Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Top Things Expat Teens Find Challenging About Moving

“But I just started to feel settled!” “Do we have to move again?” “Man, I hate having to pack up my room!” “But I’m almost done with high school!” Sound familiar? You may have said something similar the last time one of your parents told you that your family was moving again. And you aren’t the only ones who feel this way, as you may know. While there are many positive aspects of being an Expat Teen, you can probably recognize the bittersweet aspect that comes with it, as the very thing that makes Expat Life fun and exciting is the same thing that makes it difficult and sobering.

In our book, Expat Teens Talk, we heard from some of you who are dealing with various issues that are related to Expat Life. Below is a list of the things that were identified as being the most difficult when it comes to moving:

      Getting on the plane
      Growing up in one country and having family (cousins, aunts, uncles, etc) in another requires a balancing act of living between and knowing both
      Having to learn about and adapt to new cultural norms and learn a new language
      Saying good bye to friends, teachers,  friends of the family
      Staying in touch with those you left behind, people get busy and priorities change, you do ‘lose’ contact and therefore relationships
      Knowing where you really belong; fitting in
      Having to leave a place I grow attached to and start to feel at home in, leaving is so incredibly difficult
      Sense of loss, loss of a home, friends, school
      Going to a new school, having to make new friends when social groups are already formed
      Adjusting to a new environment, language, food, culture, lifestyle
      Culture shock
      New school, new teachers, different academic system and way of teaching
      Difficult to move from developed to developing world countries
      Knowing and understanding where ‘home’ is, it becomes less clear the more you move around or the longer you stay away from your ‘home’ country

So, as you can see, you aren’t the only one! Watch this spot for more information on our upcoming book. In the meantime, TALK to us and let us know what’s on your mind…

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