Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Taking the family overseas

I have always thought I would end up somewhere different and not just stay where I grew up. I would like to consider moving out of the Midwest and taking our two children to see other parts of the world. I would really like to move to Europe. I speak some French (though it’s been a while since I studied it).

But I struggle with the adjustment for the kids and how we would cope as a family. My husband doesn’t really speak any other languages. I also wonder about employment – his degree is in business, which is pretty general. How do you go about uprooting your family, finding a job and moving to another country?

Sent by Natalie from Louisville

2 Responses to “Taking the family overseas”

  1. Robyn Says:


    My family moved overseas for my Dad’s job when I was two. We lived in Belgium for 10 years, returning to the US when I was 12, and then went back overseas when I was 15. I loved it!! I feel so fortunate now for all the life experiences I have had and all the places I have been. I ended up staying in Europe for college, and even though I now live in the US and have a family of my own, travel back to Europe frequently, and have taken my children all over the world. If I could find a way for both my spouse and I to have the great jobs we have in another country, I would do it in an instant. Go for it! You will do more for your children than you can imagine.

  2. J. Miles Says:

    I come from a family who started moving internationally when I was 6, and didn’t settle down until my youngest sister graduated from high school overseas. It was many (many!) years ago, but I have to say it was the best thing that could have happened to me, and I suspect my sisters would agree.

    First — and I can’t stress this enough — be sure that both you and your husband are committed and excited about any move. A badly-considered move can be a strain on any relationship!

    Once you’ve resolved to make a move, think of this as an opportunity to learn a new language and culture, and it’s an especially good way for your family to bond over the experience. You’d probably be amazed about how resilient your kids are. As long as you and your husband are both committed to the move, the kids will pick up on this and be excited as well. Once you are in place, make sure that you get out and into the local culture and economy — it’s a great way to pick up on the language as well as adding to the comfort level. And don’t be afraid to pick something other than a French-speaking area — if you’re open to learning a new language, it becomes remarkably easy!

    And as far as employment opportunities are concerned, I’d recommend checking with his/your college alumni organizations. Most of them have job opportunities on their websites. And once you’ve identified any areas you are interested in, check to see if there are any local colleges that could use instructors in English or your area of expertise.

    Hope this helps!

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