Moving to a foreign country is the ultimate military adventure. However, it does require some preparation, guidance and a dose of patience. Military OneSource gives you strategies for making the most of your time abroad with pointers on adjusting to your new home, information on finding employment for spouses, advice for getting around, and ideas for assimilating your kids to a new culture.
Start here to make the most of your time overseas:
Plenty of overseas employment opportunities await military spouses. Your installation is the best place to start the job hunt. Check the installation website for job postings. Consider volunteering or working from home as you settle in. You also have options to find jobs in the local economy, but be sure to check the Status of Forces Agreement first and be aware of taxes and fees.
Foreign countries with different languages and customs offer opportunities for kids to explore and learn firsthand, but it’s also a big change. As a military parent, help make the transition abroad easier for your children by keeping the lines of communication open, encouraging fun ways to learn the language, going online to research popular music and local sports teams, and making a travel wish list.
Depending on where you’re stationed overseas, you may need a car to get around. While the military will pay to ship your privately owned vehicle, that weight counts toward your overall packing weight allowance. And not only does the car need to fall in line with local laws, but so do you – apply for a new driver’s license in your new locale.
No matter where you are in the world, you’ll want to celebrate the holidays that matter to you and your family. Living abroad might mean that you won’t be able to gather around the table with your extended family and friends back at home, but you can still enjoy your closely held traditions and even incorporate some new ones from the local culture at your new location.