From experiencing new cultures, food, and people, expat children stand to receive a lot of personal enrichment as they get used to KL life!
This article was written by ExpatGo contributor Jennifer Dawson.
Some 3.5 million expats say that Kuala Lumpur is the second-easiest city in Asia to settle in, according to Nation Thailand. This is good news when you’re moving your children to the city. However, despite Kuala Lumpur being child-friendly and a good place to live, there are still things you’ll need to do to help your child settle into their new home.
FIND A GREAT SCHOOL
It’s important for your child to go to school as it’s a big part of who they are. There are lots of fine schools in Kuala Lumpur for you to choose from. Most expats enrol their children in an international school. The Good Schools Guide recommends Marlborough College Malaysia which is in Johor Bahru, a stone’s throw away from Singapore.
The Alice Smith School, elc International School, and Garden International School are also options, but they’re just a few of many. It’s best to choose a school that’s close to your new home. This will help to settle your children as they’ll be able to walk to and from school with their new friends. In time, they’ll also be able to meet up with their friends outside of school.
EXPLORE THE CITY
You should prepare your child for their new home by sharing information with them about Kuala Lumpur. For example, discuss what the city has to offer and what different attractions they have which you can do together. School-age children in particular may act out, but keep reassuring them about the benefits of living in Kuala Lumpur. As soon as you arrive in the city, spend time exploring the local area together to make them feel as positive about the place as possible.
Boat rides, rooftop pools, and the Petronas Towers are all ideal places to make new memories. You could also explore Perdana Botanical Gardens or visit the National Zoo. These are all popular activities among the locals, especially the children. This will help your children feel like they fit in as they’ll be able to share their experience of these popular places when talking to their friends.
SOAK UP THE CULTURE
Though it doesn’t have a strong art and theatre culture like some major Western cities, those things do exist here, and beyond that, Kuala Lumpur is packed full of other cultural pursuits, with a heavy Malay, Chinese, and Indian influence. This can be a bit of a shock to children who come from other countries. The beauty of Kuala Lumpur is that children are welcomed almost anywhere, so make the most of this by getting your child involved in the local cultures.
Eating out at local restaurants with your children and getting them used to the city’s varied cuisines is recommended. Festivals are also common in Kuala Lumpur and allow children to experience a number of fun and entertaining activities. The annual KL Kids Festival is always mesmerising. All celebrations in KL are celebrated with lots of food and noise, so get your child involved in as much as possible.
Though it’s a big, noisy city that admittedly can feel a bit chaotic at times, Kuala Lumpur is nevertheless a brilliant place for children to live in. It will take some time for an expat child to fit in, but these tips will help them feel as settled as possible.
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