Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Top Countries for Raising Children Abroad in 2012

The Expat Explorer 2012 survey results are out. This year 5399 expats were questioned from 97 countries of the world. You can download the full report here.

To discover which country is the best to raise your child in the survey looked at these 3 main factors:
  1. Childcare (safety of children, standard of education, quality of childcare and overall cost of raising children)
  2. Health and wellbeing (spending time outdoors, spending time with parents, playing sports, playing video games, watching TV, children eat less junk food now)
  3. Integration (settled in quicker than parents, enjoying their lives, are learning new languages, missing home and friends, social integration)
Scores from each factor are weighted to arrive at an overall Raising Children Abroad score and overall rank. The weighting applied is as follows: childcare - 33,3%, Health & wellbeing - 33,3% and Integration 33,3%.

Now here are the top countries for raising children abroad according to this survey: 
  1. Canada
  2. The Netherlands
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Australia
  5. United Arab Emirates
  6. USA
  7. Saudia Arabia
  8. United Kingdom
  9. Kuwait
Apparently Hong Kong is the safest place to raise a child. 91% Of the expat parents in Hong Kong said that the safety of their children had improved after relocation.

Australia and Canada are on the top of the list for active expat families. Not only were the children more active in sports in these 2 countries but even some of the parents became more active in sports.

The Middle East provides a more challenging climate for expat families. Social integration is one of the areas were expat parents reported that their children had most difficulty. The expat children in the Middle East spent more time watching TV and playing video games. 

If you want to compare the results with last years outcome, check my post on The Top 10 Countries for Raising Children Abroad in 2011. Of course I am proud that the Netherlands is still at the top of the list on second place. I am a little surprised that France was in first place last year but that it does not feature in the top 9 countries this year. I wonder why.

What are your experiences with raising kids abroad? Do they match the results of this survey? Do you have tips for other parents? Please share it with us. Thanks.

Related Posts:

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Long ago I fell in love with tropical fruits: a heritage of growing up abroad

Well I have to confess that my third culture kid heart has been beating faster the last few weeks. I have been travelling! I had the privilege of spending some time in Indonesia. Even though I grew up in Africa and have only recently travelled to Asia a couple of times I have discovered that I feel at home in Asia too. 
I love the tropical fruit juices. There is just nothing like the taste of well ripened mango's. Every now and then I am tempted into buying a mango here in the Netherlands but it either rots or just does not taste good, it usually turns into a disappointment.

It was really warm here and this cool mango juice was such a delight. Apparently mango's were part of my basic diet when I grew up in Zambia. There are photo's of me in diapers when I was a couple of years old sucking on a mango pip.

Other juices I enjoyed were avocado, pineapple, banana, guava and papaya (pawpaw) juice. Seeing all these papaya's in the supermarket excited me. We used to have papaya trees in our backyard. I remember the days my dad used a long stick to get the fruits down. He made us stand on guard and catch the fruits as the fell down. It was so stressful. Low and behold if the papaya splat on the ground. Believe me papaya's make a real splat, it can make a real mess.   

Smells bring back memories but so can your taste buds bring back memories.
What did you fall in love with growing up abroad? What foods brings back your memories?

Related posts:

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Guest Post By My Sister: Where she's from!

Photo of Pleuntje by Keke Keukelaar  www.3hoog-achter.nl
In September I challenged you to let us know "Where you are from". Guest blogger Lucia Bodeman was the first to share about where she's from. Now it's my honour to introduce my sister Pleuntje. Here's her story:

I am from corncurls and freezies, from Marmite on cheese and Stoney Gingerbeer. 
I am from the cool verandahs, avocado trees and baked, red earth roads.
I am from snorkeling at Cape Maclear, from chlorine in garden pools, the streets of Toronto and bridges of Amsterdam.
I am from birthday breakfasts in bed and Sinterklaas, from Frisian heritage, southern hemispheres and Christmas dinners outside.
I am from the crossing of borders and packing of suitcases, cycling, swimming and frequent flyer logs.
From language lessons during the holidays and sports and music every day.
I am from more than a dozen churches, being welcomed, asked to come forward or stand and then we’d sing.
I'm from Blantyre, now from Belgium, from sadza, zuurkool stamppot and appeltaart.
From the times we would wear wintercoats made by my mother out of blankets, the Peugeot stuck in the snow and my brother stuck in sliding doors at an Austrian airport.
I am from Mutare and Bulawayo, Lelystad and Amsterdam, Hamilton and Ghent. From where? Yes, there. So be it. Amen.

Related posts:
I am just wondering: Where are you from? Care to share it with us? Here's the "Where I'm from template". 
I think it is great fun for third culture kids or cross culture kids to do this little exercise. So have fun. If you want to contribute your story send it in to: drieculturen@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Hello World! The Dutch Children's Book Week 2012

I just listened to the song specially made for the Dutch Children's book week (de Kinderboekenweek 2012). It's a really great song and I would nearly like to call it a third culture kid song. The song is all about the world and all the stories of this world. One of the children sings  

"Hello neighbour, tell me your story. You come from far away, but now you are here, we are here together."

Another child sings: "hello book, with your nice stories, countries far away, new people now live in my head".

"The world is mine, the world is yours, it's ours".

"When you read you understand the people around you,
When you read you know you're not alone,
a book opens borders and let's you go into the world" 

This year the Children's Book week is all about meeting other cultures. I just love books and I love meeting people from other cultures so you can imagine that I am quite excited about this theme. The coming week many schools, bookshops, and libraries will be organizing activities around this theme. It sounds like a lot of fun! I would like to encourage all third culture kids living in the Netherlands to share their story this week. Tell other children about the adventures you had when you lived abroad. I want to encourage immigrant and refugee children to tell their stories. Let's have a time of celebrating our multicultural stories and our multicultural kids. I am grateful for all the multicultural books that have been written.

Watch the film, listen to the Dutch song and enjoy all the multicultural kids.

 Here is the song with the song text:

The Children's book week is from the 3rd of October until the 14th of October 2012.

Related posts: