What are your childcare options abroad?
What other logistical aspects should be taken into account?
The possibility of researching abroad or completing an internship with children is something that a growing number of students and university staff are considering. Experience has shown that children trust their parents more when they spend time abroad, so a joint adventure could bring a family closer together. With the right preparation and care, time spent abroad can be turned into a memorable adventure for parents and children. Therefore, you should allow enough time for organizing a stay abroad and consider specific factors as a single parent or as a couple with children of different ages.
Further information and advice on financial preparation can be obtained during our open consultation hours at LEONARDO-BÜRO SACHSEN. You can also check the website of your university or the Studentenwerk (like Campusbüro) and talk to other parents about their experiences interning or studying abroad with children.
Children who come into contact with foreign cultures at an early age benefit from a new language, new friends, and new cultural experiences. Very often children become familiar with foreign languages in a short amount of time, especially if they attend a local kindergarten or school. Children are also exposed to new ideas and perspectives through their experiences at kindergarden, school or while making new friends at the destination country. This way, they can gain a different perspective of their own culture.
However, integration into the new country must succeed both for you and your children while you’re studying or working overseas, which is more likely to occur with extensive cultural and organisational preparation.
Integration into a new country and a new environment does not happen magically, and usually requires good-quality care facilities – depending on the age of the children. The following support systems and considerations will make the cultural transition easier:
- Creating a social network for young children that are not old enough to attend schoool or kindergarden. If the child is already of school age, it mostly will not be possible to dismiss the child from school for the entire duration of the internship. However, it is possible to enrol the child at a (German) school, if one exists in their new home city. Otherwise, the child can also be taught at home after work or on weekends according to the school curriculum. Through their interactions with other children, they will blend into the new culture faster.
- Visiting the child’s future school or kindergarten in order to get an accurate picture of what kind of facilities your child will attend.
Ask your health insurance company about insurance regulations in your country and consider additional travel insurance. Attention should also be paid to vaccinations, since most European countries require the child to be fully vaccinated if they are to be enrolled in childcare facilities.
If you are travelling with children, you will also find detailed information on vaccinations, first aid and many other topics on the web pages of the Tropical Institute.