4 tried and tested tips for moving to Germany with children
Considering relocating to Germany with kids? Crown Relocations bring you their best tips for making the move a smooth success.
An international move is full of many moving pieces. This is even more so the case when you add extra family members to the mix, especially young ones! Here’s a list of things to consider when moving to Germany with children, to help make sure you haven’t missed any important steps.
1. Make them part of the move
It 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 emphasising the excitement of a new adventure.
Make it tangible by helping them collate a photo album of happy memories in your current location – you could create a few and gift them to friends or family members as leaving presents. For younger children, you may find storybooks 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.
2. International or local school?
In Germany, compulsory schooling for all children begins at the age of six. When your child reaches school age, one question you may be considering is whether to send your child to a local or international school.
The international curriculum is typically taught in English, and so if you’re moving to Germany with older children, you may consider this a better fit. At an international school, they’ll have the option to complete the international baccalaureate programme, which gives them a qualification recognised across the world.
An international school might also be a good choice if you are likely to relocate again soon, as many international schools across the world have similar syllabuses, meaning your child’s education won’t be so disrupted. If you’re only in Germany for a short time, they might also struggle to grasp the language in time to really get much out of a local school.
However, if this is a permanent move or one that will last for a significant period of your child’s education, you might 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.
3. Timing is everything
If your schedule is flexible enough, plan your move around your children’s education. To ensure your children have the smoothest transition possible, try to time your move so it coincides with the new school year. This will mean everyone will be starting the year together and your children are likely not to be the only new students. This will help them fit into their new school environment easier.
If possible, visit the new school you have chosen with your children. This will help ease them into their new environment. They will be able to meet their future teachers and get a feel for what their new school will be like.
4. Most importantly, be patient
If you are moving abroad with children, don’t be surprised if they don’t settle in straight away. The theory generally shows that the older the child is, the more likely the move is to pose challenges because they have a stronger connection to their previous home.
Stay calm and collected – the move may well end up being the best choice your family has ever made!
With over 50 years of experience, Crown Relocations are experts in helping families make the move. In fact, in 2019 alone they helped more than 37.000 households relocate all over the world, taking care of everything from immigration services and home searches to pet relocations and school viewings. Get in touch to see how they could assist with your move.