Home Away From Home
by Beverly D. Roman
Excerpt from Chapter One
If you are reading this book, you have probably just been selected for an overseas assignment. Whether the prospect of moving to a foreign country sounds wonderful or frightening to you, it can surely become one of the most memorable times in your life if it is handled with care.
When we were first asked to move to England, we were tremendously excited and enthusiastic. Then as questions continued to surface, our whole family felt as though we were on an emotional roller coaster. Our college age children were concerned about how the distance would affect our accessibility and where we would celebrate family holidays. Our youngest son, who would be moving with us, was concerned about how the impact of finishing eleventh and twelfth grades in a foreign school would affect his college plans.
Your family will most likely go through various phases and challenges as well, but by learning as much as possible about your move and the issues that will impact your family up front, the negative effects can be limited.
People who travel and live overseas usually become more flexible, knowledgeable, adaptable and tolerant. International experiences provide new perspectives and benefits that you cannot even imagine now. Hold onto that thought as you go through the early stages of investigating your new assignment and your new country.
While individuals of any personality can manage moving abroad, you might find you have an easier transition if you and your family can answer “yes” to the following questions:
- Are you adventuresome?
- Are you able to admit when you are wrong?
- Can you laugh at yourself?
- Do you welcome new experiences?
- Do you make friends easily?
- Could you adapt to a different standard of living?
- Do you adjust to new situations easily?
- When complications arise, are you courteous and polite?
If you have a two-career family, your spouse needs to evaluate how a job disruption or termination will affect his/her career and how the change could impact your family in general. Other considerations of course are your children’s ages and activities, the length of the tour and whether you are caring for an elder relative. All of these issues will be addressed within this book.
It is in your own, and your company’s, best interest to plan an international assignment that will have a high rate of success. You need to understand as much as possible about the country and the proposed assignment. You also need to have a realistic idea about how the overseas experience could fit into your company’s future planning and business structure after repatriation.
The amount of business travel your new position will require is another consideration. If you move your family to a distant country and then you are away from home a large percentage of the time, it will create another emotional challenge. If you have concerns about any of these points, now is the time to discuss them with your employer.
Presenting the Move
When you and your spouse have made the decision to relocate, the very next detail is to discuss the move with your children and any family members who will be directly affected by the transition. Try to anticipate concerns that your family might have, as well as practical resolutions for these issues. Present the move in a unified and positive manner, as appropriate for each child’s age and each person’s situation.
It is important that children understand that moving to another country will change their daily routines and challenge their existing perceptions of the world. Explain how you plan to work together to make the experience one that can ultimately provide significant personal development.
This chapter stresses the importance of preparation and planning to assure a successful move. Issues addressed in this chapter include evaluating personal considerations, presentation of the move, initial planning, military moves and the premove visit—basically the necessary ingredients for advanced readiness to move to another country.
Home Away From Home is for families moving internationally. It is in its ninth printing, being updated each time it goes back to press. The book is designed to offer personal and professional advice for families with over 60 Internet sites, relocation checklists and military-specific sections. The wide array of topics include: spouse career options; educational resources; home sales/purchases; medical and elder care, insurance, customs and manners and a section for families moving abroad with infants.
BR Anchor Publishing, www.branchor.com provides international and domestic books for all ages: young children, preteens, teenagers and adults. Beverly D. Roman is the author of over 30 relocation books.
To order books, or for more information, contact Amy Roman, Publisher at email@example.com, 800.735.9209 (US) or 904.641.1140 (worldwide).
BR Anchor Publishing, 4596 Capital Dome Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32246-7457
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