Moving to another country can be more than a little daunting. But moving with a young family has many more considerations – schools, healthcare and generally how your family is going to fit into a new environment. Diana from CorfuHomeFinders explains the practicalities of moving with your family to Greece, and offers some valuable tips on making the move with your family painless.
Written by Diana from Corfuhomefinders
Finding somewhere you like to live is perhaps the most important, your new home will be the focus of your family life as you settle in to new routines. Use a reliable agent to help you find your property, and to make sure that everything runs smoothly on a practical level – utilities, any staff you might need etc. They can also point you to the nearest convenient bank, give you information on shops, hospitals, medical services and schools.
Schools are a major consideration – with the exception of major cities there are no specifically English speaking schools, schools are state run and lessons are taught in Greek, but most schools do have additional teaching for those whose first language is not Greek, and there are also private teachers available who can help children with their Greek language, and lessons. Starting a anew school, in an entirely different language and with different curriculum may well be daunting for children, but they generally adapt quickly to new situations, often more so than adults.
Read more about choosing an international school here.
If when you move you’re earning in one currency but paying out for schools and healthcare in another, you’ll need a cost-effective currency solution. Get a no-obligation quote from our partner, Smart Currency Exchange.
Healthcare is another issue. Most areas now have local doctors with whom you can register, including even the smallest islands. In larger Greek villages and islands you’ll find a state-run Health Centre. Larger towns have hospitals, many with Accident and Emergency departments and a wide range of private physicians of all specialities. There are also private hospitals with health insurance schemes available. You will need to decide whether to rely on Greece’s state healthcare or go private. Medical facilities in tourist areas will have English speaking staff available, but inevitably out on the islands you’ll have less choice.
You soon learn to carry at least two copies of your passport with you wherever you go!
If you are coming to Greece to start a business, make sure that you have a good lawyer and accountant to steer you through the bureaucracy of everyday life. In the beginning there is always a requirement for more and more paperwork, but you soon get used to it and learn to carry at least two copies of your passport with you wherever you go!
Daily routines may well be different, schools run from 0830 until 1400, with larger schools offering an ‘after school’ facility until 4pm or 5pm, so this needs to be taken into consideration when planning a working day. The siesta is still a major part of Greek life, especially in summer. Once school is over (Greece has longer summer holidays from early June to early September) don’t expect much to happen between 3pm and 6pm. This is the ‘quiet time’, when many Greek children rest in the heat of the day. That’s why you’ll see them up and about until until mid to late evening.
Changing environments always presents challenges and you’ll need to approach family life logically and for the long term. As Louisa Durrell is apt to say: “We live here. We’re not here on holiday”. By enlisting the help of local people and other foreign residents the whole family should be able to settle in. You’ll soon appreciate the relaxed and slower paced atmosphere of life in Greece.