and Kids in the Expatriate Life?
Does an expat lifestyle
fit well with a family?
Overseas presents special problems for those with
partners, spouses, and/or kids. Let's talk about kids
have a the skills for an executive position, specific
technical skills, or a relevant graduate degree for
teaching English, international school fees for children
can be an extreme financial burden when living
If your kids
are too young to go to school - and your partner is
going to stay home to take care of them - then perhaps
no problem. However, many international schools charge
fees that are sometimes greater than the monthly salary
of many jobs and even that of English teachers.
There are a
few exceptions to the rule. The better jobs in the
Middle East will usually fund an international school
education for two (sometimes more) children as part of
the benefits package. Also, international schools often
provide free tuition for the children of their faculty.
It never hurts to ask if such benefits are provided -
but they are not always on offer.
is aware of at least two families that used home
schooling as an alternative to the costs of an
international school education. While it can be done
well, the working schedule and burden on the parents to
provide such instruction ultimately lead to a very poor
education for their children. These two families rather
quickly headed back to their home country. Home schooling
as an alternative to a "real" education - is often not
in the child's best interest.
If you have
a "working" partner who can also land a job, it only
makes things easier! Some employers (particularly
schools) even look for couples, as it reduces their cost
of housing: providing only one apartment or house versus two.
though, working with your partner all day can add
stresses to your relationship. And these stresses will
come at a time when you are already a bit stressed by
moving to a new country, culture, and job. The author
worked at the same school with his wife twice and
wouldn't recommend it. But, for many people for it
works out just fine.
that working spouse or not, your partner is also in for
a major adjustment and will need your support as much or
possibly even more than you.
or partners will have difficulty adjusting in a country
where they don't know the language and even TV sometimes
offers only limited English language programming - if they
have nothing to do.
It may be
best if they come either to work or with a specific
project in mind (Writing a novel? Setting up a website?
Furthering their education?).