As a parent, bringing your family on expat assignment may sound like the dream scenario. You may envisage an exciting new role, while your children can experience life in an entirely new country with a different culture. Once the initial thrill abates and you are beginning to plan your life overseas, it is only natural to have concerns, particularly if you are moving to a very different environment from what you are used to.
Don’t be a target
There are a few ways your family can reduce your chances of becoming victims of petty crime, particularly when you first arrive in your new destination:
- stay together
- watch out for each other
- dress like a local
- don’t carry expensive technology (that includes your children...leave the Switch at home!)
- keep moving in busy areas
- carry valuables or luggage in front of you
Arrange a place to meet
Consider natural disasters
Know your child
Be medically prepared
One of the easiest ways to keep your family safe on expat assignment is by getting any required vaccinations in good time. Many vaccinations require several weeks or months to take effect. If you don’t need any specific vaccinations for the destination you are travelling to, it is good to have a checkup with your family physician anyway and for everyone to get a tetanus boost. Also ensure your family has the expat health insurance cover needed to access the best available medical care in your new home.
While you want to identify potential risks to your children, avoid scaring them. Although media coverage can lead us to believe some countries are less safe than others, don’t let this worry you too much or lull you into a false sense of security when it comes to expat life. Instead, take reasonable safety precautions while also enjoying this wonderful experience with your family.