From Russia to Philippines: moving with a child
With our “Santa Fe Around the World” project, we want to give our customers the opportunity to tell us more about their moving experience. Because moving to a new place can be challenging, we wanted to capture our customers’ side of their journey with us. With this series, we will be discovering their expectations, feelings and fears.
Julia moved from Russia to Philippines and describes the new world from the eyes of her son who moved with her.
What did your child think about moving to Philippines?
Julia: As we were preparing for this great life adventure, my son was so excited to go to a new part of the world and explore a different country! Before departure, he prepared as much information about the Philippines as 5-year-old kid could! Where it’s located, what climate, what fruits are available, what animals are living there, etc. The most exciting thing for him was the climate: “Mommy, how come it’s summer all year round there?”
At the end, when we arrived, he was amazed by everything!
To what degree has your child influenced your decision for moving?
Julia: A lot. For me it’s a great opportunity to show him the world and to develop a spirit of diversity in him. I really want him to be “a world person”, ever since childhood, so he can understand how different other parts of life can be. And I believe it will help him a lot to choose his own destination in life, not only country where to stay, but the direction of his mindset.
The other thing – it’s a great opportunity to acquire English in a natural way.
How has your child found integrating with local peers?
Julia: That’s not an easy thing for him because of the language barrier. After 2 months here I can say that he is doing well, but at the very beginning he was very shy and never approached kids to play.
How is your child settling into their new home?
Julia: Oh that’s his favourite part of adventure. A new home is always exciting! He is a fan of organising his own space, finding some secret places in a new home where to hide his toys. He is enjoying life in his new home very much.
If your child has started in their new school, how are they finding it? If not, what are their main expectations?
Julia: He started preschool at Montessori private school 1 week after our arrival here. I was worried more than him actually. I was so proud of him, because he never cried even on the first day when I dropped him there. I think that his type of personality just helps him here as well, he is motivated by the challenge! Even though he still doesn’t understand the language, he enjoys being at school every day and tries to make friends. Teachers help a lot, of course, but even such small things like school uniform, branded bags, etc, make him feel special here as he never got such things in Russia (it’s not a common practice there).
Have you managed to easily find activities for your child?
Julia: Very easily! Everything is nearby, there are a variety of different classes and after school activities (that would never be possible for us in Moscow, frankly speaking). Now my son has swimming classes twice a week, Singaporean maths twice a week, personality development twice a week. Also music classes are in our plans as of May.
Surprisingly we discovered even a free activity for kids in BGC – football training classes nearby. We tried a couple of times, but my boy is not a fan of group sport activities.
What was the most challenging thing for your child (language, food, etc…)?
Julia: The biggest challenge is still the language, but this will be resolved in a couple of months I guess.
Because of the language barrier, I noticed that his development level has been set back by around 2 years. I can call it “regress” I suppose, which is quite normal for such a stressful situation for a kid. However, he is recovering quite fast as he learns the language!
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