Expats' Corner June 20, 2024 | 5:38 pm

5 Tips for Expat Parents moving to the Dominican Republic with Children

Moving to the Dominican Republic as retirees or empty nesters is a somewhat simple feat. However, if you’re a parent with school-age children, you have much to consider before making the big move. As an expat parent, ensuring a smooth transition for your kids is a top priority.

Here are five essential tips for making your kids’ move to the Dominican Republic as seamless as possible.

1. Prepare Early: Start preparing your kids for the move as soon as possible. Introduce them to the Dominican Republic by visiting for an extended period during the summer months when they’re out of school. By experiencing the country firsthand, they’ll better understand the culture, local cuisine, and daily life. The more they can familiarize themselves with the DR, the less intimidating the move will be.

2. Empower Your Kids in the Process: Let your children be part of the moving process. This can include choosing items to pack, picking the new house or community to live in, or the school that they’ll attend. By involving them, they’ll feel a sense of control and participation, which can help alleviate some of the stress of the move.

3. Focus on Learning Spanish: Get your kids started on learning Spanish well before the move. Hire a Spanish tutor, enroll them in a class, or have them download an app like Duolingo or Babbel on their phone. Being able to communicate will help your child feel more comfortable and integrated.

4. Consider Schooling Options: You’ll need to research educational options extensively and weigh the pros and cons. There are international and private schools in the DR that cater to expat children, and the curriculum in these schools is often similar to schools in the USA. Another option is online schooling. There are few platforms that offer this type of learning, and it is a good alternative if your family wants to move around and explore different locales in the country. Or maybe you want to continue to travel the world.

5. Prepare for Emotional Challenges: After the move, your kids may mourn the loss of their friends or familiar places. Consider arranging continued contact with friends back home through video calls or social. Plan a vacation or trip to the Dominican Republic with your children’s friends and their families.

Moving to the Dominican Republic with children can get complicated, but with the right preparation, it can be a rewarding and enriching experience for the whole family. Embrace the journey with an open mind and ensure that your children feel supported every step of the way.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Maria Abreu is the CEO and Managing Attorney of Abreu & Associates, a law firm practicing exclusively in Dominican Republic Immigration and Nationality law. She is also the founder of Retire and Invest DR. This organization hosts conference events for foreigners interested in living, retiring, and investing in the DR. You can contact Maria at: mabreu@abreuimmigration.com.


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