16 answers

I Am Considering Living Abroad with the Family for a Year.

I am looking for any helpful guidance that you moms may have about living abroad with your family. Whether you have done it yourself, or you know someone who has, I would love to know about it. I am looking for helpful books and websites, as well as companies or groups.
My family is in the situation where we will be in a big transition. We will not have our house to worry about as we will be relocating. Our future location is uncertain. I am a teacher and I can teach almost anywhere. My husband's job is also relatively portable. My kids are young and adjust to new situations easily. It seems like the best time to follow a dream and live abroad for a year. I can more than likely teach english as my profession while living abroad. My husband can probably do his current job from where ever we are. We won't be creating wealth, but we should have a great experience. I very much want for us all to learn a foreign language and become familiar with a different culture. We also hope to make life-long international friends. I have found two books on the subject, but I know there is a lot to learn and consider. I need to do a lot of research because while my husband is willing to consider this, he is very much afraid of something so foreign to him. I will need to provide him with a lot of information to calm his worries and fears. Plus we will want to take every possible precaution to make sure our kids are safe and happy.
Thanks for your help!

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So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone for your encouragement and advice. Please keep your thoughts coming! Just so you all know, the country I am most interested in living in right now is Spain. It has a similar climate to California, so that will make the transition easier. I am also desperate to learn more Spanish because it will benefit me the rest of my life here in California. My girls will also benefit forever from learning to speak another language. I have heard wonderful things about Spain and I know there is supposed to be a lot of ex-pats there, so many friends to be made!
Thanks again!

Featured Answers

My husband and I lived in Israel for two years while studying and it was a lovely experience in many ways. After I gained a profound respect for immigrants. It takes a lot of guts to go somewhere without knowing how you'll make it and being away from everything familiar.

Good luck!

I lived in Mexico from the ages of 11-16. It was the best thing that ever happened to me as a child. Go for it!!!!

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Wow, i applaud your adventuresome spirit and resourcefulness. How incredible to follow your dreams to go and live abroad at this point in your lives. My sister, whose oldest child is 7 and youngest is 3 1/2 (TRIPLETT boys, no less) has been considering the same thing. She also teaches (is a theology professor) and her husband is a Therapist. She, also, is the instigator in this idea. You must be married to a very open, secure, and supportive guy to have him consider such a bold move, when it's not his idea. Hats off to you! (sorry I'm not experienced in this, just impressed). --K.

You and your family might want to take a trip to visit for 3 or 4 weeks to see if this is something you want to commit the family to especially the children. You did not say where you want to move to but in this day and age consider there safety first.
If it was just the two of you, there would probaly be no reason to worry. Personally I would not tell the family your intentions other than to visit until you have made up your mind.

I went to Germany several times. After 3 weeks I wanted to come home. It took me that long to get past the fun and interest of it and see what it was like to live there.

Just a few thoughts. Our economy is unstable, check out the country of your choices economy as well because that will have a direct affect on your intended stay. Sometimes decisions can have both positive and negitive effects, like If you got there and then could not return or could not get work.

Sounds like fun. Good luck.

I'm here as an ex-pat (husband and I are both British). We've been here for nearly 7 years now - just came for 2. We didn't move here with kids. It is a great experiences, we have lots of friends from all different countries and it does open up opportunities to travel to places that are 'local' to here but not to home.

Apart from the language thing, the simple option is to go somewhere they speak English (maybe NZ or Australia - both fab countries). It doesn't seem such a big deal now we've done it once, to be honest. I'm not sure what else I can tell you, but feel free to send me a message if you have specific questions I can help with


Go for it! Do listen to your husband, really listen to what his concerns and hesistations are - is it living with your family (his inlaws) or living abroad, or living so far from his family, having to make new friends, etc. LISTEN first before offering your thoughtful response.

I've never lived abroad and have no plans to, but would love the adventure. My husband is not really one for adventure and change though.

With the internet, he really need not be out of touch with the familiar. Resources are there.

My husband and I lived in Israel for two years while studying and it was a lovely experience in many ways. After I gained a profound respect for immigrants. It takes a lot of guts to go somewhere without knowing how you'll make it and being away from everything familiar.

Good luck!

Hi M.-
I think it is great that you are brave enough to step outside the norm and consider doing something different. Moving to another country is a real adventure. My husband and I along with our 4 boys (18 - 11) moved to Mexico 2 1/2 years ago, then I got pregnant and we now also have a baby girl! We really felt learning Spanish would be beneficial for the kids and a different cultural experience would also enhance their lives. Living here has had its ups and downs, but I would not trade it. I encourage you and your family to go for it. Family and friends may think you are nuts, but you would be surprised at how many Americans actually do live outside of the USA.
Best wishes on your adventure!

My husband and our two children lived in Vienna, Austria for two months and then traveled Austria and Germany for two months. Our boys were 1 year old and 3 years old at the time. Vienna had an American Womens Association and I think there are a number of them around. I think you have a very good situation as you are a teacher. It should be easy for you to get a job ahead of time. This would probably be best for everyone involved as it will ease the stress of just figuring it out once you have arrived. That is what we did and the timing was not right, so we did not stay...long story. I wish you the best and I think you will not regret it one bit! The United States will always be here and it is so easy to get right back into a grove once you return. Gook luck.

I guess it just depends on you and your husband. My husband I moved to France for a year with our 3 children for my husband's job. It was quite an adventure! It was fun to be so close to so many countries--we could visit a new country every weekend! But are there are some difficult things to consider. First, there was not an international school near where we were living. The kids went to a private French school. It was great to have them really get in there and get to know some French kids, and learn some french. The problem is, I think it takes at least a year or more to really learn the language. So, the kids learned some french, but in the meantime, got a year behind in school. We had a French tutor that came a few times a week which helped them get homework done, etc.. but it was hard because I couldn't help much with homework. I had a tutor also to help me learn French, but it was hard with everything else I had to do. I also had our 4th child there, which I wouldn't recommend. I had a doctor that spoke English, but was still very French, and the whole medical system there is different. It wasn't a great experience to have a baby there! So I guess I have mixed feelings. I think it takes a year to really get adjusted, and the kids to get adjusted. I think it would have been a better experience if we were there longer. But it was also hard being so far away from family. I do love Spain, and I speak Spanish, so that would probably have been a completely different experience for me. But just imagine having a sick kid, and having to call the doctor's office, and trying to explain what is wrong to someone who doesn't speak much English, and you don't speak much of their language. I felt very helpless. So, it could be a great experience, but be prepared!

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