Rather than be concerned about the invasion of tablets, smart phones and other electronic gadgets, remember, if used effectively they can help your expat child feel at home in their new country. With a huge variety of apps and software for everything from staying in touch to staying safe, you can find a great selection of apps and software to help them adapt, explore and learn about their own culture as well as their new one they are about to assimilate into.
We have rounded up some of the best apps on the market to help your child become excited about the new transition.
Safety as a priority
A child in danger in a country they are not accustomed to can be a real nightmare. Ensuring apps such as Smart-ICE are installed on your child’s device can be helpful in order to store all their important medical and contact information in case of an emergency as well as an integrated button that quickly sends their current location to emergency service dispatchers. Google Maps is also a staple for children to help themselves navigate to a chosen destination in emergencies or to get their bearings around town.
Keeping in touch with loved ones
Many apps are available to allow expat children to easily keep in touch with friends and family back home and luckily most popular ones are free. A free video call on Skype, free phone calls over Viber, sending a WhatsApp to their buddies at home and updating statuses to their Facebook wall (providing they are over 13 years of age to use the site!) will keep friends and family informed of their transition and is a surefire way to keep gran happy.
Learning the lingo
Moving abroad to a country where your native tongue is not the main language is a difficult transition. Fluency however can be easily achieved by expat kids in no time. Byki is a useful app in a flash-card format to make vocabulary building fun and is available in a wide range of languages from Spanish to Croatian.
Busuu is another language app that downloads grammar, and vocabulary lessons and exercises straight onto your device, with a variety of levels and mini-tests.
With English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese courses, Duolingo is one of the best free language learning apps on the market and its sleek, no frills entertaining quizzes are a sure way to get your child language-focused.
Scribbling down their thoughts
A great way for kids to express their transition to a new country is by writing their thoughts down or, for younger ones, drawing their new surroundings. Artrage is a great app for drawing and is user friendly with a variety of brushes and colours to keep your child entertained. Drawings can be sent to other users, so your child can show off their Picasso-like skills to loved ones.
For writing lovers, Day One is an efficient multimedia journal app that can help your child to capture their thoughts through photos and bite sized anecdotes each day, forming a useful journal that may not only be fun for them but also useful to you in order to monitor their expatriate journey.
Have you used any apps to help your children with the transition to expat life? Let us know in the comments below!