Children of all ages find it difficult to accompany their parents on a move to a new country. It is difficult to adjust to a new school especially for teens. To become a new kid on the block is hard and then to adapt to a new country and above all a new curriculum with a new language is a double whammy.
It is most difficult for the teenagers as they have to leave their life-long friends and they find themselves in an unfamiliar, confusing and also frightening environment all of sudden.
Parents and teachers can help
Teachers and parents can make it less stressful for teens to adjust to new school. As school is a second home for most teens and school also lays the groundwork for the teen’s social life. It is very important to make them get adjusted as quickly as possible so that they can start flourishing to their new environment.
There are a few tips which can help the teen adjust to the surrounding easily.
- Just make sure that the teen starts school at the beginning of the academic year, if possible (this is different in countries like New Zealand and Australia.) This will help the teen feel less of an outsider as other teens will also be starting the school at the same time.
- Before the teens enter the school, try finding out the dress code of the new school so that the teen can fit in quickly. As most of the schools in the UK have specific uniforms, but some countries don’t have dress codes.
- If the teen has some specific interests, make sure and find out beforehand for any extra-curricular activities so they can get involved in it. Many schools have music lessons, sporting clubs, hobby groups, art groups and many more in which language skills is not a key. If they excel in one specific area, it can help the teen to compensate for the areas they are not able to do well. It is important to encourage the teen in school involvements.
- Try listening to the teen’s desires, fears and needs. Do not laugh hearing their fears if they do not seem valid to you.
- Show enthusiasm about the new school and tell the teen about the amazing adventure instead of something scary, which is worth dreading. When you are positive, there are chances the teen will also try to do the same.
- Sit with the teen and try to discuss their expectations with the new school.
- If possible, try introducing the teen to their new teachers before the start of school.