crime and the legal system in the UK

Tips for understanding the Brits

Banking in the UK

Culture and social etiquette in United Kingdom

Museums in London

Expatica countries
Index Last Var.(%)
BEL 20 3083.51 0.32
DAX 9605.08 0.17
IBEX 30 10058.5 -1.04
CAC 40 4387.61 -0.20
FTSE 100 6806.86 -0.05
AEX 397.5 -0.20
DJIA 16272.65 0.46
Nasdaq 4318.933 0.63
FTSE MIB 20298.33 -0.11
TSX Composite 14214.35 0.18
ASX 5415.4 -0.10
Hang seng 22836.96 0.04
Straits Times 3110.78 0.45
ISEQ 20 836.3 0.23
EUR / USD 1.37976 0.67
EUR / GBP 0.82571 0.59
USD / GBP 0.598544 -0.10
Gold 1329.6 -0.13
Oil 108.9 -0.76
Silver 21.28 0.08
You are here: Home Family & Kids Kids Minimizing child challenges when repatriation is abrupt
Enlarge font Decrease font Text size


27/10/2010Minimizing child challenges when repatriation is abrupt

Minimizing child challenges when repatriation is abrupt Due to the recession, some families are being moved home earlier than had been planned, or transferred to local status. How does an abrupt repatriation affect your kids? How will it affect their schooling and emotional well being? Elizabeth Perelstein reports.

The Social Experience
It is commonly known that repatriation is difficult. Repatriation for children may be as hard, if not harder, than it is for adults. Just as for their parents, children have changed as a result of their time abroad, and so have their friends back home. Fitting in with the old group isn't easy and, in fact, may not be possible.

Expectations of the return home are typically high. For many children, the entire assignment has been spent waiting for this date. Invariably, hopes are shattered, and the former community doesn't meet a child's expectations.

The Academic Experience

Among children who repatriate, whether or not they return to their previous town or city, curriculum rarely matches, courses may be taught in a different sequence and students may find that they lack prerequisites for classes they are about to take.

Other children find that they have already read the books on their reading list, or may be ahead in their foreign language. Teachers may feel threatened by their advanced levels of knowledge or simply may not know how to teach a child who is out of step with his or her classmates. For high school students, meeting exit requirements for graduation may not be possible or may require significant negotiation or manipulation.


The Current Climate
The present economic climate has caused companies to look carefully at every expenditure, and expatriate packages are easy targets. Families are being moved home earlier than had been planned or transferred to local status. These corporate decisions have a huge impact on families with children who have expected to complete an academic year in one location, or had not applied to desired private schools within the necessary timetable.

In addition to the typical challenges that repatriating children face, children moved home abruptly may have a more difficult time getting into private or specialized public schools that do not offer mid-year admissions.

They may not have the ability to participate on sports teams or in plays or musical groups because these roles already have been filled. They may lack knowledge or prerequisites to thrive in classes in a different country where a different curriculum is studied.

Even able children who may succeed without a foundation in a given subject may not be allowed to enter a class mid-year if placement testing is required. Time is a luxury that sudden repatriations do not permit.

Got to Go, What to Know
If you must move a family on short notice mid-year, providing them with an education departure toolkit goes a long way towards relieving anxiety for them and retaining their loyalty to you. A toolkit should prepare parents and children with what to expect and give them an approach for entering their new school environment.

Tips for Emotional Departure Success:

- Say goodbye well
- Take lots of pictures
- Revisit favourite places
- Get all important email addresses
- Have a party

Tips for Academic Departure Success:
- Identify key supporters at school and obtain contact details
- Take hard copies of transcripts and know how to obtain soft copies
- Ask school to write up basis for grading if appropriate
- Get teacher recommendations
- Talk to teachers about types of school where child would thrive in their new home
- Bring a description of curriculum by subject
- Gather awards, certificates, or physical evidence of qualifications achieved
- Bring medical certificates in hand luggage

Tips for Academic Success on Arrival:

- Have any documents translated
- Find out health requirements for the new school, and plan for a medical exam in the new home
- Understand age/grade relationships as well as schoolwork/grade relationships
- Discuss relative merits of age vs. schoolwork for grade placement with head of school
- Understand the curriculum
- Learn the application process and deadlines
- Be an advocate for your child about entering sports and other extracurricular programs mid-year

Most of all, parents must understand and take the time to explain to their children that they have done nothing to cause the premature move. Children have to be able to save face in front of their friends.

Families might want to develop a script explaining that economic circumstances have affected everyone worldwide, and for different people the consequences have played out in different ways. In some cases, parents have lost jobs, others have moved to new houses and their family has moved home early.

Written by Elizabeth Perelstein, President and Founder of School Choice International www.schoolchoiceintl.com. This article is also featured online at www.childreninmoscow.com.



0 reactions to this article

0 reactions to this article

 
 
 
 
 
Inside Expatica
Visas for coming to the UK

Visas for coming to the UK

Visa paperwork Whether you're relocating to the UK or just visiting, it's important that you find out in advance whether you need a visa.

An online guide for expats finding & purchasing a UK Property

An online guide for expats finding & purchasing a UK Property

Expat mortgages and everything to do with buying a UK property might sound complicated, but there’s plenty of help out there for you.

UK healthcare: Finding the right NHS service

UK healthcare: Finding the right NHS service

You can access the UK's National Health Service (NHS) in a range of ways. Here is an overview of the main services available to help you get the treatment you need.

Banking in the UK

Banking in the UK

Just moved to the UK? You'll need a bank account to effectively manage your money while you're here. Cliff Govender explains the UK banking system, including facilities that may come in handy down the line.